5 Fast Facts About the 5th Avenue Mile

The 2019 New Balance 5th Avenue Mile will mark the 39th running of the one-mile race, which takes runners down 20 blocks of one of Manhattan’s most well-known thoroughfares. To get ready for race day on Sunday, September 8, here are some quick facts about the race. 

1. Since finisher totals from the 5th Avenue Mile were first recorded in 2000, a total of 75,677 runners have logged a one-mile trip down 5th Avenue. In total, that's enough distance to go around the Earth more than three times!

Runners at the start of a men's heat at the New Balance 5th Avenue Mile

2. The New Balance 5th Avenue Mile course covers 20 blocks of Manhattan, but not all blocks are of equal length. For most of the first half of the race, each block measures approximately 204 feet, 4 inches; from 71st Street to the finish near 60th Street, each block measures about 200 feet, 10 inches.

And now that you’re aware of it, we're sure you'll notice the difference on race day. Regardless of block length, you’ll certainly feel it in your legs if you go out too fast.

3. In the professional athlete races, the United States leads the way with 34 winners throughout the event’s history (11 men, 23 women).

Country Men Women Total
United States 11 23 34
Great Britain 6 5 11
Canada 1 4 5
Kenya 4 1 5
New Zealand 5 0 0
Spain 5 0 0
Romania 0 3 3
Ireland 1 1 2
Morocco 2 0 2
South Africa 1 1 2
Australia 1 0 1

4. Jenny Simpson has run three of the fastest 10 times in event history—including a share of the event record with her 4:16.6 from 2017—and has won seven times at the event, or 18.4% of all 5th Avenue Mile women's pro races in event history.

Her seven victories are the most of any athlete in event history among the men's and women's professional athlete fields. Read more about how she's preparing to race for her eighth title this year.

In fact, when counted separately from the rest of the women’s event winners from the United States, she has more wins herself than any other country.

Country 5th Avenue Mile Wins,
Women's Division
United States, minus Jenny Simpson 16
Jenny Simpson 7
Great Britain 5
Canada 4
Romania 3
Ireland 1
Kenya 1
South Africa 1

Jenny Simpson breaking the finish-line tape at the 2018 New Balance 5th Avenue Mile
Simpson breaking the finish-line tape at the 2018 New Balance 5th Avenue Mile, earning her record-extending seventh win at the event.

5. Simpson is a graduate of the University of Colorado Boulder. In the professional athlete races, three schools can claim both a men's and a women's 5th Avenue Mile winner among their alumni. Can you guess which schools?

Here’s a hint:

🦆, 🌲, 😺





And here’s the actual list. Did you guess correctly?


  • Leann Warren (1981)
  • Matthew Centrowitz (2012)
  • Jordan McNamara (2014)
  • Eric Jenkins (2016) 


  • PattiSue Plumer (1990)
  • Regina Jacobs (1994, 1998)
  • Jason Lunn (2000)
  • Sara Hall (2006)


  • Sydney Maree (1981)
  • Carmen Douma-Hussar (2005, 2007)

Now that you're that much better acquainted with the race, you'll be that much more prepared for when that starting horn sounds on Sunday.

Or if you won't be in town to run, you can watch the professional athlete races live on TV and streaming. In partnership with New York Road Runners and USA Track & Field, NBC will broadcast the professional athlete races live on NBC at 12:30 p.m. ET. Rising New York Road Runners is proud to present the New Balance 5th Avenue Mile broadcast, which you can stream on NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports App, or with a subscription to NBC Sports Gold’s Track and Field Pass.


Ted Doyle

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