The Fifth Avenue Mile is my favorite race of the year. More than 5,000 runners barrel down Fifth Avenue along Central Park in 18 different heats from kids to pros and everyone in between.
This was the first time in four years that I haven’t run the race. My 6:46 personal best from 2011 will have to stand for now. But I was doing something just as exciting as shattering a PR—covering the Fifth Avenue Mile for New York Road Runners as host of their new web show “On The Run.”
Rather than recap the race here, I’ll let the video do the talking. But it was an amazing day. I rode in the lead car for the heat I would have been running, a surreal and unique experience to be sure. The professional fields were phenomenal, particularly the men with the top six finishers going sub-3:54. I interviewed the professional men’s winners including Matthew Centrowitz, Bernard Lagat and Leo Manzano, who were the top three men in that order, as well as Brenda Martinez, Anna Pierce and Hannah England, who were the top three women. And perhaps most fun of all, I got to hang out with Olympic marathoner Kara Goucher, who was on hand to sign autographs.
We also chatted with age-group runners, local elites and other folks. You’ll get to see more of that coverage in the first official episode of “On The Run.” Stay tuned for more info on that.
But for now, check out the Fifth Avenue Mile video along with some pics that capture the spirit of the day. Congrats to everyone who ran!
Fifth Avenue Mile Photo Gallery
All photos by Phil Hospod.
Women toe the line at the start.
Runners warm-up in front of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Just past the start.
Men 30-34 bring it on.
Alexander Garrett nears the finish.
Runners duke it out.
Cheer New York helps bring runners home.
The finish of the Fifth Avenue Mile.
The police escort.
A battle for the ages for the men 50-59.
Vic Heckler of California won the men’s 70-74 division.
Runners push hard down Fifth Avenue.
Interviewing Bert Robbins, the men’s 80+ winner.
The Bridesmaid Runners, who were raising money for charity, donned old dresses for their race.
Men got in on the Bridesmaid Run fun too.
Working the microphone.
The Plaza Hotel looms over the finish at Grand Army Plaza.
A double dutch crew show off their stunts.
Kara Goucher addresses the crowd.
Reporting on Kara Goucher’s book signing.
Brenda Martinez shows off her finishing kick for the win.
Interviewing Fifth Avenue Mile women’s winner Brenda Martinez.
David Torrence, Bernard Lagat and Matthew Centrowitz duke it out.
The professional men’s winners pose for the cameras.
Fifth Avenue Mile winner Matthew Centrowitz greets fans after the race.
Bernard Lagat passes out some high fives.
Bernard Lagat gives his fans some love.
Interviewing American record holder Bernard Lagat. (Photo: Phil Hospod)
The always effervescent Bernard Lagat.
Olympic teammates Matt Centrowitz and Bernard Lagat chat after the race.
Interviewing Olympic silver medalist Leo Manzano, who took third in the men’s race.
Shannon Rowbury, Kara Goucher, Bernard Lagat and Hannah England cheer the kids into the finish.
Karla Bruning is a regular contributor to SHAPE.com, the host of NYRR's On The Run web + TV show, and a race announcer at events like the TCS New York City Marathon. She used to report for Newsweek but spent her free time squeezing in workouts. Now she freelances as a running reporter. She's run 7 marathons, 20 halves, 6 triathlons, sings in an '80s cover band, spoils her dog + travels compulsively.
I’m not the fastest runner and I’m not the slowest, but I am a running nerd. A journalist by trade, I love to research, read, learn and cogitate. So stick with me. Like all good nerds, I’ll do the homework and share it. But the running is up to you!