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Nikki Hiltz plans to race for the podium at Fifth Avenue Mile

Nikki Hiltz will compete against a stacked field that includes Olympic medalist Jenny Simpson at the New Balance 5th Avenue Mile on Sept. 8.

Simpson will race for her record-extending eighth title in the event, which stretches 20 blocks down Manhattan’s most famous thoroughfare and is expected to draw nearly 8,000 runners across 24 heats. NBC will broadcast the professional races live at 9 a.m. PDT.

Hiltz, who recently won gold in the 1,500-meter race at the Pan American Games, has been America’s best road miler in 2019 with wins at the BAA Mile, adidas Boost Games Mile, and the USATF Road Mile Championships.

The race is expected to be her final tune-up before she competes in the 1,500 at the IAAF World Championships in Doha, Qatar, alongside Simpson and Shelby Houlihan.

Allie Ostrander, a three-time NCAA champion in the steeplechase who also qualified for her first World Championships this fall, will line up for her first road race as a pro athlete. Elinor Purrier, who also qualified for her first World Championships this year, in the 5 kilometers, will look to contend as well. Canadian Olympian Jessica O’Connell and 2019 10k national champion, Genevieve Lalonde, as well as Great Britain’s Jessica Judd, will lead the international contingent.

“Fast times don’t really give me confidence, but performances do,” she said. “I just want to race people. The Fifth Avenue Mile is an awesome race—I’m going to really go for it and it’ll be a really good springboard. It’s really what I need to be confident going into worlds.”

(08/22/2019) ⚡AMP
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New Balance 5th Avenue Mile

New Balance 5th Avenue Mile

The New Balance 5th Avenue Mile opens a beautiful 20-block stretch of 5th Avenue to runners of all ages and abilities who want to run their best mile in New York City. Special races include a youth mile, the George Sheehan Memorial Mile for runners age 60 and over, the NYRR Road Mile Championships, and Olympic-caliber professional men's and women's...

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Jenny Simpson will race for her record-extending eighth title and Nick Willis will chase his record-breaking fifth men’s title at the New Balance 5th Avenue Mile

The New Balance 5th Ave Mile stretches 20 blocks down Manhattan’s most famous thoroughfare and is expected to draw nearly 8,000 runners across 24 heats. It includes specialty heats for youth and seniors, with the professional athlete races rounding out the day. In partnership with New York Road Runners and USA Track & Field, NBC will broadcast the professional athlete races live on NBC at 12:30 p.m. ET.

“The New Balance 5th Avenue Mile is such an iconic road race that allows people of all ages and abilities to participate in the event on one of the most famous streets in New York City,” said Michael Capiraso, president and CEO of New York Road Runners. “This year will be incredibly special, as we celebrate 20 years of NYRR’s free youth programs.”

In the professional women’s race, Jenny Simpson, who serves as an ambassador and special advisor to NYRR’s youth programs, owns the event-record time of 4:16.6 on Fifth Avenue, which she set when winning the race in 2017. She has earned three IAAF World Championships medals in the metric mile, beginning with a gold at the 2011 World Championships. She followed that with a silver in both 2013 and 2017. In 2016, she took bronze in the 1500 meters at the Rio Olympics, making her the first American woman in history to reach the podium in that event.

Simpson will be challenged in the professional women’s race by Nikki Hiltz, who just won gold over 1500 meters at the Pan American Games and has been America’s best road miler in 2019 with wins at the BAA Mile, Adidas Boost Games Mile, and the USATF Road Mile Championships. 

Allie Ostrander, a three-time NCAA champion in the steeplechase who qualified for her first World Championships this fall, will join them as she lines up for her first road race as a professional athlete. Elinor Purrier, who also qualified for her first World Championships this year, will look to contend as well. Canada’s 2019 national champion Genevieve Lalonde and Olympian Jessica O’Connell, and Great Britain’s Jessica Judd, will lead the international contingent.

Leading the professional men’s field will be nick Willis, a four-time New Balance 5th Avenue Mile champion and two-time Olympic medalist who finished second last year. Willis, who won the event in 2008, 2013, 2015, and 2017, is tied with Spain’s Isaac Viciosa for the most career victories in the men’s race.

Challenging him as he goes for a record-breaking fifth title will be Great Britain’s two-time New Balance 5th Avenue Mile runner-up Chris O’Hare and road 5K world record-holder Edward Cheserek, who is the most decorated athlete in NCAA history with 17 titles at the University of Oregon.

Also joining them at the start line will be Johnny Gregorek, who is fresh off a silver medal at the Pan American Games and the world’s fourth-fastest miler this year. 

(08/21/2019) ⚡AMP
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New Balance 5th Avenue Mile

New Balance 5th Avenue Mile

The New Balance 5th Avenue Mile opens a beautiful 20-block stretch of 5th Avenue to runners of all ages and abilities who want to run their best mile in New York City. Special races include a youth mile, the George Sheehan Memorial Mile for runners age 60 and over, the NYRR Road Mile Championships, and Olympic-caliber professional men's and women's...

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San Diego runner Nikki Hiltz, set a new Blue Mile record in the Women's Mile

Nikki Hiltz of San Diego set a new Blue Mile record in the women´s Mile Championships clocking 4:30, during The Grand Blue Mile in Des Moines on Tuesday.

Nikki Hiltz and Tripp Hurt raced to the USATF Road 1-Mile National Championship Tuesday evening on the streets of Des Moines as part of the 10th Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield Grand Blue Mile.

Hurt won the men’s race in 4:04, in a photo finish as the top-five finishers all finished within a second of each other. Hiltz took the lead of the women’s race off the final turn and held off three-time Grand Blue Mile champion Heather Kampf to set an event record in 4:30.

“It’s not just a road race, it’s the USA Road Mile Championship and it’s my first national championship win,” Hiltz said. “It was awesome and the field definitely gave me a run for my money. We got after it and I knew in the last straightaway we’d switch into a new gear. No one made it easy.”

Hanna Fields was also in the lead pack of the race as she and Hiltz took over the lead from Kampf midway through the race.

The men’s race featured a dramatic finish as Hurt sprinted on the outside to best the talented field to the tape to clip Brandon Lasater by just one two-tenths of a second.

“My teammate, Nick (Harris, who finished third), was next to me and I was thinking we needed to battle and hope one of us got it,” Hurt said of the sprint to the finish. My goal was to stay patient and wait as long as I could to make a move to the front. It paid off.”

Will Leer led early in the race, trailed by a tight pack before Kyle Medina briefly took the lead at the three-minute mark as the leaders made the course’s first turn. Seconds later, as the still tightly bunched pack turned on to Grand Avenue, Daniel Herrera led out front until the pace quickened in the final 200 yards with Tripp moving to the outside of the pack to reach the finish line first.

Hiltz and Hurt each earned $5,000 for the national title as part of $30,000 in total prize money awarded. The participants in the USATF Road 1-Mile Championship races were part of more than 4,000 runners who took part in the 10th Annual Grand Blue Mile. 

(04/24/2019) ⚡AMP
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Grand Blue Mile

Grand Blue Mile

Your Race. Your Pace. Your Mile. The Grand Blue Mile was created by Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield and the Drake Relays to encourage healthy habits and empower positive change. Held annually since 2010, the Grand Blue Mile has hosted more than 30,000 participants from 26 states, six countries, and four continents. The annual event brings friends and families...

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