By Chris Lotsbom, @ChrisLotsbom. Additional adds by LetsRun.com.
(c) 2014 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved
NEW YORK (13-Sep) — Americans swept the top spots here at the 34th annual NYRR Fifth Avenue Mile, as Jenny Simpson claimed her third title in four years and Jordan McNamara won his first crown here on the streets of Manhattan. It was the eighth time in event history that a pair of Americans broke the tape first
MEN’S RACE: MCNAMARA PREVAILS IN A PHOTO-FINISH
A pair of races played out on the men’s side, one midway through and one at the finish. Bursting from the start was Will Leer and Lawi Lalang, establishing themselves at the head of the sixteen-man field. Hours before the race, a number of athletes had joked around about who would be the one to push the pace and go for the $1,000 prime at halfway (given to the leader as long as they break 4:00 at the finish). Immediately it was apparent that Leer and Lalang’s eyes were on the prize.
“Dangle the carrot and someone’s going to bite,” Leer told Race Results Weekly. “Unfortunately there were two of us there trying to eat the same food. We went for it, absolutely.”
Passing the quarter mile in 57 seconds, the pair would steadily gain a five meter gap on the field, ultimately hitting halfway in approximately 1:56. At that very instant Leer made a slight lean to nip Lalang for the rights to $1,000. Subsequently, both athletes slowed the pace and re-joined the field.
The next major move came with 400 meters to go, when last year’s third place finisher Garrett Heath injected a surge that seemed to catch the rest of the field off guard.
Powering his way towards the finish, Heath was trailed by Ireland’s Paul Robinson and Kenya’s Augustine Choge. Doing all he could to maintain form, Heath kept his eyes forward and hoped for the best.
“I think my strength is just pushing from a long ways out and making it a long, hard surge,” said Heath. “I made them work for it… I couldn’t tell where anybody was though.”
While Heath kept his form in the middle of the roadway, on the far right-hand side was Jordan McNamara, a mile ace who claimed this year’s GNC Live Well Liberty Mile in Pittsburgh. About five meters from the line, McNamara pulled up and matched Heath stride for stride.
With his left arm reached skyward pointing the number one, McNamara leaned and took the win in 3:51.0. Heath recorded the same time for second, with Robinson third in 3:51.1. Choge, fourth, finish a tenth of a second later in 3:51.2.
“I was just hanging on for the first 800m it was so fast, and I knew the last 800m would go around 1:52 so I just told myself to stay in position,” McNamara told Race Results Weekly, sporting the Oregon Track Club vest. “I saw with 400 to go that people were starting to come back and I got excited a little bit.
“I thought I was second place until the last three steps,” McNamara continued with a sly smile. “To cross first against a great field, it’s a real privilege.”
McNamara joins a list of notable American winners that include Steve Scott, Bernard Lagat, and Matthew Centrowitz. Centrowitz, 24, wound up sixth today in 3:52.4
“I hope it just solidifies my place in American distance running and I hope people really take me seriously because I’ve got my eyes on [the Olympics in] 2016,” said McNamara.
Early leaders Lalang and Leer wound up ninth and 12th, 3:53.9 and 3:55.9 their times. Because Leer finished in under 4:00, he earned the coveted $1,000 halfway bonus.
Fifteen of the sixteen man field finished under 4:00, nine of whom were under 3:54.
A full race video and results appear below. Discuss this race in the LetsRun.com Forum: 2014 Fifth Avenue Mile Official Discussion Thread – Jordan McNamara and Jenny Simpson win! .
|Fifth Avenue Mile Professional Men|
|1||26||Jordan||McNamara||27||Eugene||OR||United States||Nike Oregon Track Club||3:51.0|
|8||31||Kyle||Merber||23||Huntington Station||NY||United States||Hoka One One||3:53.5|
|10||32||Ciaran||O’Lionaird||26||Eugene||OR||Ireland||Nike Oregon Track Club||3:54.3|
|12||23||Will||Leer||29||Marina Del Rey||CA||United States||Nike||3:55.9|
|15||35||Ben||Blankenship||25||Eugene||OR||United States||Nike Oregon Track Club||3:57.8|
|16||34||Michael||Rutt||26||Plainsboro||NJ||United States||Hoka One One||4:03.|
|NYRR Road Mile Championships Men|
|1||57||Siraw||Kebede Gelaw||28||New York||NY||United States||West Side Runners||4:05.3|
|2||54||Abdi||Ali Gelchu||17||New York||NY||Bahrain||West Side Runners||4:05.6|
|3||40||Harbert||Okuti||28||High Falls||NY||Uganda||Westchester TC||4:07.4|
|4||41||Abiyot||Endale||28||Bronx||NY||United States||Westchester TC||4:07.5|
|5||45||Adam||Booray||24||High Falls||NY||Sudan||Westchester TC||4:08.0|
|6||56||Joseph||Gentsch||25||Staten Island||NY||United States||Westchester TC||4:08.3|
|7||42||Trevor||Van Ackeren||25||Bethlehem||PA||United States||NJ-NY Track Club||4:10.9|
|8||64||Sean||Mallon||24||Feasterville Trevose||PA||United States||4:13.3|
|9||61||Baisa||Moleta||25||Alexandria||VA||United States||West Side Runners||4:13.4|
|11||46||Michael||Cunningham||24||New York||NY||United States||New York Athletic Club||4:15.5|
|12||51||Christopher||Bendtsen||22||Wolcott||CT||United States||New York Athletic Club||4:17.3|
|13||44||Abu||Kebede Diriba||27||New York||NY||Ethiopia||West Side Runners||4:19.1|
|14||52||Tariku Abosete||Bokan||33||New York||NY||Ethiopia||West Side Runners||4:20.7|
|15||48||Jeffrey||Weinstein||25||New York||NY||United States||New York Athletic Club||4:20.8|
|17||59||Fikadu||Lemma||30||Bronx||NY||Ethiopia||West Side Runners||4:26.9|
|18||63||Sergio||Soto||25||Ozone Park||NY||Bolivia||CPTC New Balance||4:28.3|