The Fifth Avenue is an iconic event in American running. For the past 2 decades, it has been the unofficial end of the global track & field season, as many of the players come from Diamond League and Contininental Tour events. While this is at the end of their seasons, many get primed for one more race!
The road race on the extraordinary Fifth avenue attracts runners, fast, slow, in-between. That Jake Wightman and Jemma Reekie took wins shows the global nature of the event as well!
Olympians Jake Wightman and Jemma Reekie Close Out Seasons With Victories at the New Balance 5th Avenue Mile
20 total heats run, including FDNY/NYPD heat, on 20th anniversary weekend of 9/11
New York, September 12, 2021 – Olympians Jake Wightman and Jemma Reekie led a British sweep of the professional athlete races at the 40th anniversary of the New Balance 5th Avenue Mile on Sunday, September 12 to close out their seasons.
Wightman raced to the finish in 3:49.5 – the seventh-fastest time in history – to become the fifth athlete on the men’s side to claim multiple victories at the event after having won in 2018.
“I always wanted to approach this race trying to win because that’s the best way to end a season, especially in New York,” Wightman said. “That was my fourth run here and second win, and I think once you learn how to win it, since you’ve done it before it’s a nice advantage.”
Ollie Hoare of Australia was the runner-up in the men’s race in 3:50.3, followed by Great Britain’s Jake Heyward in 3:50.4 Sam Prakel was the top American finisher, taking fourth in 3:50.4.
Reekie, a British indoor record-holder who was fourth in the 800 meters at the Tokyo Olympics, was making her debut on 5th Avenue. The 23-year-old led the way in the professional women’s race presented by Mastercard in 4:21.6, becoming the first woman other than Jenny Simpson to win the race since 2012. It also marked the second time in history there was a British sweep in the professional races, following Peter Elliott and Kirsty Wade’s victories in 1987.
“This is always a meet I’ve wanted to run, and Jenny’s won eight times, so it was great to follow in her footsteps and be here in New York,” Reekie said.
American Nikki Hiltz was second in 4:23.0, followed by American Shannon Osika in third in 4:23.2.
The New Balance 5th Avenue Mile – the world’s most iconic road mile race held since 1981 – stretches 20 blocks along the east side of Central Park. In addition to the professional athlete heats there were age-group heats, an NYPD/FDNY heat to mark the 20th anniversary weekend of 9/11, a Back to School Mile for youth ages 2-18, a George Sheehan Memorial Mile for seniors and NYRR Road Mile Championship heats. Anthony Morales was the top NYPD finisher in 4:36 and Gregory Dotson was the top FDNY finisher in 4:37.
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About New York Road Runners (NYRR)
NYRR’s mission is to help and inspire people through running. Since 1958, New York Road Runners has grown from a local running club to the world’s premier community running organization. NYRR’s commitment to New York City’s five boroughs features races, virtual races, community events, free youth running initiatives and school programs, the NYRR RUNCENTER featuring the New Balance Run Hub, and training resources that provide hundreds of thousands of people each year with the motivation, know-how, and opportunity to Run for Life. NYRR’s premier event, and the largest marathon in the world, is the TCS New York City Marathon. Held annually on the first Sunday in November, the race features a wide population of runners, from the world’s top professional athletes to a vast range of competitive, recreational, and charity runners. To learn more, visitwww.nyrr.org.