Nick Willis Wins and Sets Course Record at 2013 NYRR Dash to the Finish Line 5k

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By Chris Lotsbom, @ChrisLotsbom
(c) 2013 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved
November 2, 2013

NEW YORK (02-Nov) — A pair of course records were set here at the NYRR Dash to the Finish Line 5-K, as New Zealand’s Nick Willis and America’s Molly Huddle broke the finish tapes first in 13:46 and 15:27, respectively. Racing from the United Nations building to Central Park, Willis and Huddle prevailed over a field that included 16 Olympians.

Men’s story below, women’s here.


Nearly six weeks after winning the NYRR Fifth Avenue Mile here, Nick Willis returned to the streets of the Big Apple to earn yet another victory using his patented finishing kick once again.

Nick Willis Wins 2013 NYRR Dash to the Finishline. (Click for Photo Gallery)

Nick Willis Wins 2013 NYRR Dash to the Finishline. (Click for Photo Gallery)

Through the early stages of today’s race, Ireland’s Alistair Cragg pushed the pace up front. Passing the mile in 4:27, Cragg was trying to do two things: get a hard, “hurting” effort in as preparation for the Fukuoka Marathon on December 1, and take the finishing kick out of milers Nick Willis and David Torrence. He succeeded to do the first, though couldn’t accomplish the second.

“I felt really good the first mile,” said Cragg. “Nick Willis sat on me the whole way and never gave me a chance to get into my comfort zone without backing off a little.”

Among those in the lead pack through two miles (hit in 8:52) were Cragg, Willis, Sam Chelanga, Aaron Braun, Torrence, and Lopez Lomong. As the group passed under the 25 mile banner for tomorrow’s ING New York City Marathon, Chelanga injected a surge that would break up the pack. Braun was the only one to respond.

Making a sharp, 120-degree turn inside Central Park, Chelanga was moving. Having trained on hills in Hanover, NH, the 28-year-old was using the ups and downs to his advantage, cruising and creating separation back to the chasers behind.

Some 50 meters adrift sat Willis. Just as it seemed there was no chance to catch the leaders, Willis took a glance at his watch, which read 11:50. That’s when the 2008 Olympic silver medalist at 1500m began a kick of his own, perhaps channeling compatriot Rod Dixon who 30 years ago won the ING New York City Marathon in the same finish stretch with a kick of his own.

“I was looking at my watch and was thinking 13:50 would be the time we were running,” said Willis. “So I was just counting down until there were two minutes to go cause that’s when I am mentally tougher.”

Men's Start 2013 NYRR Dash to the Finishline (click for full photo gallery)

Men’s Start 2013 NYRR Dash to the Finishline (click for full photo gallery)

Willis was closing fast just as Chelanga and Braun began to feel the after-effects of their earlier surges. Suddenly, Willis saw the pair coming back towards him.

Willis cruised over the final stretch to the finish line in Central Park, passing both Chelanga and Braun in the final meters.  He broke the tape in 13:46, bettering Chris Thompson’s 13:53 record from 2011.

Willis said today’s victory was extra special considering his wife sierra, son Lachlan, and friend Piergiorgio Conti were here watching.  He will pace Conti, a masters runner, tomorrow here in the marathon.

“I wanted to try and win so she got to experience some of the euphoria again, and [for] my friends coming over from Italy to run the marathon here tomorrow,” he said. “It’s great that they were there on the finish line to experience that as well.”

Chelanga finished with the same time as Willis, 13:46, while Braun took third in 13:49. Both praised Willis’s ability to finish strong.

“I tried to win the race. Nick Willis is a respectable guy and he can also kick, so to lose to him, it’s hard but it’s still incredible,” said Chelanga, who ironically was the last elite athlete added to the field before the race. “He was powerful, I can tell you. I was really shocked to see him go by. I have nothing but respect for him.”

Rounding out the top five were Torrence (13:54) and Cragg (13:56). In total, eight men broke 14:00.

More: LRC Chris Solinsky’s Still Got the Fire After His 14th Place Finish: “It’s Embarrassing”, “It Was Really Bad”, “A Shit Performance”
*Men’s results, finish video, and post-race interviews.

Women’s Recap: Molly Huddle Outkicks Emily Infeld, Shalane Flanagan for the Win


First NameLast NameSex/
AG %
1NickWillisM30ADIDAnn ArborMINZL0:13:4604:270:13:44194.01 %
2SamChelangaM28NIKEHanoverNHKEN0:13:4604:270:13:46293.75 %
3AaronBraunM26ADIDBoulderCOUSA0:13:4904:280:13:49493.37 %
4DavidTorrenceM27NIKEOaklandCAUSA0:13:5404:290:13:54592.82 %
5AlistairCraggM33ADIDProvidenceRIIRL0:13:5604:300:13:47393.68 %
6LopezLomongM28NIKEBeavertonORUSA0:13:5804:310:13:58792.44 %
7BenTrueM27SAUCHanoverNHUSA0:13:5804:310:13:58892.41 %
8AndrewBumbaloughM26NIKEPortlandORUSA0:13:5904:310:13:59992.30 %
9ChrisDerrickM23NIKEPortlandORUSA0:14:0004:310:14:001092.21 %
10WillLeerM28NIKEMarina Del ReyCAUSA0:14:1104:350:14:111191.06 %
11JoeStilinM23ZAPBlowing RockNCUSA0:14:1204:350:14:121290.91 %
12JacobRileyM25HBDPRochesterMIUSA0:14:1304:350:14:131390.81 %
13TravisMahoneyM23NJNYOld BridgeNJUSA0:14:1404:360:14:141490.65 %
14ChrisSolinskyM28NIKEPortlandORUSA0:14:1504:360:14:151590.55 %
15EvanJagerM24NIKEPortlandORUSA0:14:1704:370:14:171790.38 %
16RussellBrownM28NYACNew YorkNYUSA0:14:1804:370:14:181890.29 %
17GabeProctorM23MTCMammoth LakesCAUSA0:14:2204:390:14:221989.81 %
18Gian-PaulCacciaM27NYACNew YorkNYUSA0:14:2604:400:14:262089.42 %
19PeterCorriganM24CalgaryABCAN0:14:3604:430:14:362288.42 %
20JackDaviesM22EtnaNHUSA0:14:4604:460:14:452587.48 %
21GarrettHeathM27SAUCAthertonCAUSA0:14:4804:470:14:482687.23 %
22ThomasYoungM34Old LymeCTUSA0:14:4904:470:14:342188.57 %
23RobbyAndrewsM22ADIDEnglishtownNJUSA0:14:4904:470:14:492787.14 %
24LiamBoylan-PettM28NJNYNew YorkNYUSA0:14:5304:480:14:532886.72 %
25GermanFernandezM23NIKEPortlandORUSA0:14:5504:490:14:552986.54 %
26NickCritsM23NJNYPhiladelphiaPAUSA0:15:1104:540:15:113285.02 %
27TedPriceM25BrooklynNYUSA0:15:1604:560:15:163384.57 %
28FordPalmerM23NJNYAbseconNJUSA0:15:3205:010:15:323583.11 %
29CurtisSuverM27Colorado SpringsCOUSA0:15:3305:010:15:333682.99 %
30JohnTrautmannM45New YorkNYUSA0:15:4005:040:14:161690.53 %
31TrevorVan AckerenM24NJNYBethlehemPAUSA0:15:4105:040:15:413782.33 %
32MikeMcManusM48HerzogenaurachGER0:15:4105:040:13:56692.63 %
33JohnDavisM24BrooklynNYUSA0:15:4305:040:15:433882.16 %
34scottnagelkerkeM32Colorado SpringsCOUSA0:15:5305:080:15:453981.93 %
35PeterBradyM41CPTCNew YorkNYUSA0:15:5605:090:14:563086.39 %
36WayneBartholomewM22NJNYPhiladelphiaPAUSA0:16:0205:110:16:014480.56 %
37BenScheetzM23NJNYLancasterPAUSA0:16:1105:130:16:114679.79 %
38davidswansonM27CambridgeMAUSA0:16:1705:150:16:174979.27 %
39MatthewChastonM45UATHNew YorkNYUSA0:16:2905:190:15:003186.05 %
40JesseWilliamsM35BRKSSeattleWAUSA0:16:3405:210:16:124779.63 %

Men’s Finish

Nick Willis, Sam Chelanga and Aaron Braun Discuss the Race

Sam Chelanga Talks About Training with Ben True

Chris Solinsky Not Pleased With His 14:15 14th Place Finish


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