The Millrose Games is the first of ten IAAF Indoor Permit Meetings in 2009.
A victory would tie Lagat with Irishman Eamonn Coghlan, the ‘Chairman of the Boards’ for most Wanamaker Mile wins.
In 2005, Lagat clocked 3:52.87 to eclipse Coghlan’s meet record of 3:53.0 set in 1981 on the tightly banked 160-yard oval. Lagat has won the last four Wanamakers as well as wins in 2001 and 2003.
The Wanamaker field will also include Nick Willis (NZL), winner of the Beijing Olympic 1500m bronze medal that ended New Zealand’s 36-year-old medal drought in the event, and Americans Steve Scherer and Chris Lukezic and Pablo Solares (MEX). Willis finished third to Lagat and Craig Motram (AUS) in the 2008 Wanamaker but out-duelled Lagat to win the Fifth Avenue Mile in September in their last meeting in New York.
The Wanamaker Mile is the traditional concluding event of the Millrose Games which is the first stop on the USA Track & Field Visa Championships Indoor Circuit that will culminate with the USATF Indoor Championships in Boston on 28 Feb - 1 Mar.
Beijing Olympian Kara Goucher from Portland, who won the mile and the 3000 at the UW Indoor Preview two weeks ago, will run in the women’s Mile, hopes to continue her good fortune in her birthplace of New York City. Last year, Goucher won the Millrose Mile and finished third in the New York City Marathon in 2:25:53 for the fastest debut by American woman. The 2008 Millrose Games marked Goucher’s first race on an indoor banked track since 1999.The women’s Mile start list also includes Marina Muncan (SRB), Barbara Parker (GBR) and Korene Hinds (JAM).
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NOTE: The IAAF contributed to this report.