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Willis wins second Fifth Avenue Mile title

10:19 Mon Sep 23 2013
AAP

New Zealand runner Nick Willis has kicked clear to win the Fifth Avenue Mile in New York for a second time.

Willis, who won the 2008 race, clocked three minutes 52.1 seconds over the undulating course, nearly 2sec clear of another former winner, US runner Bernard Lagat.

After a slow first half to the race in which he was boxed in, Willis emerged and his speed from 500m out was too much for the 20-strong field.

"I found myself in the lead and my legs were rolling pretty good so (I said) I feel good I'll go all the way to the finish," said Willis, who pocketed $US5000 ($NZ5,965) for the win.

"I wanted to enjoy the crowd the last 100 metres."

The 2008 Olympic silver medallist described the win as a bright spot in a disappointing 2013 season which was truncated by injury.

While the race marked the end of the season for much of the field, Willis says he regards it as part of his preparation for the world indoor championships in Poland in March.

"I'll treat the indoor season as an outdoor season. So my goal is to kind of replicate the times I run outdoors on an indoor track."

American Jenny Simpson won the women's race in 4min 19.3sec.