Johnny Gregorek, a professional middle distance runner for Asics, has announced that he will attempt to break Dillon Maggard’s 4:11.80 world record for the blue jeans mile on May 30 at 6 p.m. EST.
Gregorek says the attempt will be broadcast on his Instagram page.
“I’ll be running to draw awareness to the wonderful work done by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) and raise money for their cause,” Gregorek wrote on Instagram. “NAMI is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to improving the lives of all those affected by mental illness. They provide education, support, advocacy and awareness for those suffering from mental illness, their families, and the community as a whole. These resources are vital during this time of isolation, when our mental health can be as jeopardized as our physical health. This “race” will be run in memory of my brother, Patrick. Aside from being one of the kindest and most selfless people I’ve ever known, Paddy was a fan of anything silly. I think an all out mile in jeans would tickle him sufficiently!”
Gregorek holds personal bests of 1:47.12 for 800 meters, 3:35.00 for 1,500 meters, 3:52.94 for the outdoor mile and 3:49.98 for the indoor mile. Gregorek was a 1,500 meter world championship finalist and won a silver medal in the same event at the 2019 Pan American Games.
The Blue Jeans Mile grew to prominence in March 2017 after Paul Snyder wrote up a gimmicky post wondering what’s the fastest that people could run a mile while wearing a pair of blue jeans. It was all a joke until we had one of our writers attempt it. Then other people tried it themselves. And eventually, a few collegiate runners got competitive and went after the world record. We put up a prize of $1,000 for the first person to run under four minutes. It has yet to be done.
Dillon Maggard’s world record still stands from his 4:11.80 in November 2018. The women’s world record is 4:58.84 by Heather Wilson in August 2017.
The Blue Jeans Mile got press in SB Nation, Podium Runner, Canadian Running Magazine and there was even an official race held in Raleigh where dozens of runners competed in jeans. On April 16, Blue Jeans Mile rules were slightly adjusted to now allow jeans that are at least 72% cotton to compete.