The number three American performer at two miles indoors is now Andrew Bumbalough, after he ran 8:13.02 at the Millrose Games on Saturday. Teammate Evan Jager ran 8:14 to grab #4 on the US all-time performer list, while Lopez Lomong won the Wanamaker Mile in a facility (and meet) record time of 3:51.26, making him #8 all-time in the world. As a Georgetown grad, Bumbalough feels a strong connection to the east coast and loves New York, and here he talks about the experience this past weekend.
What stands out about coming to New York to compete?
Flying into NYC is always exciting. The lights and buildings of Manhattan sparkling as the sun dips beyond the western skyline. I love this city and I especially love competing here.
Coming into Millrose, what were your expectations for the race?
There is an undoubted energy that surrounds this sport in the city that never sleeps. You feel it is almost your duty to go out and give a good performance because the fans give you so much back. The 2 mile set up to be an awesome race at Millrose. A record attempt certainly meant a quick early pace and so I was ready to hurt early.
How do you remember it playing out?
We came through the mile in 4:06, a pace for which I felt I was definitely ready. We cruised on and then Lagat made his move in the final third of the race, inching away from Jager, Levins, and I. With 600m to go Lagat and Jager created a gap but I still felt like I had some running left in me. I slowly kept grinding and closed the gap up a bit and then let the excitement of the crowd (likely due to Bernard’s AR) carry me the last 400m, sliding into 2nd place with 150m to go. I crossed the line happy with a good finish, having no idea that 8:13 is the third fastest American time in the distance.
Take aways from New York, Millrose, and the race?
Overall it was a great race and a positive sign of my fitness and what I feel like I’m capable of going forward. It was by far my best ever effort at the distance (including 3k). Most importantly it’s a confidence booster for the rest of the year. And it was a blast doing it. The crowds in New York love track, especially indoor on the boards, and boy, do they get behind Millrose which has a history of 105 years. I hope to be back next year for the 106th edition.
UPDATE: Evan Jager shared the following thoughts, as well.
After a banner year in 2012 with the steeple American record and a sixth-place finish in the Olympic final, do you feel your approach to racing is evolving as your results continue to improve?
I’ve gained a lot of confidence over the last year, mainly because I’ve been gaining so much fitness since my injury. Training has been going really well this year so the goal for the race was just to put myself out there behind Lagat, and just hang on as long as possible. Coming off the race, I’m really glad I stuck with Lagat was long as I could, but what I need to work on now is finishing harder when I’m tired and have fallen off the lead.
Video of the two mile is below: