American hopes to continue her ‘knack’ for winning the New York event as she forms part of an elite field featuring a number of British athletes
Jenny Simpson will be going for her seventh New Balance 5th Avenue Mile title on Sunday. It’s an event the American loves and one she has a ‘knack’ for winning.
“I just think it’s such a wonderful thing that for the entire year I run all over the world – in Asia and Europe – it just seems so fitting as an American to be able to return and run my last race of a very long season back in the United States,” said the 2011 world 1500m champion.
“I enjoy it. In fact I love it, and I really look forward to ending my season there each year.
“I seem to have a knack for winning it, I really do. And it seems to feed right into my sense of pride and ego. I think I’m gonna be hard to beat there for a long time.”
On Sunday the 32-year-old will line up alongside fellow Americans Emma Coburn, Kim Conley, Colleen Quigley and Charlene Lipsey, while a number of British athletes are also in action.
Laura Weightman returns to the event at which she ran a British road mile best of 4:17.6 last year and she is joined by Melissa Courtney, Sarah McDonald, Adelle Tracey and Steph Twell.
In the men’s field, last year’s runner-up Chris O’Hare, Neil Gourley, Charlie Da’Vall Grice and Jake Wightman take on New Zealand’s four-time winner Nick Willis and USA’s Olympic 1500m champion Matt Centrowitz.
Simpson is a versatile runner. She is best known for her 1500m races, with 2013 and 2017 world silver and 2016 Olympic bronze medals also to her name. However she has also been US champion at 5000m, taken a runner-up finish in the US Cross Country Championships and before all that she set a US record in the 3000m steeplechase in the 2008 Olympics. One of her goals also remains to run a sub-two-minute 800m.
“The 1500m is such a marquee event and it is so incredible to have all the effort, the difficulty and the pain over in four minutes, as opposed to a 5km which is 15 minutes,” she said of her main event.
“So as long as I can continue to run well in the 1500m I will probably keep that as my specialty but it’s fun to switch to the 5km or down to the 800m once in a while – or a cross country race and just touch base with the joy of running once in a while where there is a little less pressure. It’s good to mix it up.”
She feels too that there is a lesson for life in that approach.
“When I talk to kids, that is one thing I encourage them – when you find one thing you’re good at, never assume it’s the only thing you will be good at,” she added. “I like to demonstrate that in my running career.”
A timetable for Sunday’s New Balance 5th Avenue Mile events can be found here.