1500m World Champion Josh Kerr Headlines Millrose Games Men’s Two Mile On February 11

By Chris Chavez

November 29, 2023

2023 1500m world champion Josh Kerr of Great Britain will headline the field for the men’s two mile at the 116th Millrose Games at The Armory on Feb. 11, race organizers announced.

Kerr, who is also the reigning Olympic bronze medalist in the 1500m and European indoor mile record holder, will be competing in his fifth Millrose Games since 2018. In 2022, he took second in the Millrose Wanamaker Mile. Earlier this year, Kerr opted to run the men’s 3000m against one of the most talented fields ever assembled. The decision paid off as he kicked to victory with a 26.98 final 200m to win in 7:33.47.

The Millrose Games is the sixth stop on the 2024 World Athletics Indoor Tour Gold calendar.

Livestream and television broadcast details will be announced in the coming weeks. Stay tuned for more Millrose Games athlete announcements as the pro fields come together.

Tickets to the 116th Millrose Games can be purchased online at millrosegames.org. For more information on all Armory Track events, visit armorytrack.com.

The following interview has been edited lightly for clarity and space. You can listen to the full interview with Josh Kerr on the CITIUS MAG Podcast – available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you get your shows. You can also watch it on The CITIUS MAG YouTube channel.

Josh Kerr - Millrose GamesJosh Kerr - Millrose Games

Kevin Morris / @KevMofoto

CITIUS MAG: What’s the plan for Millrose?

Josh Kerr: I think normally it’s a 3000m and so there was definitely a little bit of chatter about ‘how can we make this the most exciting event possible?’ and really have a go at some fast times and make them as relevant as we can to the world. There are some fast times out there that I think we're going to be going after.

CITIUS MAG: What did you take away from watching Jakob Ingebrigtsen break the two mile world record in 7:54.10 at the Paris Diamond League this summer? The indoor world record is 8:03.40 by Mo Farah in Birmingham in 2015. Are you thinking about those times?

Josh Kerr: We’re three months out, however, I'd be remiss to say that this is not like a race event to go after the two mile world record. There's going to be a fantastic field and will be paced at the two mile world record. Currently, I'm in fantastic shape. I'm having an amazing fall and dealing with everything new and everything that's exciting, amazing and also terrible about being a world champion. I'm very excited for it. Millrose is the best meet of the year. I think it's got an atmosphere like nowhere else. We're just looking to make it as exciting as possible. Ray Flynn and everyone over there at the Millrose Games is trying as hard as they can to keep the fields exciting and to keep the races exciting.

CITIUS MAG: Can you describe a little bit more of that atmosphere and why people should go and buy their tickets?

Josh Kerr: I think I've run it every single year since when I was invited while I was in college and the reason for it is there's just the atmosphere in there. It's so small for how many people are in there. You've got a packed stadium. You've got a hospitality event. You've got race after race of the most elite men and women in the world going after fast times… You've just got events that you're probably the closest you could be to some of the best runners in the world.

Josh Kerr - Millrose GamesJosh Kerr - Millrose Games

Kevin Morris / @KevMoFoto

CITIUS MAG: This year, it overlaps with the Super Bowl Sunday. Can we get a guarantee that the men's two mile is going to be bigger and better than the Super Bowl?

Josh Kerr: We need to get a one mile halftime show through the two mile. I’m not a huge American football fan so I definitely think it's going to be more exciting. It's definitely gonna be quicker and more intensely exciting; I can tell you that.

CITIUS MAG: Something some people may be wondering is: Why not the mile?

Josh Kerr: So for me, I think it's really, really important to be ready for the mile when it's time to be ready for the mile. There's definitely a place for it. It was going through my mind and I was thinking about running one. I kind of wanted to run one at home like at the Birmingham World Indoor Tour. Sadly, that's not a thing this year. At that time in February, I'm still coming off really high base training and I still want to be toward 5000m at that time of year. [A two mile] just fits in perfectly where it is a bit speedier, but it's not the mile.

The mile is a fantastic distance. But I do think it's cumulative: How good are you in 5000m? How good are you at the 800m? Run a fantastic 1500m. The way we always create the year is to work on your 5000m, work on your 800m and run a good mile.

It is sad though, because I've been second in the Millrose Games Wanamaker Mile twice and I've never won it. It’s a huge goal of mine. But after everything went so well last year, we're not going to really stray too far away from that plan that went so well last year. So, the two mile fits in pretty perfectly.

CITIUS MAG: One thing that stands out about your relationship with coach Danny Mackey is that there's always intention when it comes to selecting your races. You've said that you now have the blueprint to know what it takes to be a champion. How does the two mile fit into that greater equation?

Josh Kerr: I have this road map for what I believe will make the best Olympic final for me. That’s going to be different from my teammates’ plan. It's going to be different from any other 1500m runner’s plan in the world. I know what makes me tick. I don't need a rust-buster. I'm good at going out and getting the job done. I don't like to over-race because I like to race extremely hard and extremely well. We taper for things. I just want to make sure that the training's there. If the training is there, I am the best 1500m runner in the world. I just need to make sure there's consistency. So the way that I look at races is: What can I do to bring the most value to that race as well as learning as much as possible from that race?

When I get paid to go to races now, I don't want to be fifth or sixth place like I could have before. When someone buys a ticket to the Millrose Games, they're like, ‘Oh, if Josh says – two weeks out or three weeks out – he's going after this world record, I'm going and I want to see it.’ I'm not going to go be like, ‘Oh, it's okay if I don't get it.’ There's a lot more expectation there. You have to take an extra step and acknowledge that it's going to be a little bit more stressful in some of these situations, but you're just going to have to deal with that.

It has not really been part of me since college to go out and race a lot. This two mile excites me. That’s what I had a problem with after the Olympics. Nothing really got me out of bed to go and run. I really struggled through the fall after the Olympic Games. I was just like, ‘Oh, it's a World Championship year. It's awesome but it's going to take me so long to dig myself out of this hole that I've drank and eaten myself into.’ This year is a little bit more about finding things that excite me and that two mile definitely excites me.

CITIUS MAG: A lot was made out of your diet in the lead-up to Budapest. What’s the plan leading up to Millrose?

Josh Kerr: It's less of a diet now. It's more of a lifestyle. My nutritionist and my chef kind of just work together and make sure that they're putting together smart and well-rounded meals for me. It just wasn't a strength for me. It was a really big weakness where I’d be eating like a college kid. My fiancée lives in Florida, so she doesn't help me with the cooking anymore and I'm a bit of a slob when it comes to food. We just thought it would be a good idea to keep that going.

CITIUS MAG: One thing we've noticed in the last couple of weeks is lots of Instagram posts and lots of Reels. Last year, you were holding the cards close to your chest. This time around, you're really sharing in the process. Is this all intentional?

Josh Kerr: We were trying different things training-wise and really just trying to figure out what worked behind the scenes a little bit more. Now, I kind of have an idea of what I'm doing and I feel a bit more comfortable sharing what I'm doing. People aren't like, ‘Oh, that's weird. I don’t know why you do this or why you did that.’ People get really opinionated when things aren't going super well. Now, I just feel a bit more comfortable sharing some things. We're in an age where content is important to fans and for each brand that we work with. I'm also trying to create value for people who are trying to follow me and follow my story behind who I really am. I do feel like I've kind of missed the mark on that a couple of times. This is something that I could get better at and hopefully give a bit more insight into what it takes to be a world champion.

Listen to the full interview here or wherever you get your podcasts.

Chris Chavez

Chris Chavez launched CITIUS MAG in 2016 as a passion project while working full-time for Sports Illustrated. He covered the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro and grew his humble blog into a multi-pronged media company. He completed all six World Marathon Majors and is an aspiring sub-five-minute miler.