New York, January 8, 2014 - Finland's Paavo Nurmi was one of the greatest distance runners in history. An Olympic gold medalist in 1920, 1924, and 1928, Nurmi became known world-wide as the 'Flying Finn.' In 1925, Nurmi traveled to New York City, where he set a world record for 2000 meters at The Armory during a prolific indoor racing series.
In honoring Nurmi's great legacy, the 107th NYRR Millrose Games will play host to the Paavo Nurmi 2000 Meter Race on Saturday, February 15, at The New Balance Track & Field Center at The Armory. The event will feature eight-time Wanamaker Mile champion Bernard Lagat and 2008 Olympic silver medalist Nick Willis, who won the prestigious NYRR 5th Avenue Mile last year.
"I'm looking forward to coming back again to the Millrose Games in February - 2000m is a new distance for me indoors, and that's exciting," said Lagat, the 2004 Olympic silver medalist at 1500m. "I've had two great runs at The Armory the last two years and hope for another one this year."
The Paavo Nurmi 2000 meters will also feature Evan Jager, the American record holder in the 3000m steeplechase; Canadian Olympian and former NCAA champion Cam Levins; and American Junior record holder German Fernandez. Finnish national champion Niclas Sandellsis entered as well.
"Everywhere you turn there is great history at The Armory," said Dr. Norbert Sander, Executive Director of the Armory Foundation. "Breaking the American record in the 2000m here at the 2014 NYRR Millrose Games will rewrite the history books and find a place alongside the epic run of Paavo Nurmi in 1925."
In honoring Paavo Nurmi's legacy and world record race at The Armory, a delegation of honored guests will be in attendance from Finland, which will include Mr. Ilkka Kanerva, a member of the Finnish Parliament. Mr. Mika Nurmi, grandson of Paavo Nurmi, will be the race's official starter.
"Our family is delighted with the Paavo Nurmi 2000 meters at the Millrose Games and I am very much looking forward to being the Race Starter in the arena where my grandfather set the world record," said Mika Nurmi.
Fans are urged to visit NYRRMillroseGames.org to purchase tickets. The 2014 NYRR Millrose Games will begin at noon and conclude at 6:30 pm, featuring the prime time window from 3 pm to 5 pm. Further questions can be answered by calling The Armory at (212) 923-1803 ext. 7200.
CREDENTIAL INFORMATION: Press wanting to cover the NYRR Millrose Games can register by clicking here: http://www.nyrrmillrosegames.org/media-credential-application.
About the NYRR Millrose Games
Since its inception in 1908 at a local armory, the NYRR Millrose Games is one of track and field's most prestigious annual events. A New York City sports staple, the meet moved to The New Balance Track & Field Center at The Armory in Washington Heights in 2012 after having called Madison Square Garden home from 1914 to 2011. The Games - established by employees of Wanamaker's Department Store - annually feature track & field's most prolific male and female stars as well as collegiate and high school competitors. More than 200 athletes share the distinction of being both Millrose and Olympic Champions. In November, the New York Road Runners became the title sponsor of the NYRR Millrose Games, which is hosted by The Armory Foundation.