Report10 Sep 2017

Simpson and Willis race to record victories at Fifth Avenue Mile


Jenny Simpson wins the Fifth Avenue Mile (© Courtesy of NYRR)

USA’s Jenny Simpson raced to her record-extending sixth win – matching the event-record time of 4:16.6 in the process – and New Zealand’s Nick Willis took the tape in 3:51.3, tying the men’s record with his fourth event title at the New Balance Fifth Avenue Mile in New York on Sunday (10).

Simpson won for the sixth time – the fifth time consecutively – with her time of 4:16.6 matching PattiSue Plummer’s event record from 1990. It was also a PB for Simpson, who ended her 2017 season on the top of the podium having already earned silver over 1500m at the IAAF World Championships London 2017.

“I thought the course record would have been out of reach for my whole career, so I’m really proud to have equalled it,” said Simpson. “I’ve had all the range of emotions before on Fifth Avenue. I’ve finished this race before and cried because the season felt so long. I’ve finished this race before and hoped there was another race the next week. I feel so appropriately in the middle of those two emotions right now.”

Great Britain’s Laura Weightman finished second in 4:17.6 and compatriot Jessica Judd was third in 4:18.3, personal bests for both.

Willis won his fourth event title to add to his victories from 2008, 2013, and 2015. The Olympic 1500m bronze medallist is now tied with Spain’s Isaac Viciosia for the most men’s 5th Avenue Mile titles.

Great Britain’s Chris O’Hare finished runner-up for the second time in three years, clocking 3:52.0. Ben Blankenship was the top US finisher in the men’s race, placing third in a PB of 3:52.3.

Organisers for the IAAF