SIMPSON WINS AGAIN AS WEIGHTMAN SETS UK BEST
New Balance 5th Avenue Mile, New York, September 10
USA’S JENNY SIMPSON maintained her dominance in what is regarded as the world’s premier one-mile road race that again had a strong British presence. Altogether over 7000 took part in the event.
The American powered to her recordextending sixth win and as a bonus, she matched the event-record time of 4:16.6 from PattiSue Plumer’s event record from 1990.
It was the fifth consecutive victory and PB for the former world 1500m champion, who this year won the silver over 1500m at the IAAF World Championships in London.
She said: “I thought the course record would have been out of reach for my whole career, so I’m really proud to have equalled it. 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.”
In the absence of any top Africans, the obvious class athlete of the field in Simpson predictably had too much finishing speed for her opponents and won by a second.
In second place, Laura Weightman ended what has been a memorable 2017 highlighted by a sixth place in London.
“What a finish to what has been an amazing season ... 2nd in @nyrr 5th Ave mile 4:17.62. British road mile best,” Weightman wrote on Twitter.
It was the fastest ever British time, surpassing Laura Muir’s second-place clocking from last year though technically road times are rounded up to the nearest second and it is now shown as 4:18 on the Run Britain all-time lists.
The course is point to point and has some downhill sections and the 11 fastest UK women’s mile road times have been set in New York.
Racing machine Jess Judd, who had run her 22nd and 23rd track races of the season a few days earlier at Watford with a remarkable 800m/3000m double, was always to the fore. After a great season which saw her set a PB in the World Championships heats, she had one of her best major race performances of the season to take third in 4:19 (4:18.3).
As an added bonus, she won the $1000 first-at-halfway bonus (2:10).
In fifth and just a second back was Eilish McColgan, who proved after her Berlin second spot over 1500m that she can match it with the best milers.
The former steeplechaser gained the scalp of the world champion at her previous speciality, Emma Coburn, who was ninth in 4:21.
Had the race been a three-to-score team race, Britain would have beaten the hosts by a single point.
Sarah McDonald, who like McColgan and Judd also set PBs in London, set another one here with a 4:28 in 15th.
Nick Willis, who as Simpson did, won Olympic bronze in Rio, also extended his great record in the men’s race on the famous American road.
The New Zealander won in 3:51.3, tying the men’s record with his fourth event title.
Willis had previously won in 2008, 2013 and 2015 as he matched the quartet of victories achieved by Spain’s Isaac Viciosia.
Great Britain’s Chris O’Hare, who had narrowly beaten the Kiwi on the track earlier in the week in the Hoka Mile, battled him all the way but eventually had to settle for finishing runner-up for the second time in three years, clocking 3:52.0 but did have the consolation of matching the winner’s rounded-up time.
Ben Blankenship was the top US finisher in third with 3:52.3 which was rounded back to 3:53 and that time was shared by Oslo Diamond League winner Jake Wightman (3:52.9), who faded in the closing stages and ended up in seventh.
World Championships bronze medallist Filip Ingebrigtsen was a disappointing 15th, just ahead of the leading African, Ed Cheserek.
Men 1M: Pro: 1 N Willis 3:52 (3:51.3) 2 CHRIS O’HARE 3:52 (3:52.0); 3 B Blankenship 3:53 (3:52.3); 4 A Mechaal (ESP) 3:53; 5 C Alexander 3;53; 6 E Jenkins 3:53; 7 JAKE WIGHTMAN 3:53 (3:52.9); 8 J Gregorek 3:53; 9 R Gregson (AUS) 3:54; 10 R Hill 3:54; 11 P Tiernan (AUS) 3:54; 12 R Andrews 3:55; 13 C Engels 3:55; 14 K Merber 3:55; 15 F Ingebrigtsen (NOR) 3:56; 16 E Cheserek (KEN) 3:57; 17 G Crawford 3:58; 18 D Winn 3:58; 21 MICHAEL RIMMER 4:05 (4:04.4). NYRR: 1 JACK HALLAS 4:07 (4:06.4). Open: 1 ROBERT WARNER 4:16; 6 FINTAN STEWART (U20) 4:20.
Women 1M: Pro: 1 J Simpson 4:17 (4:16.6); 2 LAURA WEIGHTMAN 4:18 (4:17.6); 3 JESSICA JUDD 4:19 (4:18.3); 4 B Martinez 4:19 5 EILISH McCOLGAN 4:20 (4:19.2); 6 D Scott (RSA) 4:20; 7 H Kampf 4:21; 7 C Quigley 4:21; 8 C Quigley 4:21; 9 E Coburn 4:21; 10 L Hall 4:22; 11 S Vaughn 4;22; 12 G Lacaze (AUS) 4:24; 13 S Houlihan 4:27; 14 S Sutherland 4:27; 15 SARAH McDONALD 4:28.1; 16 M Magnani (ITA) 4:29; 17 E Infield 4:31; 18 L Johnson 4:31; 19 H Fields 4:31; 20 C Frerichs 4:32; 21 C McGee 4:37; 23 C Mageean (IRL)
Jenny Simpson: well placed early on with Laura Weightman and Jess Judd also close to the front
Nick Willis: won the men’s race from Chris O’Hare
Winners in New York: Jenny Simpson and Nick Willis