2013 5th Avenue Mile Preview - It's hard to find the favorite in loaded men's field, Jenny Simpson headlines women's race

September 21, 2013

At LetsRun, we feel that the anticipation of a big event is close to half the fun so we like to preview races as it's hard to get excited about a race if you don't have expectations as to what you are going to see.

So we decided to try to do a quick preview of tomorrow's men's 5th Avenue Road Mile presented by Nissan in New York. However, handicapping tomorrow's race on the men's side is very difficult.

Road miles are inherently harder to predict than track miles (did anyone really think Garrett Heath would win last week's road mile in the UK?) particularly when they are at the end of the season and some guys are losing their form. What makes predicting tomorrow's race even harder is there are so many fast guys in it.

We've done a little research and 12 of the 19 entrants have run under 3:37 for 1500 this year. Below is tomorrow's 5th Avenue Mile field listed in order of their 2013 1500 seasonal bests.

The 2013 5th Avenue Mile Men's Field

Ran 1500 SB Athlete Country Date of SB Comment
1 3:32.57 Nick Willis NZL 8-Sep Former Olympic silver medallist, has run the fastest of anyone all year and just came into form after mid-season break/injury.
2 3:33.14 Leo Manzano USA 6-Jul Very good in races where he has a shot to win, very motivated after disappointing worlds, just ran much better and got 2nd in Great North Mile
3 3:33.23 David Torrence USA 8-Sep Ran 3:33 less than 2 weeks ago.
4 3:34.12 Garrett Heath USA 6-Jul Shocked the world with road mile win last week in UK.
5 3:34.55 Lopez Lomong USA 6-Jul 1st race since August 16th (semis at Worlds).
6 3:34.55 Nick Symmonds USA 19 Ju World Championship silver medallist said he felt like he was just starting his season in Aug and he proved it with 1:43.03 for 800 on 9/6.
7 3:35.25 Ryan Gregson AUS 9-Mar 2nd half of 2013 has been a huge struggle for Gregson. Only 7th in Road mile last week.
8 3:35.27 Will Leer USA 6 Ju Been racing well in Europe late into season. 3000 pb in September.
9 3:35.48 Craig Miller USA 6-Jul 3:54 road mile (behind Blankenship) earlier this month.
10 3:36.34 Evan Jager USA 17-May 5th in Worlds in steeple then ran 13:02 in early September for 5000. Great recent form.
11 3:36.36 Bernard Lagat USA 6-Jul Ran 12:58.99 on September 6th.
12 3:36.61 Matt Elliott USA 27-Jul Story book season but only 8th in Minnesota mile earlier this month.
13 3:37.03 Ben Blankenship USA 16-Jul Beat Leer to win Falmouth Mile, beat Miller to win Grandma's Minnesota Mile on road a few weeks ago in 3:53.
14 3:37.18 Collis Birmingham AUS 25-Jun Poor recent form. Only 7:57 in Rieti and 13:44 in Brussels, Ben True is still mad this guy got into Brussels over him.
15 3:38.57 Ryan Hill USA 6 Ju 3:54 indoor miler was NCAA runner-up in mile, but struggled in last race in Brussels (13:43)
16 3:39.14 Pablo Solares MEX 1-Jul Shannon Rowbury's fiance set SB in July and hasn't raced much since.
17 3:39.28 Dan Huling USA 17-May Has 13:21 steeple sb this year.
18 3:40.97 Brett Robinson AUS 9-Jun 5000 WC finallist has 13:18 pb this year.
19 None Ben St. Lawrence AUS None 31-year old ran 13:10 this year. No 1500s but has a 3:39.6h pb from 2010.

We started our preview initially for our own sake as we wanted to come up with poll of 3-4 guys to put on the front page. However, after doing our research we can't limit the poll to just 3-4 guys. If you've run 3:33 or faster for 1500 this year, you have to be in the poll. If you've run 3:34.12 and just won a big road mile you have to be in the poll and if your name is Nick Symmonds or Bernard Lagat, you have to be in the poll.

We know even limiting it to six is going to anger some guys but please tell us who you think is going to win.