The Sir Walter Miler began due to lack of stateside races for American athletes. In June 2013, Sandy Roberts was coming his best collegiate season, and couldn’t find any meets, that weren’t in Europe, to continue his development. With this position, the “Sandman Mile” was created for Roberts to attempt a sub 4:00 mile with only his brother as the pacer. The event was promoted for only a few days, and would take place at the end of football practice, with the lights still on, at Cardinal Gibbons High School. Hundreds showed up and lined the track to cheer Roberts on. The next year, the Sir Walter Miler took that energy and developed it into a mile-centric event, which has only grown since.
After the inaugural Sir Walter Miler in 2014, LetsRun.com, said of the event: “Meet organizers of America, take note: this is how you put on a professional track meet.” Winner of the race, Ford Palmer, soon got a major shoe deal with Hoka One One, after his win. “It was almost a carnival on the college campus, everyone went to the race, cheered their butts off, and went back to the brewery afterwards. It was the best event I have ever been to as a track athlete,” said Palmer.
Sports Illustrated called the 2015 Sir Walter Miler the “best glimpse of future growth for American track.”
The 2016 event boasted the first T20 sub 4:00 mile ever, as Mikey Brannigan ran 3:57.58 en route to his Gold Medal at the 2016 Paralympics in Rio.