Jenny Simpson and Nick Willis to Race for Record-Setting Titles at New Balance 5th Avenue Mile on Sunday, September 9

August 28, 2018 at 4:00am

18 Olympians to toe the line in world’s most iconic road mile race, including Olympians Matthew Centrowitz, Emma Coburn, Lopez Lomong, and Boris Berian

Event to be aired live on NBC and feature 22 heats throughout the day, including Rising New York Road Runners heats for youth and the George Sheehan Memorial Mile for seniors

NYRR Virtual New Balance 5th Avenue Mile will take place from September 1-9 as part of the 2018 NYRR Virtual Racing Series

New York, August 28, 2018 — Olympic bronze medalist and three-time World Championships medalist Jenny Simpson and two-time Olympic medalist Nick Willis will go for their record-setting seventh and fifth event titles at the 2018 New Balance 5th Avenue Mile on Sunday, September 9. Stretching 20 blocks down Manhattan’s most famous thoroughfare, the race will draw a professional athlete field from 11 countries that includes 18 Olympians and three past champions.

The day begins at 7:25 a.m. ET and is expected to draw 7,000 runners across 22 heats – plus Rising New York Road Runners heats for youth – with the professional athlete races rounding out the day at 12:10 p.m. ET. In partnership with New York Road Runners and USA Track & Field, NBC Sports Group will broadcast the 2018 New Balance 5th Avenue Mile live on NBC at 12:00 p.m. ET.

In conjunction with the race, the NYRR Virtual New Balance 5th Avenue Mile will take place from September 1-9 as part of the 2018 NYRR Virtual Racing Series. The series allows runners anywhere in the world to run a race at their convenience and at a location of their choice during a specified period of time. Proceeds from the NYRR Virtual Racing Series, launched in beta together with Strava in 2018, benefit NYRR’s youth and community programs.

Simpson, 32, is seeking her record-extending seventh title at the event after winning the race last year and matching the event-record time of 4:16.6. She has earned three IAAF World Championships medals in the metric mile, beginning with a gold at the 2011 World Championships. She followed that with a silver in 2013 and another last year. In 2016, she took bronze in the 1500 meters at the Rio Olympics, making her the first American woman in history to reach the podium in that event. She set a lifetime best in the in the mile earlier this summer, running 4:17:30 at the Müller Anniversary Games IAAF Diamond League meet in London.

She will be challenged by New Balance teammate Emma Coburn, who won bronze in the steeplechase at the Rio 2016 Olympics and gold at the 2017 IAAF World Championships and Olympian Colleen Quigley, who won the NYRR Wanamaker Mile in February.

Willis, 35, equaled the men’s record with his fourth win at the 5th Avenue Mile last year, taking the tape in 3:51.3. The New Zealand athlete earned silver over 1500 meters at the Beijing 2008 Olympics and then returned to the podium with a bronze-medal finish at the Rio 2016 Olympics. He is the national-record holder in that distance and has also won three medals at the Commonwealth Games.

Joining Willis in the professional men’s field will be Matthew Centrowitz, who at the Rio 2016 Games became the first American since 1908 to win Olympic gold in the 1500 meters. He is a three-time World Championship medalist and three-time NYRR Wanamaker Mile champion, and he won the 5th Avenue Mile in 2012. Also toeing the line will be two-time Olympian Lopez Lomong, who won the U.S. national title over 10,000 meters in June; Boris Berian, the 2016 IAAF World Indoor champion over 800 meters; Ben True, this year’s United Airlines NYC Half winner; and Chris O’Hare, who won the NYRR Wanamaker Mile in February and was runner-up to Willis last year on 5th Avenue.

Quotes from race organizers:

“This year’s New Balance 5th Avenue Mile will serve as a perfect setting for the world’s fastest milers to conclude their seasons. Jenny has already created so much history in New York as one of the best to have ever raced down Manhattan’s most famous thoroughfare, and the professional men’s field is shaping up to be quite the show with Nick, Matthew, Lopez, Eric, Boris, Ben and Chris.”

-Peter Ciaccia, president of events for NYRR and race director of the TCS New York City Marathon.

“The New Balance 5th Avenue Mile represents New York Road Runners’ vision of providing opportunities to runners of all ages and abilities to get out to run. From the Rising New York Road Runners’ kids races to the George Sheehan Memorial Mile, and with the newly launched virtual edition of the race, this event is able to reach people in New York City and around the world.”
-Michael Capiraso, president and CEO of NYRR

Quotes from professional athletes:

“Winning the New Balance 5th Avenue Mile is never easy. It seems like the bar is raised every year at a global level for women’s middle-distance running, as the talent and competitiveness continues to get stronger and stronger. So even with six wins under my belt, I’m approaching this year’s starting line ready to run as hard as I ever have in order to defend my title and hopefully clinch that seventh win. I like to remind myself that this is my final mile of the entire season and there’s nothing like going into the off season by breaking the finish line tape. I’m so excited that people across the United States will be able to watch the races live on NBC.”

-Jenny Simpson

“I’m very excited to return to New York City to end my 2018 season. I love running in New York and now that my father is back in New York as the director of track & field at Manhattan College, it’ll feel that much more of a homecoming.”

-Matthew Centrowitz

Professional Athlete Field – Men 

Name

Mile PR

Road PR

Twitter

Colby Alexander, USA

3:54.94

3:53

@okaycolby

Eric Avila, USA

3:55.43

4:04

@AvilaEricc

Boris Berian, USA

N/A

N/A

@borisgump800

Andreas Bube, DEN

N/A

N/A

@andreasbube

Ben Blankenship, USA

3:53.04

3:53

@benfblakenship

Matthew Centrowitz, USA

3:50.53

3:53

@MattCentrowitz

Graham Crawford, USA

3:56.05

3:58

 

Craig Engels, USA

3:53.93i

3:55

@craigathor

Neil Gourley, GBR

3:57.11

N/A

@Neil_Gourley

Johnny Gregorek, USA

3:53.15i

3:53

@JohnnyGregorek

Charlie Grice, GBR

3:52.64

3:57

@CharlieGrice1

Lopez Lomong, USA

3:51.21i

4:03

@lopezlomong

Riley Masters, USA

3:56.15i

4:01

@riley_masters

Sam McEntee, AUS

3:57.86i

4:00

@SamMc3ntee

Rob Napolitano, USA

3:57.48

N/A

@RobIsNapping

Chris O’Hare, GBR

3:52.91i

3:52

@chrisohare1500

Sam Parsons, USA

4:03.22

4:10

 

Sam Prakel, USA

3:54.64

3:59

@sprakel10

Ben True, USA

3:57.31

N/A

@bentrue

Jake Wightman, GBR

3:54.20

3:53

@JakeSWightman

Nick Willis, NZL

3:49.83

3:51

@nickwillis

Drew Windle, USA

4:09.84i

4:13

@DrewWindle

 

Professional Athlete Field – Women

Name

Mile PR

Road PR

Twitter

Ce’Aira Brown, USA

4:31.74

N/A

 

Emma Coburn, USA

4:29.86i

4:21

@emmajcoburn

Kim Conley, USA

4:24.54i

4:44

@kimconley

Katrina Coogan, USA

4:32.06

4:34

@katrina_coogan

Alexa Efraimson, USA

4:23.15

4:34

@mcourtney93

Marta Pen Freitas, POR

4:27.39

4:35

@AlexaEfraimson

Emily Lipari, USA

4:25.84

N/A

 

Charlene Lipsey, USA

4:28.62

4:33

@Charlene800m

Katie Mackey, USA

4:27.28

N/A

@KatiefMackey

Sarah McDonald, GBR

4:20.85

4:29

@SarahAMcDonald

Cory McGee, USA

4:27.67i

4:36

@CoryMcGeeRuns

Shannon Osika, USA

4:25.47

4:21

@OsikaShannon

Colleen Quigley, USA

4:24.88i

4:21

@steeple_squigs

Helen Schlachtenhaufen, USA

4:27.09

N/A

 

Rachel Schneider, USA

4:25.62i

4:34

@rachsneid18

Dominique Scott, RSA

4:26.63

4:20

@domscottrunSA

Nicole Sifuentes, USA

4:27.69i

4:23

 

Jenny Simpson, USA

4:17.30

4:17

@trackjenny

Sara Sutherland, USA

4:30.60

4:27

@saracsutherland

Adelle Tracey, GBR

4:35r

4:35

 

Steph Twell, GBR

4:25.39

4:36

 

Sara Vaughn, USA

4:27.31

4:22

@smevaughn

Laura Weightman, GBR

4:20.49

4:18

@LauraWeightman

 

About New York Road Runners (NYRR)
In 2018, NYRR is celebrating 60 years of helping and inspiring people through running. Since 1958, New York Road Runners has grown from a local running club to the world’s premier community running organization. NYRR’s commitment to New York City’s five boroughs features races, community events, free youth running initiatives, school programs, and training resources that provide hundreds of thousands of people each year, from children to seniors, with the motivation, know-how, and opportunity to Run for Life. NYRR’s premier event, and the largest marathon in the world, is the TCS New York City Marathon. Held annually on the first Sunday in November, the race features 50,000 runners, from the world’s top professional athletes to a vast range of competitive, recreational, and charity runners.  To learn more, visit www.nyrr.org

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Categories: Pro Athletes
 

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