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BYU’s Record-breaking Miler Begins the Race of Life

July 2012

Miles Batty

When Miles Batty came to Provo four years ago, he felt that Brigham Young University would be a perfect balance of academics and athletics. He was right; his grade point average and time in the mile run are virtually identical— 3.93 and 3:54:54, respectively.

“I wanted to attend a university with strong academic programs that would help me prepare for medical school,” says Batty. “I knew that BYU had great academics, and then I began to be recruited by the nationally ranked cross country and track teams. While I didn’t recognize the importance at the time, it was comforting to know that I would be attending college with other students who have the same beliefs and standards.”

Batty had heard stories about how BYU has too many rules. But two visits to campus helped dispel that myth. “I saw how normal BYU was and how much fun the students have,” says Batty. “I realized that because I want to keep my life in line with the teachings of the Church, I was not going to feel restricted at all by the honor code— it was only going to help me.”

Running for BYU, Thanks to You

Miles Batty Race

In preparation for medical school, Batty studied neuroscience and exercise science. Obviously this wasn’t easy: balancing challenging coursework, a grueling workout schedule, and stellar performance on the track required intense focus and giving up most weekends. But the payoff was exceptional. “I came here to get an education, but I have received so much more than that,” says Batty. “At BYU I was enriched in every aspect of my life— academically, athletically, socially, and spiritually. I have been able to form many friendships and date young women with standards similar to my own. Most of all, I feel my testimony has grown.”

During his time at BYU, Batty ran in many prestigious track meets. Batty’s sub-four-minute mile at the Millrose Games in New York set an indoor NCAA record. The year before at the 2011 NCAA Indoor Track Championships, Batty faced the daunting task of racing the mile in a preliminary heat, a relay, and a final—all within 24 hours. He met the challenge head on and left the meet undefeated with two national championships.

“I have been able to show others around me what it means to be a BYU student, and I hope I have given them the opportunity to learn more about the Church,” he says. “I was asked many questions by the media about my missionary experience and how that influenced my athletic training. It was great to share those things with others. I hope to do the same as I continue my schooling and enter the medical field.”

Batty graduated in April and gives much of the credit for his academic success to the scholarships he received. “Without them I know that I would not have been able to focus all my energy on my training and studies,” he says. “My scholarships are something for which I will always be thankful.”