Josh Kerr wins the 2023 New Balance Fifth Avenue Mile in 3:47.9
Josh Kerr wins the 2023 New Balance Fifth Avenue Mile in 3:47.9 (photo by Jane Monti for Race Results Weekly)

By David Monti, @d9monti
(c) 2023 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved

NEW YORK (10-Sep) — For the third consecutive year, athletes from Scotland won the men’s and women’s professional divisions of the New Balance Fifth Avenue Mile, held here for the 42nd time. On the men’s side, reigning World Athletics 1500m champion Josh Kerr closed his dream 2023 season with a convincing two-second victory, running the fastest winning time at this event in 28 years: 3:47.9.

The winner splashed his way to victory as the race was held on a wet roadway after several heavy downpours.

Read more: Latest New Balance 5th Avenue Mile 2023 Results


Kerr, 25, who represents the Brooks Beasts Track Club, made it clear before the race that he had unfinished business on Fifth Avenue.  In last year’s race, he slipped and fell on the wet roadway at the start and only finished tenth. 

Today he got away cleanly and positioned himself near the front right away.  He said that he and Beasts teammate Henry Wynne –who finished tenth– were outfitted with the right Brooks racing shoes for maximum grip in the wet.

“We were just sticking to the road all the way through,” Kerr told reporters with his shoes hanging around his neck.

As a steady rain came down, the race began to take shape.  Amon Kemboi of Puma Elite Running made a little burst at the mid-point to collect the $1000 prime, but immediately eased up (he would finish 11th). 

The main field stayed together with Kerr at the front along with fellow Briton George Mills –running the race for the first time– and American veteran Johnny Gregorek. 

Kerr, who decided not to continue to the Wanda Diamond League final next weekend in Eugene, admitted that he came to today’s race mentally and physically tired after the media whirlwind that followed his victory in Budapest, where he beat Norway’s Jakob Ingebrigtsen.

“It’s been a lot every day,” Kerr explained.  “Obviously, very new to me to win a major (title).  So, it’s been a lot of media every day and it’s been, like, mentally draining and tiring.  You know, I committed to this race and I really wanted to do it, and I’m just mentally very tired.”

Still, he had plenty of physical energy in the tank today.  When Mills pushed after the three-quarter mile mark, Kerr responded with authority.  Although he looked back a few times, he easily left the other 18 men in his wake to take his first Fifth Avenue win, his fourth victory of the year from 800m to 3000m.

“It’s a very different effort to run a mile down the street (in) flats versus running around the oval in spikes,” Kerr said.  “I’ve got to give respect to how the body’s feeling and I was able to come out on top today.”


Mills, 24, who ran a 3:49.64 mile in Pfungstadt, Germany, just four days ago, ran an excellent race, especially for a Fifth Avenue rookie.  He stayed near the lead with his eye on Kerr, but just didn’t have the same top-end speed as the world champion. 

He got second in 3:49.9, a time which would have won this race on 33 previous occasions since it was founded in 1981.  Mills was satisfied, but wanted more.

“I didn’t get it right,” Mills told reporters.  “You can only say you got it right if you won.  Josh was the only one who got it right today.  It was good fun, nice to be here.”

Third place went to steeplechaser Geordie Beamish of New Zealand who finished fifth at the World Athletics Championships.  Hen ran 3:50-flat to edge Vincent Ciattei, the top American, by three-tenths of a second.

“I’m happy with it,” said Beamish, who represents the On Athletics Club in Boulder, Colo.  “Josh is on another level.  He really got the best of us over that last 400 meters.”

Frenchman Azeddine Habz rounded out the top-5 in 3:50.5.  Sitting on the pavement and leaning against a metal barrier after the race, Habz was the picture of exhaustion.

“C’est difficile,” he told Race Results Weekly, his chest still heaving.

PHOTO: Josh Kerr wins the 2023 New Balance Fifth Avenue Mile in 3:47.9 (photo by Jane Monti for Race Results Weekly)

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