February 3: Two-Time Olympic Medalist Nick Willis, Defending Champion Eric Jenkins and Team USA World Championship Members Brenda Martinez and Sara Vaughn Highlight NYRR Wanamaker Mile Fields at Millrose Games

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NYRR Wanamaker Mile Field to include 11 Olympians and two past champions racing at the New Balance Track & Field Center at the Armory

Press Release
January 9, 2018

New York — Two-time Olympic medalist Nick Willis will race for his first title in six attempts against defending event champion Eric Jenkins in the men’s field and Team USA World Championship members Brenda Martinez and Sara Vaughn will lead the women’s field at the NYRR Wanamaker Mile, the signature event of the NYRR Millrose Games, on Saturday, February 3 at the New Balance Track & Field Center at the Armory.

The prestigious indoor mile race has taken place every year on the men’s side since 1926 and on the women’s side since 1976. This year’s field will include 11 Olympians and two past champions, with the women’s and men’s NYRR Wanamaker Mile races starting at 5:27 p.m. and 5:50 p.m. (ET), respectively.

Willis, 34, of New Zealand, finished as runner-up at the NYRR Wanamaker Mile three times (2009, 2015, 2016) and was third twice (2008, 2014). Last September, he won a record-tying fourth men’s title at the 5th Avenue Mile in New York, adding to his previous victories from 2008, 2013, and 2015. As a four-time Olympian, Willis won the silver medal in the 1500 meters at the Beijing 2008 Games, carried New Zealand’s flag at the London 2012 Opening Ceremony and returned to the podium with a bronze medal in the 1500 meters at the Rio 2016 Games.

Jenkins, 26, of Portland, OR, won the NYRR Wanamaker Mile last year in a last-lap sprint against Olympic 800-meter bronze medalist Clayton Murphy. The 2017 World Championship team member also narrowly defeated Olympic 1500-meter champion Matthew Centrowitz at the 2016 New Balance 5th Avenue Mile, winning by one-tenth of a second in 3:49.4, the fastest time ever by an American at the event.

Martinez, 30, of Big Bear, CA, was a Rio 2016 Olympian who made her third consecutive IAAF World Championship team in the 800 meters last summer. In her World Championship debut in 2013, she became the first American woman in event history to medal in the 800 meters, and the year prior won the 5th Avenue Mile in New York, outlasting a field that included seven Olympians.

Vaughn, 31, of Boulder, CO, made her first World Championship team last summer after finishing third over 1500 meters at the USATF Championships. She is a two-time U.S. Olympic Trials qualifier who has also competed for Team USA at the World Indoor Championships and earned All-American honors while racing for the University of Colorado-Boulder.

The NYRR Millrose Games will highlight the year-round partnership between The Armory Foundation, which oversees the premier indoor track and field center in America, and New York Road Runners, the world’s premiere community running organization. NYRR has been the title sponsor of the NYRR Millrose Games since 2014, and for the third consecutive year the next generation of stars will share the same track as Olympians at the event. Media can apply for credentials to cover the NYRR Millrose Games by filling out the respective form here before 12:00 p.m. ET on Sunday, January 28. Tickets to the NYRR Millrose Games are available for purchase here.

NYRR Wanamaker Mile – Top Professional Men

Name Mile Personal BestTwitter Handle
Nick Willis, NZL3:49.83@nickwillis
Will Leer, USA3:51.82@william_leer
Kyle Merber, USA3:52.22@TheRealMerb
Charlie Grice, GBR3:52.64@CharlieGrice1
Chris O’Hare, GBR3:52.91 (i)@Chrisohare1500
Ben Blankenship, USA3:53.04@benfblankenship
Robby Andrews, USA3:53.16 (i)@RA_Andrews
Eric Jenkins, USA3:53.23 (i)@_EricJenkins
Robert Domanic, USA3:54.73@robertdomanic
Charles Philibert-Thiboutot, CAN3:54.52@Chuck_PT
Josh Kerr, GBR3:59.90 (i)@joshk97

NYRR Wanamaker Mile – Top Professional Women

Name Mile Personal BestTwitter Handle
Ciara Mageean, IRL4:22.40@ciaramageean
Brenda Martinez, USA4:26.76@bmartrun
Alexa Efraimson, USA4:27.39@AlexaEfraimson
Nicole Sifuentes, CAN4:27.93 (i)@ndsifuentes
Hannah Fields, USA4:28.32@runhannahfields
Kaela Edwards, USA4:28.75 (i)@kaelaAedwards
Gabriela Stafford, CAN4:29.07 (i)@gstafford13
Elinor Purrier, USA4:29.44 (i)@ellepurrier
Karisa Nelson, USA4:31.24 (i)@KaririNelson
Sara Vaughn, USA4:34.29@MomVaughn
Nikki Hiltz, USA4:34.57 (i)@Nikki_Hiltz


***Quotes***

“I am very excited to come to New York and defend my NYRR Wanamaker Mile title. There’s no place like The Armory when it comes to racing. The energy from the crowd is on a whole other level and winning there is something I plan to keep doing.”
-Eric Jenkins, 2017 NYRR Wanamaker Mile champion and 2016 New Balance 5th Avenue Mile champion

“I’m really excited to return to New York to race the NYRR Wanamaker Mile. The timing fits perfectly with my training and my race plans for indoors. I love racing at The Armory; the energy is always incredible. New York Road Runners always set up a world-class field. My indoor personal best is 4:32.05, so I’m definitely looking to lower it.”
-Brenda Martinez, three-time World Championship team member and Team New Balance athlete

“I’m thrilled to be running the NYRR Wanamaker Mile again. I’ll be looking to put up a fast time and improve my PR, as it’s always a strong field. I’m grateful for the opportunity to compete in what I think of as the most prestigious indoor track meet in the county.”
-Sara Vaughn, 2017 World Championship team member

“I’ve run the Wanamaker Mile five times, and come third twice, and second three times. I still am yet to get the victor’s trophy. At 34, this may very well be my last chance to win this historic race, so I have put a huge focus of my training to make this happen. I love running in New York, and The Armory was the first track in America that I ever raced on, at the National Scholastic indoor meet in 2001. I can’t wait to come back and attempt to execute the perfect race.”
-Nick Willis, two-time Olympic medalist and five-time NYRR Wanamaker Mile podium finisher

“The Wanamaker Mile is one of the great mile traditions in the world held since 1926. I am delighted with this year’s athlete fields, which will continue to push the limits and honor this famous race.”
-Ray Flynn, NYRR Millrose Games Meet Director

“The NYRR Millrose Games are a great showcase of New York Road Runners’ impactful year-round partnership with The Armory Foundation. Throughout the year, NYRR encourages runners of all ages and abilities in our running community to come to The Armory to run, and to cheer on other runners at events such as the NYRR Millrose Games, which should be a memorable day for all participants and spectators.”
-Michael Capiraso, president and CEO of NYRR

“We are thrilled to have such first-class fields for this year’s NYRR Wanamaker Mile, which continues to prove itself as one of the most prestigious and historic track and field events in the world year after year. With Nick in search of his coveted first victory and Eric trying to defend his title in the men’s race, along with Brenda and Sara setting up a great matchup in the women’s race, fans are in-store for star-studded races filled with exciting storylines.”
-Peter Ciaccia, president of events for NYRR and race director of the TCS New York City Marathon


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