Laura Muir and Jake Wightman take the top spots at New York's 5th Avenue Mile

·3-min read
Photo credit: Da Ping Luo
Photo credit: Da Ping Luo

It's been a stellar season for both Laura Muir and Jake Wightman, and it finished in magnificent style in New York. The last time Laura Muir raced the 5th Avenue Mile, in 2016, she was runner-up to American Jenny Simpson. This time she demolished the field, finishing in 4:14.8 – a new course record by nearly a second and a half, a huge margin over this distance. Indeed if her time had been run on a track, it would be the fourth fastest in history.

Muir made her move just before halfway – the race has a bonus prize for the first runner past 800m. But rather than ease off having claimed this, Muir put her foot down, finding a gear no one else possessed. She took the field apart, finishing with a huge margin of three seconds over Nikki Hiltz in second.

But such was the quality of the race that the athletes in second, third and fourth – America's Hiltz with 4:17.4 and Eleanor Fulton in 4:18.0 and Muir's compatriot Jemma Reekie in 4:18.3 – all still clocked times that put them in the top 10 of the prestigious event's all time list.

Elite British runners have a proud history in the 5th Avenue Mile, and previous winners include Wendy Sly, Paula Radcliffe, Lisa Dobriskey and Jemma Reekie herself, who won the event last year.

Meanwhile in the men's race, no one could stay with Jake Wightman's killer finishing kick. He broke the tape in 3:49.6, with fellow Brit Jake Heyward in second and American Sam Prakel in third, with 3:49.6 and 3:50.4 respectively. Wightman's time also made it into the event's top 10 finishing times, though was just a whisker slower than his winning time last year. In fact, this is his third victory in New York. The men's course record has stood, amazingly, since 1981, when South Africa's Sydney Maree won in 3:47.52.

'I couldn’t have asked for it to go any better, to finish my season here at my favourite meet of the year,' Wightman said. 'The chance for me to be able to celebrate the end of my season here in New York is fantastic.'

For the Scottish pair, 2022 has bought titles and medals galore. Muir won both European and Commonwealth 1500m titles this summer, as well as the bronze in the World Athletics Championship 1500m. Wightman is now the reigning world 1500m champion, and won the 1500m bronze medal at the Commonwealth Games and an 800m silver medal at the European Athletics Championships.

The 5th Avenue Mile has a mass participation event too, with a total of 8501 runners finishing yesterday. This year's edition fell on September 11, so included a 9/11 Memorial Mile.

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