It's no surprise that the year's number one miler Jenny Simpson wasted a quality field in today's Fifth Avenue Mile, earning her third overall title. But the real shocker came in the men's race, where Jordan McNamara of the Oregon Track Club Elite made a late surge for the win.
Simpson needed no tactics—this year, she's just that much better. Taking the lead from the gun, she ran wire to wire for the win in 4 minutes, 19.4 seconds LIKE A BOSS.
The men's race wasn't so easy. The pack broke open early, chiefly because of a $1000 bonus for the first runner to cross the half-mile mark. Facial hair model Will Leer out-leaned Lawi Lalang for the midpoint prize as the rest of the pack sat back and watched.
That early surge would cost Leer and Lanang as they attempted to regroup, but the pack, led by Garrett Heath, stretched out for the attack in the third quarter. Heath then made his move over the final quarter-mile, while the pack looked at each other to be the sacrificial lamb and start the pursuit. In the end, it was McNamara out-sprinting Heath to the tape for the win. Both were credited with a time of 3 minutes, 51 seconds flat, and only two tenths of a second separated first from fourth.
Here is slow-motion picture of how close the finish was:
Even though the race was on the roads, the Fifth Avenue Mile always signals the end of the track season. Here come the marathons.