The event was first held in 1908, and in 1926 became known as the "Wanamaker." It is named in honor of the head of the Wanamaker's Department Store in New York City, Rodman Wanamaker. The race was held every year at 10:00 p.m. This was a tradition started by the legendary sports announcer Ted Husing. Husing would broadcast the race live during the nightly news. In 2002, the mile was moved to 9 p.m. to accommodate television coverage.
The race is also a tradition for Irish runners. Past Irish winners include Ronnie Delaney (1956-1959), Eamonn Coghlan (1977, '79-'81, '83, '85 and '87), Marcus O'Sullivan (1986, '88-'90, 1992 and 1996), Niall Bruton (1994), Mark Carroll (2000), and Ciarán Ó Lionáird (2013).
It was at the Millrose Games where Coghlan earned the nickname, "Chairman of the Boards" (because the surface of the track was made of wooden boards). In addition O'Sullivan has run 11 sub-four-minute miles in the Wanamaker.
- http://www.dyestat.com/3us/5in/millrosegames/donna/index.htm Retrieved 2008-12-11.
- Litsky, Frank (January 8, 2002). "An Earlier Start Time For the Wanamaker Mile". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-12-11.
- Morse, Parker (2010-01-30). Lagat makes it eight at Millrose Games. IAAF. Retrieved on 2010-01-30.