Pennsylvania Avenue Mile
There may have been some controversy about the start, but there was no question about the finish. Breeda Dennehy-Willis broke the course record and the field in the Pennsylvania Avenue Mile in Washington D.C. on Saturday May 22, 1999.
Breeda caught the lead woman with about 600 meters to go and finished in a time of 4:36.5, smashing the record of 4:41.21 held by Cheri Goodard-Kenah. Alisa Harvey finished second in 4:39.4.
The controversy resulted from the starter’s failure to call the race back after a false start. As a result the race director awarded Breeda the win, but did not allow her course record to stand.
Some good came out of the controversy though as the $500 bonus went to the Summer Time Reading and Literacy Program in Washington. Breeda indicated that she did get a jump on the gun, but then hesitated while waiting for the starter to call the race back. Unfortunately, he was asleep and when everyone started passing her, she decided it was time to run.
Julius Achon, an All-American during his time at Georgetown, won the men’s race in a time of 4:02.24.