The famous 5th Avenue Mile (1 mile) race was held on Sunday, September 13th, 2015 along 5th Avenue from 80th to 60th street in the Upper East Side of Manhattan (side note: 20 blocks = 1 mile). I’ve wanted to run this race since learning about it last year and even registered for it, but then Aruba came along and my registration was promptly forgotten in place of a beachy vacation. This was finally my year.
I was honestly super nervous about running this. I’m a long-distance junkie and severely dislike the sick-to-your-stomach feeling that accompanies racing a short distance. As much as I really wanted to see how fast I could run one mile, I was nervous about completely crashing or being the slowest one (lolz horrible to say I know, but I felt like everyone was faster than me!).
The race was split into male / female age categories, with each “wave” setting off about 15 minutes after the preceding one. Females, ages 18-29, were all chunked into one category, making us the largest group. Needless to say, it was crowded.
Having never raced a one miler before, I had no idea what pace to aim for. I got caught in a brief roadblock at the start but continued to maintain a 7:05 / 7:10 pace at the very beginning before deciding that I was ok to push it a bit. At that halfway point, I sped up and allowed my pace to hover around/below a 7:00 min/mile, which actually felt reasonable and challenging enough without inducing nausea quite yet. The entire race completely flew by! Next thing I knew, I was speeding up and racing towards the finish line with a 6:55 min/mile pace in the final quarter mile. At one point we climbed a small hill and I got stuck behind a walker…super frustrating considering that every second counts in such a short race! It took all I had to sprint to the finish line and then BAM I was done in the blink of an eye.
Final Time: 7:04 (7:04 min/mile pace)
Place: 3411 / 6331
Age Division (F, 25-29): 261 / 608
Overall, I’m pretty happy with my final time. I’m glad to have a gauge for the 1-mile distance and I know what I’m capable of in the future. A sub-7 minute mile is easily within my reach, and that’s what I’m going for next!
• Race course – It was so much fun racing down the middle of 5th Avenue! The course itself was fairly flat with the exception of one small hill around the halfway point.
• Race photos – Always appreciated, and surprising given the short race!
• Unique – How many times do you come across a one-mile race, especially one in the middle of Manhattan?
• Race tech tee – For such a high cost (for a 1 mile race), they could’ve had better shirts that were not cotton!
• Cost – I paid only $25 as a NYRR member, but non-members pay $40 for the early-bird price, which (in my opinion) is steep for such a short race.
• Crowded – The 18-29 female category was completely sold out, which made for a crowded race course. I wish they would separate out the age groups into two distinct categories to solve this issue!
My initial reaction was that I didn’t want to ever run this race again, but eventually I realized that it would be a fun way to test my 1-mile sprinting abilities each year. So basically, I can most definitely see myself running it next year!