Simpson to Battle Teen Queen Cain at 5th Avenue Mile

Middle-Distance Stars Jenny Simpson, Mary Cain, and Matthew Centrowitz
to Lead Blockbuster Field for NYRR Fifth Avenue Mile on Saturday,
September 13


Defending champion
Simpson will battle local New York teenage phenom Cain


2013 IAAF World Outdoor Championships 1500-meter silver medalist
Centrowitz will attempt to reprise 2012 victory


New York, September 4, 2014‰ÛÓA trio of
top American middle-distance runners‰ÛÓJenny Simpson, Mary Cain, and
Matthew Centrowitz‰ÛÓwill lead deep men’s and women’s professional fields
at the NYRR Fifth Avenue Mile on Saturday, September
13, 2014, it was announced today by Mary Wittenberg, president and CEO
of New York Road Runners. Simpson will attempt to become the first
three-time winner of the women’s race and Centrowitz will try to repeat
his 2012 victory. Cain, the 2014 World Junior
champion at 3000 meters, will make her NYRR Fifth Avenue Mile and
professional road race debut.


“The mile is a very familiar distance in
running and serves as the backdrop for one of NYRR’s most unique and
celebrated events, the Fifth Avenue Mile,” said Wittenberg. “In a
footrace from the Met to Grand Army Plaza, Jenny, Mary, Matthew,
and the rest of the professional field will take center stage on one of
the world’s most popular streets as they headline a celebration of
running with thousands of others of all ages and abilities, from the
kids in our youth mile, to the seniors in the George
Sheehan Memorial Mile.”


Simpson is one of the most decorated
middle-distance athletes in American history. This summer, she lowered
her 1500 personal best to 3:57.22 and captured the IAAF Diamond League
series title in that event against the strongest competition
in the world. In addition to Cain, Simpson will face 2012 Fifth Avenue
Mile champion
Brenda Martinez of the United States, 2014 European Championships and Commonwealth Games medalist
Laura Weightman of Great Britain, 2011 World Championships silver medalist
Hannah England of Great Britain, and Kenyan distance standout Sally Kipyego.


“A dash down New York City’s Fifth Avenue is
the perfect final mile to my season,” said Simpson. “It will be fun to
return home and do what I do best: the mile, in front of American fans.”


Cain took a chance in the fall of 2013 and
decided to forgo her collegiate eligibility to turn professional as a
member of the Nike Oregon Project. Her decision paid off: She won the
2014 Wanamaker Mile at the NYRR Millrose Games and
the IAAF World Junior Outdoor Championships 3000 meters at historic
Hayward Field in Eugene, OR.


“I am very excited to be coming home for the
Fifth Avenue Mile!” said Cain. “It’ll be my first time competing in this
historic road race, so I can’t wait! I’m feeling really strong right
now‰ÛÓtraining’s going well and I have started to
acclimate to living at the University of Portland! No matter what, this
will be a lot of fun!”


Centrowitz has medaled in the 1500 meters at
the last two IAAF World Championships: bronze in 2011(Daegu, South
Korea) and silver in 2013 (Moscow, Russia). He’ll face tough competition
from Kenyan
Augustine Choge, the fastest miler in the field; American mile standout
Will Leer; and Ciaran O’Lionaird, a 2011 World Championships 1500-meter finalist from Ireland.


“I’ve only had the privilege to race the
Fifth Avenue Mile once in my professional career, and I can safely safe
it’s one of the most exciting races I’ve been part of,” said Centrowitz.
“New York has always been a second home to me.
Winning in 2012 was one of the highlights of the season and I’ll be
looking for the same result this year.”


Featured Athlete Backgrounds and Notable Performances


Simpson, 28, of Boulder, CO, is the defending Fifth Avenue Mile champions. She won
the 2011 IAAF World Outdoor Championships at 1500 meters and returned to take the silver in 2013.

past summer, she captured the IAAF Diamond League series title at that
distance. A former American record-holder in the 3000-meter, Simpson set
a 1500-meter personal best of 3:57.22, the
second-fastest performance in history by an American.

of Portland, OR, is the reigning World Junior Champion at 3000 meters
and the reigning Wanamaker Mile champion. A native of Bronxville, NY
(about 15 miles north of the Fifth Avenue
Mile finish line), Cain holds several national junior records, and in
2013 she became the youngest American ever to qualify for an IAAF World
Championships team.

26, of Big Bear, CA, is the 2012 Fifth Avenue Mile champion and the
IAAF World Outdoor Championships 800-meter bronze medalist. She has the
second-fastest 1500-meter personal best in the field (4:00.94) behind
Simpson, and she represented the United States at the 2012 IAAF World
Indoor Championships at that distance.

23, of Great Britain, is the 2014 Commonwealth Games silver medalist
and European Outdoor Championships bronze medalist at 1500 meters. The
2012 London Olympic 1500-meter finalist boasts a 1500-meter personal
best of 4:00.17, the third-fastest in the field.

27, of Great Britain, was the 1500-meter silver medalist at the 2011
World Outdoors Championships. She competed at the 2012 London Olympics
in that same event and has run under 4:29 at the Fifth Avenue Mile 5
times, one sub-4:29 performance away from tying the event record of six
set by Shannon Rowbury of the United States.

28, of Kenya, is the 10,000-meter silver medalist at the 2011 IAAF
Outdoor Championships and the 2012 London Olympics. She has run the
fastest 10,000 meters in the world this year and is the reigning NYC
Half Champion, setting an event record (1:08:31) in her debut at the

24, of Portland, OR, captured the bronze medal at the 2011 IAAF World
Outdoor Championships 1500 meters and improved to silver in 2013; he
finished fourth in that event at the 2012 London Olympics. The 2012
Fifth Avenue Mile champion, Centrowitz is the seventh-fastest American
all-time in the 1500 meters (3:31.09).

27, of Kenya, was the 3000-meter silver medalist at the 2012 World
Championships. He has run the fastest mile in the field (3:50.01) and
the only sub-3:30 time for 1500 meters (3:29.47). Choge was the
5000-meter gold medalist at the 2006 Commonwealth Games at the age of 19
and represented Kenya at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Leer, 29, of Marina Del Rey, CA, is the reigning Wanamaker Mile champion. The third-fastest
miler in the field, Leer won both the 1500- and 3000-meter races at the 2013 U.S. Indoor Championships.

26, of Ireland, took the 3000-meter bronze medal at the 2013 European
Indoor Championships and was a 1500-meter finalist at the 2014 European
Outdoor Championships and the 2011 IAAF World Outdoor Championships.



Professional Women

Personal Best Mile, 1500m

Twitter Handle

Mary Cain, USA

4:24.11(i), 4:04.62


Jenny Simpson, USA

4:25.91(i), 3:57.22


Sarah Brown, USA

4:26.67, 4:05.27


Brenda Martinez, USA

4:26.76, 4:00.94


Sally Kipyego, KEN

4:27.19(i), 4:06.23


Kate Van Buskirk, CAN

4:28.08, 4:05.38


Ingvill Måkestad Bovim, NOR

4:28.49, 4:02.20


Treniere Moser, USA

4:28.86(i), 4:02.85


Violah Lagat, KEN

4:29.43, 4:05.66


Morgan Uceny, USA

4:29.89, 4:00.06


Heather Kampf, USA

4:30.14(i), 4:06.16


Hannah England, GBR

4:30.29(i), 4:01.89


Brie Felnagle, USA

4:30.44, 4:05.64


Ciara Mageean, IRE

4:38.81(i), 4:07.45


Justine Fedronic, FRA

4:39.81(i), 4:14.69


Diane Cummins, CAN

4:42.42(i), 4:05.02


Ashley Higginson, USA

4:43.01(i), 4:20.16(i)


Laura Weightman, GBR

None, 4:00.17


Gesa Krause, GER

None, 4:11.94



Check Also

Scottish Three-peat Sweep of Fifth Avenue Mile


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NE Runner

Professional Men

Personal Best Mile, 1500m

Twitter Handle

Augustine Choge, KEN

3:50.01, 3:29.47


Matthew Centrowitz, USA

3:50.53, 3:31.09


Will Leer, USA

3:51.82, 3:35.27


David Torrence, USA

3:52.01, 3:33.23


Ciaran O’Lionaird, IRE

3:52.10(i), 3:34.46


Jordan McNamara, USA

3:52.42, 3:34.00


Ben Blankenship, USA

3:52.7(r), 3:37.23


Lawi Lalang, KEN

3:52.88(i), 3:33.20


Garrett Heath, USA

3:53.15, 3:34.12