WORLD BEST FOR TWO MILES FOR JOSH KERR AT MILLROSE GAMES
By Rich Sands, @sands
(c) 2024 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved, used with permission
NEW YORK (11-Feb) – Josh Kerr broke the World Athletics best for two miles to highlight a thrilling afternoon of racing at the 116th Millrose Games. The Scotsman nearly became the first man to run sub-8:00 indoors, showing the same closing speed that brought him a World Athletics title in the 1500 last summer. His mark was one of several exceptional performances enjoyed by a raucous, sold-out crowd at the Nike Track & Field Center at the Armory.
Americans Elle St. Pierre and Yared Nuguse won the meet’s signature, Wanamaker Miles, with St. Pierre breaking her own American indoor record, while Nuguse narrowly missed his but easily defended his title.
The men’s 2-mile has only been contested at Millrose once in the last 45 years, in 2017, though a 3000m has been held many times. The event was shifted to the longer distance so Kerr could target the world best of 8:03.40 set by fellow Brit Mo Farah in 2015.
Kerr, the surprise 2023 world champion in the 1500, has impressed at longer distances. In addition to winning the 3000m at Millrose last year, he also clocked a 61:51 half marathon in December, albeit downhill.
After pacers Hazem Miawad and A.J. Ernst set a quick tempo (Ernst came through 1600 meters in 4:01.88), American Grant Fisher took over at 2000 meters. The U.S. record holder in the 3000, 5000, and 10,000 meters continued to increase the pace but could not shake Kerr. With 300 meters to go, Kerr, who is a member of the U.S.-based Brooks Beasts Track Club, surged to the lead and used an impressive kick to seal the win over Fisher.
Kerr hit the tape in 8:00.67, the fastest ever indoors. (The world outdoor best of 7:54.10 was set by Norway’s Jakob Ingebrigtsen last year.) “It was so hard,” Kerr admitted to reporters. “You know, Grant was always going to be stronger than I am, and hopefully, I was going to have more legs in the last 600. And I was hurting through, maybe, eight laps to go. I decided I wanted to go early, but I just couldn’t.”
The experience humbled the outspoken Kerr. “Running two four-minute miles back-to-back is harder than people think,” he said. “I’m so happy to come off with not only the win but the record.”
As for the question of whether he’ll run the World…