FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
USA's Bernard Lagat and Jenny Simpson Look to Defend Their Titles at
NYRR Fifth Avenue Mile Presented by Nissan
2012 U.S. Olympic Silver Medalist Leo Manzano and
Olympic Fourth-Place Finisher Matt Centrowitz Highlight Men's Field
Women's Field Features Two-Time Fifth Avenue Mile Champion and U.S.
Olympian Shannon Rowbury and World Championships 1500-meter
Silver Medalist Hannah England of Great Britain
The 32nd Edition of the Race Features More than
15 Olympians from Around the Globe
New York, September 13, 2012-International medalists Bernard Lagat and
Jenny Simpson hope to cap their summer seasons on a high note when they
line up to defend their crowns at the NYRR Fifth Avenue Mile Presented by
Nissan on Saturday, September 22. They will be just two of more than 15
Olympians who will contest the 32nd edition of America's most famous road
mile, it was announced today by New York Road Runners president and CEO
Lagat will face tough competition from U.S. Olympic teammate and silver
medalist Leo Manzano, 28, of Marble Falls, TX, who became the first
American male to earn an Olympic medal at 1500 meters since 1968. Prior to
London, Manzano won the 1500 meters at the U.S. Olympic Trials. He will be
joined by teammate Matt Centrowitz, 23, of Portland, OR, who placed fourth
in the London 1500 meters.
Lagat, 37, of Tucson, AZ, boasts an impressive history in this iconic road
mile, having finished fourth in 2009, second in 2008 and 2010, and first in
"It was great to win the Fifth Avenue Mile last year," said Lagat. "I'd
been trying for a few years. I finally won, and now it's fun coming back as
a defending champion. I know there will be some guys in good form who will
look to deny me that shot at winning it again, but I'm in good
shape-certainly I intend to defend my title."
At the 2012 Olympic Games, Lagat just missed the bronze medal in a riveting
5000 meters. He is the American record-holder at 1500, 3000, and 5000
meters indoors and outdoors, an eight-time Wanamaker Mile winner at the
Millrose Games, and a four-time medalist at the World Championships,
including a double victory at 1500 and 5000 meters in 2007. He was also a
two-time Olympic medalist at 1500 meters while running for his native
Kenya, earning the silver in 2004 and the bronze in 2000. Lagat has had a
successful 2012, becoming the second man ever to win three world indoor
titles in the men's 3000 meters.
U.S. Olympian and 2011 1500-meter World Champion Jenny Simpson, 26, is set
to defend her title after competing in the London Olympics just last month.
Simpson qualified for the Games by finishing third in the U.S. Olympic
Trials 1500 meters. She is a four-time USA indoor champion at that distance
and holds the American record for the 3000-meter steeplechase.
"I can't wait for another opportunity to race in New York City," said
Simpson. "It's a unique experience racing alongside such a great community
of runners. Defending my Fifth Avenue title would be the best way to finish
my 2012 season."
Hannah England, 25, of Great Britain is the 2011 World Championships silver
medalist at 1500 meters. Shannon Rowbury, 26, of San Francisco, CA, is the
2009 World Championships 1500-meter bronze medalist and a two-time winner
of the Fifth Avenue Mile.
"This is a crazy great Fifth Avenue Mile field," said Wittenberg. "Capping
an Olympic year of highs and lows for many of the world's best milers,
Fifth Ave provides the drama of the last curtain call. We are especially
thrilled to welcome Olympians galore including our defending champions
Bernard Lagat and Jenny Simpson, Olympic silver medalist Leo Manzano, and
fourth- place finisher Matthew Centrowitz. We are also honored to have
two-time Fifth Avenue Mile champion Shannon Rowbury back in the race
Other top men's and women' entrants in the field include:
·Ryan Gregson, 22, of Australia, who competed in the 2012 Olympic Games and
is the 2012 Cork City Sports mile champion
·Cam Levins, 23, of Canada, who won the 10,000-meters at the NCAA Outdoor
Championships and competed on Canada's Olympic team in London
·Gabriele Anderson, 26, of Minneapolis, MN, who took fourth in the 1500
meters at the 2012 Olympic Trials and third in the 2011 USA Road Mile
·Sarah Bowman, 26, of Knoxville, TN, who placed sixth in the 1500 meters at
the 2012 Olympic Trials
The Fifth Avenue Mile begins near East 80th Street and finishes at East
60th Street. The wheelchair and handcycle race will kick off the event at
8:45 a.m. After that, entrants will run in divisions according to age and
gender. The professional women's race is scheduled to start at 12:45 p.m.,
followed by the professional men's race at 1:00 p.m. A total prize purse of
$30,000 for the men's and women's professional races will be offered, with
the two winners finishers each receiving $5,000.
New York Road Runners was founded in 1958 when a small group of passionate
runners vowed to bring running to the people. Over the past 54 years, NYRR
has grown from a local running club to the world's premier community
running organization. NYRR's mission is to empower everyone, of all ages
and abilities-beginners and competitive athletes, the young and the
elderly, adult professionals and underserved schoolchildren-to improve
their health and well-being through the power of running and fitness.
NYRR's races, community events, instruction and training resources, and
youth programs give hundreds of thousands of people each year the
motivation, know-how, and opportunity to start running and keep running for
life. NYRR's premier event, the famed ING New York City Marathon, attracts
the world's top pro runners and committed amateurs alike while also raising
millions of dollars annually for charity and driving economic impact for
the City. But NYRR is equally committed to the runners of tomorrow,
passionately providing youth fitness programs that educate and inspire more
than 100,000 kids in underserved communities in New York City, all 50
states, and around the world.
Headquartered in New York City, NYRR implements a unique nonprofit model
that teams contributed and earned income to make all its efforts possible.
To learn more, please visit www.nyrr.org.