2020 Millrose Games Diary: 4 Questions With 2020 NYRR Millrose Games Wanamaker Mile 2018 Champion Chris O'Hare!

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This piece is part of a continuing series on the 2020 NYRR Millrose Games Wanamaker milers. This time, it is Chris O'Hare, and Chris was kind enough to answer the 4 questions of Jeff Benjamin.

f5ce3efc-9720-4f02-8287-2d828fcbd716.jpgChris O'Hare Celebrating His Victory at the 2017 HOKA ONE Long Island Mile, photo by Jeff Benjamin

Thanks to Jeff Benjamin and our friend, NYRR Millrose meet director Ray Flynn.

2020 Millrose Games Diary: 4 Questions With 2020 NYRR Millrose Games Wanamaker Mile 2018 Champion Chris O'Hare!

by Jeff Benjamin

With his 2018 Wanamaker victory, Chris O'Hare has now turned from being the hunter to the hunted, as his competitors hope to knock him off once again in 2020.

But never underestimate the Scot, who possesses speed, strength and experience among his arsenal of weapons.

The World Championship and Olympic Games competitor sports a mile PR of 3:52.91, which he set in 2016 at Millrose, showing that he can still be in the thick of it.

1)How Did You Start Out in the Sport?

"I always wanted to be like my older brother so I did exactly what he was doing. He was on the school cross country team so when I was old enough, I joined him. I ran well the first few races and my parents could see there was some talent and they did everything they could to nurture that talent. I am ever so grateful that my parents and siblings gave up so much to keep me on the right path toward getting a scholarship to run at The University of Tulsa and then onwards to compete professionally."

2) When was the first time you saw elite athletes compete live and how did that influence you?

"My Dad took me an international indoor match at Kelvin Hall in Glasgow and I remember watching Stefan Holm (Swedish High Jumper) competing in the High Jump and rooting for him to win. I didn't really know any of the athletes at all but I just remember seeing this guy who seemed significantly smaller than all of his competitors and that resonated with me as I always seemed to be the smallest athlete in my age groups. I am pretty sure he went on to win the competition and my Dad and I spoke all the way home about how his size didn't hold him back and he won because he wanted to win, because he believed he could win and he probably just trained harder than all the other guys who were taller. I still use that same small terrier dog attitude to this day in my training and racing."

3) What is it about the Millrose Games that motivates you to compete there?

"The Millrose Games and the Wanamaker Mile have been a staple in my indoor racing calendar from the first year David Monti invited me to come and compete. When you step inside The Armory on the day of Millrose Games, you know something special is happening. The kids who are competing add an electricity to the whole venue that us old professionals just don't bring until we step on the track to compete. The crowd is a mix of people who have been coming to watch The Millrose Games for decades. That paired with stadium that has a great Colosseum/Gladiator effect with the stands being above the track creates one of the best atmospheres in track and field."

4) What ideas/encouragement/advice can you suggest to young athletes hoping to one day compete in Millrose at the highest level?

"Reaching the top level in track and field is much the same as many other sports. No amount of gimmicks can replace hard work and dedication to pushing your body to new heights. It isn't always going to be easy with improvements all the time. How athlete's deal with setback after setback is really what makes them achieve top level ability."

image0-2.jpegAt The 2018 NYRR Millrose Games, Wanamaker Mile Champion Chris O'Hare (Center) Is Flanked By
L-R, Rita Finkel, Co-President Of The Armory Foundation , Meet Director Ray Flynn, NYRR's Peter Ciaccia and Michael Caporaso
Jonathan Schindel, Co-President Of The Armory Foundation, photo by Jeff Benjamin

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