World 5000m finalist Elle Purrier provided the unexpected highlight of the Millrose Games in New York on Saturday (8), winning the women’s Wanamaker Mile in a North American indoor record of 4:16.85, the second-fastest indoor performance in history.
In what proved to be the greatest depth women’s indoor mile ever, the two women who followed Purrier across the finish line – Germany’s Konstanze Klosterhalfen and Britain’s Jemma Reekie – also moved into the top five on the world indoor all-time list, clocking national indoor records of 4:17.26 and 4:17.88 respectively.
In fourth, Gabriela DeBues-Stafford set a Canadian indoor record of 4:19.73, also inside the previous North American indoor record of 4:20.5 that had stood to Mary Tabb since 1982.
Purrier and Reekie took turns at the front over the first few laps before Klosterhalfen assumed the lead for most of the rest of the race, passing 800m in 2:08.19 and 1000m in 2:40.43. The world 5000m bronze medallist still led as they approached the final lap with DeBues-Stafford sitting in second place about four metres adrift, just ahead of Purrier and Reekie.
Purrier, known for her strong finish, moved into second place on the back straight and continued to make up ground on Klosterhalfen, dragging Reekie with her. She moved up a gear as she came off the final bend and strode past the German, crossing the line in 4:16.85.
“This is only my second race of the year so far, so I wasn’t really sure of my fitness,” said Purrier, who won over two miles at the World Athletics Indoor Tour meeting in Boston two weeks ago. “On the second-to-last lap I started feeling a bit more confident and tried to make a move. I wasn’t looking at the splits and was just focused on competing. I just competed, it was a huge shock. I ran a pretty similar time on the roads (4:17), but doing it on the track is totally different. I hadn’t thought of the American record at all.”
The first four finishers also set 1500m PBs en route. Klosterhalfen set a German indoor 1500m record of 3:59.87, Purrier clocked 4:00.20, just 0.22 shy of the North American indoor record, Reekie broke training partner Laura Muir’s British indoor record with 4:00.52 and DeBues-Stafford ran a Canadian indoor best of 4:00.80.
Source: World Athletics