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America's Dream Mile In NYC - Only One Week Away
If You Call Yourself a Track Fan, You Owe It To The Sport To Be There Next Saturday

Letsrun.Com Editorial - May 25, 2007

A men's mile  in New York City featuring: Bernard Lagat, Kevin Sullivan, Alan Webb, Nick Willis, Craig Mottram and Kenyans Simotwo Suleiman, Shadrack Korir and Nicholas Kemboi

Yes. No typos. All of those people will be there. And yes, it's actually a mile - not a 1500 so everything is perfect.

In case you were born yesterday, that is an unreal field. A field that should totally capture the imagination of all track and field fans in the US. So many subplots.

Lagat v. Webb: Who is America's best miler? Lagat v Mottram: Can you say Millrose rematch? And of course, Webb v Willis. That one will probably have the die-hard letsrun.com visitor salivating for 10 days.  It actually may be too much for the Warhurst/Razcko haters/lovers to handle. Hopefully, it's just round 1 of a great professional rivalry to determine perhaps who is the best non-African born miler in the world.

From an international perspective, the story of Lagat v. Suleiman (who has already run 3:31 this year) and his Kenyan compatriots may be: "Can Suleiman emerge as a new star to challenge Lagat at the 2007 World Champs and therefore the 2008 Olympics?"

If you call yourself a track and field fan and live on the East Coast, you owe it to yourself and the sport you love to get to Icahn stadium next week in Randall's Island (NYC) to see the Reebok Grand Prix.

The refrain we heard from the time we got interested in track and field - late 1980s- til recently was "If only America had big meets with top stars like Europe,then the sport would be popular here."

Well that excuse is no longer valid. Stop making excuses. Start supporting the sport .

The mile alone is worth the price of admissions. Sure every year, America has the fantastic mile at the Pre Classic. But that's on the West Coast and that meet is always a sell out. This year there is a world class mile right in NYC.

Last year, the meet had it all - great sprint action, great distance action including a women's world 5k record and yet the attendance in our minds was a fraction of what it should have been. The meet even had  New York native Justin Gatlin (pre drugs bust) run 9.87 and New Yorkers couldn't even come out and pack the place. Distance fans (minus some Ethiopians) didn't seem to show up. We keep hearing how NYC is the savior for our sport, so can we see it by fans actually buying tickets (we'd go ourselves but will be at a wedding. Maybe we'll have a contest to see who wants to cover the meet for LetsRun)

Stop making excuses. Stop being lazy by watching the meet on tv. Get your butt in the stands. Make a weekend of it. Take your spouse to a show, go to the meet, etc. For ticket info, visit the event website at www.ReebokGrandPrix.com or call 1-877-TIX-TRAC.  Tickets are $20, $30 and $40 each.

The whole meet has great action (there's a very good men's 5k) but the mile field appears below. If you want to read our take on a very entertaining teleconference promoting the mile with Craig Mottram and Bernard Lagat, please click here.

2007 Men's Mile Reebok Grand Prix .
Bernard Lagat
- Olympic silver medallist, seasonal debut. 3:47 mile PR.
Kevin Sullivan - Canada's best. 3:50 miler has run 3:31. 5th at Olympics.
Nick Willis - New Zealand record holder ran 3:35 last week, 2006 Commonwealth Games gold. His 3:32 1500 equates to a 3:49 mile.
Alan Webb
- 3:51 mile at Drake. 3:48 miler.
Craig Mottram - 5k is his main event but he's run 3:48 mile and 2007 outdoor track debut, runnerup in 2007 Millrose mile.
Suleiman Simotwo
- Kenyan ran 3:31.6 last year. Already ran 3:31.9 this year for 2nd in Doha.
Shadrack Korir
- Ran 3:31 last year. Already ran 3:32 this year for 5th in Doha, Qatar.
Nicholas Kemboi
 - only 17 years old. Ran 3:33 last year. Also made Kenya's XC team at 12k (we're assuming it's this Nicholas Kemboi and not the Qatari by the same name)
Rob Myers - 3:36 last weekend at adidas. 3:34 pr.
Chris Lukezic - up and coming American. If it wasn't for Webb, he (or Manzano) would be our young hope.  3:37 last week. 3:54 pr.
Ryan McKenzie
- Canadian ran 3:38.0 last year.
Steve Slattery
- A top American steepler has made 3 world champ teams. Looking for 1st Olympic next year. Ran a 3:56 pr at Reebok meet last year.
Ming Gu -
believe it or not, he's the Chinese national record holder in the mile. PR? 3:59. Ran 3:39 last week at adidas.


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