Laalou, Rowbury Take Fifth Avenue Mile Titles

Fast elite fields highlight popular road race in New York City.

Written by: David Monti
(c) 2010 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved. Used with permission.

Amine Laalou of Morocco and Shannon Rowbury of San Francisco were the winners of the 30th edition of the Continental Airlines Fifth Avenue Mile in New York on Sunday.

Laalou, 28, a two-time Olympian, won in the final sprint over the 2007 double world champion Bernard Lagat of Tucson, Ariz., and defending Fifth Avenue champion Andy Baddeley of England.  Laalou clocked 3:52.83 in his first appearance at the race, to Lagat’s 3:53.30 and Baddeley’s 3:53.34.  American Olympians Alan Webb and Leo Manzano were fourth and fifth, respectively, in 3:53.72 and 3:54.17.

Irishman Alistair Cragg almost stole the race, surging after the halfway mark and opening up a 15-meter lead.  Cragg, who ran a half marathon one week ago, faded in the final 150 meters to finish 17th in 3:58.59.  He was the last man to break four minutes in today’s race.

Rowbury, 26, followed the lead of her former training partner Erin Donohue of Haddonfield, N.J., who picked up a prime of $1,000 for leading the race at halfway.  Donohue ran in the center of the roadway, with 2006 champion Sara Hall on her right, and Rowbury on her left.  Rowbury waited for the final 40 meters to surge, collecting her second victory here in 4:24.12.  Hall, of Mammoth Lakes, Calif., just nipped Donohue to take second in 4:24.34, six one hundredths of a second up on her rival.  Hannah England of England (4:24.40) and Molly Huddle of Providence, R.I., (4:25.92) finished fourth and fifth, respectively.

Both Laalou and Rowbury earned $5,000 in prize money for their victories, part of a $30,000 total prize money purse.  Athletes of all ages and abilities competed in 16 heats over a four hour period.

To watch replays of the men’s and women’s elite races at today’s Continental Airlines Fifth Avenue Mile, visit

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