Saturday, September 24, 2011

Bernard Lagat gets Fifth Avenue Mile title in his fourth attempt...

NEW YORK--He's won world championships.

He's won Olympic medals.

He holds American records.

Until Saturday, he has never been called a winner of the Fifth Avenue Mile.

Washington State University alum Bernard Lagat (left/photos courtesy New York Road Runners), who has traditionally ended his season on the streets of New York, can finally be called a winner, as he crossed the finish line first in the professional section of the Fifth Avenue Mile.

In his previous three outings on the streets of New York, he finished second in a photo finish to Olympic bronze medalist Nick Willis in 2008; placed fourth in 2009; and was passed late in the race by Amine Laalou of Morocco last year.

Cal alum David Torrence took the lead, closely pursued by Laalou. Then over the last 400 meters, Lagat shot past Torrence and Laalou on the right hand side, and cruised to the victory in 3:51 (3:50.5), with Laalou second at 3:52 (3:51.7), and Torrence third in 3:53 (3:52.4).

Afterwards, Lagat wrote on his Twitter page, "So Happy that my 2011 season has ended with a win at the #5thAveMile. Thank you@nyrrmaryruns, @d9monti, @nyrr for inviting to run in NYC!"

In the women's professional mile, former Husky Ingvill Måkestad Bovin from Norway finished fourth, one spot off the podium, in a time of 4:25 (4:24.6), as world 1500m champion Jenny Simpson took the win in 4:23 (4:22.3), with world championship 10000 silver medalist Sally Kipyego from Kenya and the Oregon TC second in 4:23 (4:22.6), and world silver medalist at 1500m Hannah England from Great Britain third in the identical time as Kipyego.

On her Twitter page, she said, "What a great race to finish my season! 5th ave Mile was a blast!!! 4.24.6 and 4th place behind world medalists;)"

Courtesy of the New York Road Runners, here are video highlights of the Fifth Avenue Mile.

Watch live streaming video from nyrr at

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