Signature event from The Armory’s New Balance Track and Field Center to be broadcast live on NBC
New York, January 9, 2019 — Olympic medalists Clayton Murphy and Nick Willis, along with the world’s fastest miler indoors or outdoors last year, Edward Cheserek, will headline the NYRR Wanamaker Mile men’s field at the 112th NYRR Millrose Games on Saturday, February 9 at The Armory’s New Balance Track and Field Center. The signature event at the NYRR Millrose Games has taken place every year on the men’s side since 1926 and was won last year by Chris O’Hare, and this year it will be broadcast live nationally on NBC for the third consecutive year.
“The NYRR Wanamaker Mile is revered as one of the world's greatest mile races and this year's men’s field in the 112th NYRR Millrose Games looks to be one of the best ever,” said NYRR Millrose Games Meet Director Ray Flynn.
Murphy, 23, of New Paris, OH, was the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials champion over 800 meters and won bronze in the distance at the Rio 2016 Olympics. The University of Akron graduate set a personal best in Rio, running 1:42.93 to become the third-fastest American in history. Murphy, who won two NCAA titles in 2016 and a Pan American title in 2015, finished second in a personal-best time in his NYRR Wanamaker Mile debut in 2017 and was fifth over 800 meters at last year’s NYRR Millrose Games.
“I am very excited to be back in New York and race the prestigious NYRR Wanamaker Mile,” Murphy said. “I’m sure the fans will be loud and cheering us on, and I am looking forward to putting on a show for everyone.”
Willis, 35, of New Zealand, finished as runner-up at the NYRR Wanamaker Mile three times (2009, 2015, 2016), was third twice (2008, 2014) and took fifth last year. As a four-time Olympian, the University of Michigan graduate and Ann Arbor, MI resident won the silver medal in the 1500 meters at the Beijing 2008 Games, carried New Zealand’s flag at the London 2012 Opening Ceremony, and returned to the podium with a bronze medal in the 1500 meters at the Rio 2016 Games. In 2017, he won a record-tying fourth men’s title at the 5th Avenue Mile, adding to his previous victories on Manhattan’s most famous thoroughfare from 2008, 2013, and 2015.
“I started my career as a big underdog, and now as a 35-year-old, I am embracing this mindset again as I return to the NYRR Millrose Games for my seventh attempt at the historic NYRR Wanamaker Mile title,” Willis said. “New York has been a second home for my racing career, having raced in the Big Apple over 25 times, so I can't wait to return once again to the familiar 'boards' of The Armory, coincidentally the first track I ever raced at on U.S. soil back in 2001.”
Cheserek, 24, of Kenya was a 17-time NCAA national champion at the University of Oregon who recorded the second fastest indoor mile in world history last year in 3:49.44 at the Boston University David Hemery Valentine Invitational. Cheserek attended high school at St. Benedict's Prep in Newark, N.J., and has a strong connection to the New York area, having raced at The Armory dozens of times. He’s now a U.S. resident, living in Flagstaff, AZ.
“The NYRR Millrose Games has been one of my favorite meets since high school,” Cheserek said. “I haven’t been back since college, and I’m excited to race the NYRR Wanamaker Mile there for the first time. I know I need to prepare well as it’s always a fast race.”
The NYRR Wanamaker Mile women’s field and rest of the men’s field will be announced later this month.
The NYRR Millrose Games highlights the year-round partnership between The Armory Foundation, which oversees the premier indoor track and field center in America, and New York Road Runners, the world’s largest community running organization.
For more information on the NYRR Millrose Games and to purchase tickets, please visit www.nyrrmillrosegames.org. Members of the media interested in covering the 112th NYRR Millrose Games from 11:30 a.m.-6 p.m. on Saturday, February 9 at The Armory in Washington Heights, can sign up for credentials by clicking HERE.
About New York Road Runners (NYRR)
NYRR’s mission is to help and inspire people through running. Since 1958, New York Road Runners has grown from a local running club to the world’s premier community running organization. NYRR’s commitment to New York City’s five boroughs features races, community events, free youth running initiatives and school programs, the NYRR RUNCENTER featuring the New Balance Run Hub, and training resources that provide hundreds of thousands of people each year, from children to seniors, with the motivation, know-how, and opportunity to Run for Life. NYRR’s premier event, and the largest marathon in the world, is the TCS New York City Marathon. Held annually on the first Sunday in November, the race features 50,000 runners, from the world’s top professional athletes to a vast range of competitive, recreational, and charity runners. To learn more, visit www.nyrr.org.
About the NYRR Millrose Games
With a storied history that spans more than a century, the NYRR Millrose Games is one of track and field’s most prestigious and enduring annual events. A New York City sports staple, the meet moved to the New Balance Track & Field Center at The Armory in Washington Heights in 2012 after having called Madison Square Garden home from 1914 to 2011. The Games—established by employees of Wanamaker’s Department Store—features track and field’s most prolific male and female stars as well as collegiate, high school, club and youth competitors. More than 200 athletes share the distinction of being both Millrose and Olympic champions. In November of 2013, New York Road Runners became the title sponsor of the NYRR Millrose Games, which is owned by The Armory Foundation. The NYRR Millrose Games is a USATF television series event and The Armory Foundation appreciates the support of USA Track and Field.