September 7, 2019
NEW YORK — Jenny Simpson will be going for a record-extending 8th New Balance Fifth Avenue Mile title on Sunday in New York. She’ll have her hands full with Nikki Hiltz, who finished just .14 behind Simpson at USAs in July. Both Simpson and Hiltz will running the 1500m for Team USA at the World Championships in Doha in October. 5,000m Worlds team member Ellie Purrier and steeplechase team member Allie Ostrander also are in the New Balance Fifth Avenue field.
On the men’s side, Nick Willis is having an off year but going for a record-breaking 5th title as he prepares for the World Champs, and he’ll be challenged by fellow sub-3:50 milers Johnny Gregorek and Edward Cheserek, plus the Brooks Beasts’ Henry Wynne and Izaic Yorks and past Wanamaker Mile champ Chris O’Hare. (Full fields at bottom)
The races will be broadcast LIVE on NBC from 12:30-1:30 p.m. Eastern.
Simpson is a New York Road Runners (NYRR) ambassador, and she has one of the coolest jobs in America. Not only is she a very good professional runner, but she gets paid by the NYRR to go out to schools, give away New Balance shoes, and play with kids. We caught up with Simpson on Friday at PS 329 in Harlem where there was an NYRR program on the second day of school and Simpson helped give away 200+ pairs of shoes and get the kids psyched about playing outside at recess.
This is the 20th year of free NYRR Youth programs and the programs are now nationwide and reach 250,000 kids according to the NYRR.
In the video below, Simpson talks about her ambassador role, getting ready for the World Championships in Doha, and she puts to rest any rumors she’ll return to the steeplechase at the end of her career.
Simpson acknowledged her ambassador role is a cool one saying, “You show up to a public school and you say ‘Bey I started like you and I made it to the Olympics. Do you want free shoes?’ and we’ll go to activities together. What’s not to love about being able to do that?”
As for the Fifth Avenue Mile, Simpson says this year is different because she still has a more important race after it, the World Champs. In terms of Worlds being in October, Simpson said “I feel ready for four or five (more) weeks of really hard training and racing, but I think it’s your brain that gets messed up.” She noted that it’s just weird to still be training hard with the University of Colorado students back in school.
Simpson said the good thing for her is at this point in her career she is just able to focus on Worlds. “I don’t have to prove myself along the way [during the season]… I can get to Worlds ready to rock and roll.”
5th Avenue Mile fields below. Press release on race here.
Professional Athlete Field – Men
Professional Athlete Field – Women
A few photos from Jenny’s event at the school: