Mile News

Champions Lead Star-Studded Field in the World’s Most Iconic Road Mile: the NYRR 5th Avenue Mile

September 08, 2015

2014 defending champion Jenny Simpson joins past winners Shannon Rowbury, Matthew Centrowitz, Nick Willis, and Bernard Lagat in event to be televised live on WABC-TV, Channel 7 and ESPN2 from 1:00 to 1:30pm on Sunday, September 13.

6,000 runners are expected to run past thousands of supporters lining the NYRR 5th Avenue Mile course in races throughout the day, including the Youth Mile featuring local 11-year-old world record holder Jonah Gorevic, the NYPD/FDNY Mile, and other local elite and notable age group races.

From New York Road Runners

Defending women’s champion, American Jenny Simpson, will lead an elite field of runners, including past champions Shannon Rowbury, Matthew Centrowitz and Bernard Lagat of the United States, and Nick Willis of New Zealand, at the 35th NYRR 5th Avenue Mile on Sunday, September 13, it was announced today by Peter Ciaccia, president of events for New York Road Runners and race director of the TCS New York City Marathon.

“We are thrilled to welcome back to the NYRR 5th Avenue Mile defending champion Jenny and past champions Shannon, Matt, ‘Kip’, and Nick, to lead an outstanding group of Milers in this year’s race,” said Ciaccia. “This is the running world’s most iconic road Mile. Our Men’s and Women’s pro races will be the finale to a great day for thousands of runners, and will be broadcast live locally on WABC-TV, Channel 7, nationally on ESPN2, and globally on various international sports networks.”

The 2015 NYRR 5th Avenue Mile will be televised live from 1:00 to 1:30pm ET on WABC-TV, Channel 7 in the New York tri-state area and for the rest of the nation on ESPN2. Both the men’s and women’s professional races will be featured live on the broadcast of the world’s largest road Mile race. Interviews and highlights of the Youth Mile and other races will round out the broadcast. Viewers can also watch live via the WATCH ABC app, and via WatchESPN on computers, tablets, smartphones, Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick, Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku, Xbox 360, and Xbox One for those who have video subscriptions from affiliated providers. Coverage will also be available on demand at International viewers can watch the broadcast via a variety of global broadcast partners (international viewers should check local listings).                            

Also featured in the live broadcast will be highlights from earlier in the day, including the NYRR 5th Avenue Mile Youth Mile (ages eight to 14), featuring 11-year-old Mile world record-holder Jonah Gorevic of Rye, NY. Jonah will be joined by 200 young runners in the famed run down 5th Avenue. New this year is the Youth Wheelchair Invitational Exhibition, including seven kids ages 11 to 17 from wheelchair racing teams in the New York tri-state area, which will follow the adult wheelchair and handcycle race at 8:30am to kick-off the day’s age-group and specialty races.

“From kids to seniors, to the new Youth Wheelchair Invitational Exhibition, the NYRR 5th Avenue Mile celebrates runners of all ages and abilities,” said Michael Capiraso, president and CEO of New York Road Runners. “6,000 runners will make the trip down 5th Avenue past people cheering from the Met at 80th Street to Grand Army Plaza at 60th Street. The event is really about a community coming together to share in the excitement of a unique New York day and one of NYRR’s most prestigious events.”

Simpson, 29, of Boulder, CO, is the defending NYRR 5th Avenue Mile champion and made history last year as the first woman to win three NYRR 5th Avenue Mile titles (2011, 2013, 2014). She won the 2011 IAAF World Outdoor Track and Field Championships at 1500 meters and returned to take the silver in 2013. In 2014, she captured the IAAF Diamond League series title at that distance. Simpson has a 1500-meter personal best of 3:57.22, the third-fastest American performance in history.

“For the fifth season in a row, I can't wait to finish my racing calendar at the NYRR 5th Avenue Mile,” said Simpson. “After countless Miles run all around the world, I can't wait to return to the USA and race my final Mile of the year in front of a home crowd.”

Rowbury, 30, of Portland, OR, broke the 32-year-old American 1500-meter record this summer with a 3:56.29 performance in Monaco. She earned a bronze medal at the 2009 IAAF World Track and Field Championships in the 1500 meters is a two-time Olympian. Rowbury, the 2009 and 2010 NYRR 5th Avenue Mile champion, is the former 2-Mile indoor American record-holder and a four-time national champion in the 1500 meters (2008, 2009), indoor 3000 meters (2008), and the road Mile (2009).

“I am thrilled to be ending my season with the NYRR 5th Avenue Mile,” said Rowbury. “New York Road Runners has a history of putting on the world's top road races and I always love being a part of their events. After a long season on the road, racing on home soil is a great pleasure.”

Centrowitz, 25, of Portland, OR, captured the bronze medal at the 2011 IAAF World Outdoor Track and Field Championships 1500 meters; he improved to silver in 2013, and finished fourth in the event at the 2012 London Olympics. Centrowitz, the 2012 Fifth Avenue Mile champion and 2012 and 2015 NYRR Wanamaker Mile champion is the third-fastest American of all time in the 1500 meters (3:30.40). He won the USA outdoor 1500-meter title in 2011, 2013, and 2015.

“I love running in New York and look forward to my third NYRR 5th Avenue Mile,” said Centrowitz. “This will be my third race in New York this year. I won the NYRR Wannamaker Mile at the Millrose Games and ran an 800-meter PR of 1:44 at the New York Diamond League meet.  I hope this one goes as well. I have lots of family on the East coast and they always come out to support, which means a lot to me.”

Leading up to the professional men’s and women’s races, a wide variety of Mile races will be held during the day including the NYPD/FDNY Mile, the George Sheehan Memorial Miles for runners 60 to 69 and 70+, and the women’s and men’s NYRR Road Mile Championships, featuring top local athletes including Paralympic 1500-meter world record-holder Mike Brannigan of Northport, NY. 

Former New York Giants running back and radio personality Tiki Barber will also be running in one of the day’s Mile races.

Additional Featured and Select Athlete Backgrounds and Notable Performances

  • Bernard Lagat, 40, of Tucson, AZ, is the 2011 NYRR 5th Avenue Mile champion. He recorded top-three finishes at 13 global championships, including five IAAF World Championship titles, an Olympic 1500-meter silver medal in 2004, and an Olympic 1500-meter bronze medal in 2000. He is a four-time Olympian, holds six American records, and has won eight NYRR Wanamaker Mile titles.
  • Nick Willis, 32, is a two-time NYRR 5th Avenue Mile champion (2008, 2013). He set the 1500-meter national record in the 1500 meters (3:29.66) this summer and won a silver medal at the 2008 Olympic Games in that event. In 2006, he became the first New Zealand athlete to win the Commonwealth Games 1500 meters.
  • Henrik Ingebrigtsen, 24, of Norway, won the gold medal at the 2012 European Championships in the 1500 meters; in the 2014 Championships, he earned a silver medal in the same event. He finished fifth in the 2012 Olympic Games 1500 meters and set the Norwegian 1500-meter record in 2014 with a 3:31.46. He also holds the indoor 1500-meter and 3000-meter Norwegian records.
  • Treniere Moser, 33, of Portland, OR, is a four-time 1500-meter champion at the USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships (2005, 2006, 2007, 2013) and the winner of the same event at the 2006 USA Indoor Track and Field Championships. In 2014, she finished third in the NYRR 5th Avenue Mile and fifth at the IAAF World Indoor Track and Field Championships 1500 meters.
  • Heather Kampf, 29, of Minneapolis, MN, captured her third USA Road Mile Championship title in May. The “Queen of the Road Mile” has recorded three victories at both the Ryan Shay Mile and the GNC Live Well Liberty Mile. Kampf, who owns a road-Mile personal best of 4:21.39, was a nine-time All American at the University of Minnesota and won the 2006 NCAA Outdoor 800-meter title.
  • Nicole Tully, 28, of Englewood, NJ, captured her first national title at the 2015 USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in the 5000 meters, qualifying her for her first IAAF World Track and Field Championships. A local athlete on the New Jersey-New York Track Club and representative of the New York Athletic Club, she was a two-time All American at the University of Villanova.
  • Alysia Montano, 29, of Canyon Country, CA, captured the bronze medal in the 800 meters at the 2010 IAAF World Indoor Track and Field Championships. She won her sixth USA Outdoor 800-meter title this past June and won the 2015 USA Indoor 600-meter title. She set the 600-meter American record at the 2013 NYRR Millrose Games with a performance of 1:23:59.

For more information about the NYRR 5th Avenue Mile, visit the event webpage at Media information can be found before race day on the NYRR online media center, including professional athlete fields and a downloadable media guide.

Tags: shannon rowbury (61) , nyrr 5th avenue mile (3) , nick willis (109) , matthew centrowitz, jr. (8) , jenny simpson (138) , bernard lagat (35)

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