Scottish stranglehold on iconic New York City street race continues on Sunday in the Big Apple
Jemma Reekie and Josh Kerr ensured a Scottish sweep of the elite races at the New Balance 5th Avenue Mile for the third year on the trot.
In 2021 Reekie and Jake Wightman were the winners in the famous road mile. In 2022 the event saw Laura Muir and Wightman again strike victory. This year, on Sunday (Sept 10), Reekie took her second win in the race with world 1500m champion Kerr enjoying his first victory.
With Wightman also winning in 2018, it means Scottish athletes have dominated the event lately, adding to the British winners from the past such as Peter Elliott, Wendy Sly, Paula Radcliffe, Lisa Dobriskey, Andy Baddeley and Matt Yates.
Kerr won in 3:47.9 – the third fastest time in event history and fastest since 1995 as he finished four tenths of a second outside Sydney Maree’s long-standing course record which was set in the inaugural race in 1981.
Fellow Brit George Mills was second in 3:49.9, followed by New Zealand’s Geordie Beamish in third in 3:50.0 as Vincent Ciattei was the top American, finishing fourth in 3:50.3.
“It’s a very different effort to run a mile down the street in flats versus running around the oval with spikes,” said Kerr, who added that his Brooks super-shoes contributed to his comfortable win.
“I didn’t have the performance I wanted to have last year, so I wanted to make that right. It’s nice to end the season on a high, and it’s difficult to do at any point in anyone’s career at the end of the year. I’ve been training and racing for a long time this year and I was glad to put on a performance like that today.”
His time was impressive given the wet conditions that made the roads greasy. Lightning storms had affected the day’s races with the timetable tweaked accordingly, but the elite races were able to set off on schedule.
Reekie won in 4:19.4 – more than two seconds faster than her winning time in 2021 – and was followed by Ireland’s Sarah Healy in 4:20.0 and Britain’s Melissa Courtney-Bryant in 4:20.6 as Nikki Hiltz was the top American in fourth in 4:20.7.
Adelle Tracey was fifth followed by Jess Hull, Elle Purrier St Pierre, Nozomi Tanaka and Katie Snowden.
“Running this mile is always so special to me,” Reekie said. “I won it back in 2021. Last year, I placed well again and then this year…