Amine Laalou makes his first visit to New York a memorable one with a victory in the Fifth Avenue Mile (New York Road Runners) © Copyright
Rowbury (4:24.12) defended her 2009 title with a surge in the final metres that relegated fellow Americans Sara Hall to second place (4:24.34) and Erin Donohue to third (4:24.40).
Laalou, competing in New York for the first time, ran 3:52.83 to beat out 2007 IAAF World Championships 1500m and 5000m gold medallist Bernard Lagat of the United States, who finished second (3:53.30), and defending champion Andy Baddeley of Great Britain (3:53.34), who was third.
“I knew coming out today that I was going to have to bring every game I had,” said Rowbury, 26, the 2009 IAAF World Championships 1500m bronze medallist. “We have such a talented group of American middle-distance women right now. I’m proud to be a part of it and it makes me a better athlete.” Rowbury set personal bests this year at 800m, 3000m, and 5000m.
Laalou, 28, who ran personal bests in the 1500m and mile - 3:29.53 and 3:50.22 - earlier this year, dedicated his victory to his first child, a daughter born earlier this month. “New York is a wonderful city,” he said through a translator. “I would love to come here again.”
The race showed a fine return to form for American mile record-holder Alan Webb, who finished fourth in 3:53.72. The 27-year-old had Achilles tendon surgery earlier this year and moved to Portland, OR, to train under Alberto Salazar. “This was a big-boy race here today, and I’m just really glad I was in it,” said Webb.
It was the 30th running of the Fifth Avenue Mile, an event inaugurated in 1981 by New York Road Runners to give middle-distance stars a chance to shine on New York City’s most famous thoroughfare. An elite-only race in its early years, the event now includes more than a dozen age-group heats in addition to the world-class races. For archived video of all heats, visit www.nyrr.org.
NYRRC for the IAAF