After a summer of fast times and medal-winning performances on the track, the best middle distance runners in the world will be closing out their season with this weekend’s New Balance 5th Avenue Mile in New York City. CITIUS MAG will be on-site providing live updates, interviews, and much more all throughout the weekend.
If you’re in New York City on Friday night, there may still be spots available to join us at the NYRR RunCenter ft. The New Balance Run Hub (320 West 57th St., NYC) at 7 p.m. EST. There will be free drinks, food, and New Balance swag for those in attendance. This is your chance to meet and hang with some of the stars of Team NB and catch a night of fun interviews and pre-race banter. Lock up your spot and bring a friend. Email [email protected] to RSVP.
On Saturday morning we will be hosting a morning run, meeting at the Columbus Circle entrance of Central Park at 9 a.m. for some easy miles plus a course preview with a crew of professional athletes who will be competing the next day. Get some miles in with Olympic, World Championship and Commonwealth Games finalists. We’ll also be giving away merch and doing shoe demos. All paces welcome!
Pro races will be on Sunday from 12-1 p.m. EST. You will be able to watch the live on NBC. Keep an eye out for some exciting ambitious moves early in the races, as NYRR offers a bonus to the leader at 800m – but don’t be surprised if and when the finish order changes dramatically in the second half.
On Sunday night, we will be going live sometime after 7 p.m. EST on the CITIUS MAG YouTube channel for some end-of-season interviews with the athletes. Subscribe to the channel and don’t miss out.
Here’s what to expect in the men’s and women’s pro races…
Women’s Pro Mile | 12:30 p.m. EST
The women’s pro field features three women who have run under 4:20. Great Britain’s Jemma Reekie returns to defend her title after winning last year’s race in 4:21. Her biggest competition may come from her compatriot Laura Muir (4:18.03 PB) who won the British 1500m title, earned a bronze medal at the World Championships, won the 1500m gold and 800m bronze at the Commonwealth Games, and 1500m gold at the European Championships. She may be a bit tired however as she just took fifth at the Diamond League final on Thursday evening in Zurich.
12-time Irish national champion Ciara Mageean (4:19.03) is coming into form at the right time with a pair of 1500m silver medals at the Commonwealth Games and European Championships, a 3:56.63 win in the Brussels Diamond League 1500m and then a runner-up finish at the Diamond League final in Zurich. In that race, she closed her final 400 meters in 58.6 seconds. This will be her first time racing the 5th Avenue Mile since 2017.
Nikki Hiltz, who finished second last year in 4:23, is one of the top American hopes for a victory. They have been tearing up the domestic mile circuit all summer with a 4:21.89 personal best at the Sir Walter Miler in Raleigh, a 4:28 road victory at the Liberty Mile in Pittsburgh, a 4:21 third-place finish at the downhill Guardian Mile in Cleveland, and a 4:28 win at the Falmouth Elite Mile in Cape Cod.
The other top U.S. athletes include Cory McGee (4:21.81 PB); Emma Coburn (4:23.65 PR); Eleanor Fulton (4:23.65 PB); Sage Hurta (4:25.45i PB), and Heather MacLean (4:25.98i PB). Hurta, Coburn, McGee, and MacLean may have been on the same flight back from Switzerland, as all four women competed in Zurich on Thursday. U.S. champion Sinclaire Johnson (4:33.80 PR) has not run a mile race since August 2021 and will be making her 5th Avenue Mile debut.
Men’s Pro Mile | 12:45 p.m. EST
The men’s pro field includes three men who have broken 3:50 on the track, so it certainly will not be easy for 1500m world champion Jake Wightman to defend his title. He won last year’s race in 3:49 ahead of Olli Hoare, Jake Heyward, and Sam Prakel – who were all separated by less than a second.
Wightman is having the best season of his career. He upset Jakob Ingebrigtsen in the World Championship 1500m final to take the win, snagged a bronze in the 1500m at the Commonwealth Games, won the Monaco Diamond League 1000m in 2:13.88 (No. 9 all-time), earned an 800m silver medal at the European Championship, won the Brussels Diamond League 800m in a personal best of 1:43.65, and took third in the 800m Diamond League final in Zurich. If he’s not too tired from all of that, he’ll look to become the first man to win back-to-back 5th Avenue Mile titles since Spain’s Isaac Viciosa won from 1995 to 1998.
Olympic bronze medalist Josh Kerr clocked his 3:48.87 British record back in February at Boston University and then raced sparingly until the outdoor championship season. He finished 5th at Worlds in 3:30.60 and then tanked at the Commonwealth Games (finishing 12th in 3:35.72), but he’s rebounded well in his last two races in Lausanne and Zurich. He just took sixth in the Diamond League 1500m final so the Brits will have another top contender for the win.
The United States is looking for its first win at 5th Ave since Eric Jenkins’s victory in 2016. Johnny Gregorek holds the fastest personal best on paper with his 3:49.98 from the 2019 indoor season. This summer, he clocked a 3:47 (downhill) to win the Guardian Mile in Cleveland on July 23. Cole Hocker, who was injured at the U.S. Championships and failed to make it out of the first round of the 1500m, appears to be healthy again and just ran a season’s best of 3:35.18 on Sept. 4 in Padova, Italy. Before getting hurt, he clocked a 3:50.97 at the Prefontaine Classic in May. Winning here would be a worthy redemption to his abbreviated debut pro season.
Of course, don’t sleep on Geordie Beamish. He’s buried on the start list with the 15th-fastest personal best of the field but we’ve seen how he unleashes his #TextbookGeorge kick on people. Especially if most of the field goes out conservatively, he could surprise the heavy hitters with a late surge.
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