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15 Olympians on Tap for Fifth Avenue Mile

Olympians Lisa Dobriskey,
Bernard Lagat, and Shannon Rowbury Return to the Continental Airlines Fifth
Avenue Mile

 

Christin
Wurth-Thomas, Matt Tegenkamp, and Lopez Lomong also have entered the famed mile
road race on September 26

 

15 Olympians to challenge for titles

 

New York, September 10, 2009‰ÛÓDefending champion
Lisa Dobriskey of Great Britain and American Olympic 1500-meter stars Bernard
Lagat and Shannon Rowbury, both of whom finished second in last year‰Ûªs
event, will close out their 2009 seasons on the world‰Ûªs most famous
street in the Continental Airlineså¨ Fifth Avenue Mile on Saturday, September
26, it was announced today by New York Road Runners president and CEO Mary
Wittenberg.

 

The race‰Ûªs 29th running will include a deep
professional field of 15 Olympians, including Americans Christin Wurth-Thomas,
Matt Tegenkamp, and Lopez Lomong.

 

‰ÛÏSpeed will rule and stars
will shine on Fifth Avenue on September 26,‰Û said Wittenberg. ‰ÛÏWe
look forward to the stars of the summer battling for the right to run the final
victory lap on the streets of New York‰Û

 

Dobriskey, 24, recently captured the 1500-meter silver medal
at the IAAF World Championships in Berlin. After a fourth-place finish in the
1500 meters at the 2008 Olympic Games, Dobriskey made her New York debut at the
Continental Airlines Fifth Avenue Mile and finished just ahead of Rowbury to
win in 4:18.6, the second-fastest time in the history of the race. She became
the first British women‰Ûªs champion at the event since Paula Radcliffe won
in 1997. 

 

Rowbury, 25 of San Francisco, CA, has had an impressive
season, taking the bronze medal in the 1500 meters at the World Championships
after capturing the USA Outdoor Championships 1500-meter title for the second
year in a row. In 2008, Rowbury had a breakout season, running 4:20.34 to become
America‰Ûªs second-fastest female miler ever, behind Mary Decker
Slaney‰Ûªs 4:16.71.

 

Lagat, 34, of Tucson, AZ, has a distinguished career that
includes two Olympic medals, seven World Championship titles, and seven wins in
New York‰Ûªs renowned Wanamaker Mile. Lagat will aim to become only the
second man in history to win both the Fifth Avenue and Wanamaker miles in the
same year; Isaac Viciosa of Spain captured both titles in 1997. A five-time USA
champion in the 1500- and 5000-meter distances, Lagat has a personal best time
of 3:47.28 for the mile.

 

Wurth-Thomas, 29, of Fayetteville, AR, recently clocked a
3:59.98 in the 1500 meters at the Golden Gala in Rome to become only the fourth
American woman to run a sub-4:00 time in the event. The 2008 USA indoor 1500-meter
champion, Wurth-Thomas recently won the 1500 meters at the Stockholm Grand Prix
and finished fifth in the same event at the World Championships.

 

Tegenkamp, 27, of Portland, OR, became the third-fastest
American in history at 5000 meters when he ran 12:58.56 earlier this month at
the Golden League meet in Brussels. A two-time USA indoor 3000-meter champion,
Tegenkamp won the 5000 meters at the 2009 USA Outdoor Championships.

 

Lomong, 24, of Colorado Springs, CO, was the U.S. flag
bearer during the opening ceremonies at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. He
became a U.S. citizen in 2007 through the Lost Boys of Sudan program, which
rescued nearly 3,800 children from Kenya. Lomong won his first career USA
Outdoor title earlier this year in the men‰Ûªs 1500 meters. His personal
best time in the mile is 3:53.97.

 

The Continental Airlines Fifth
Avenue Mile begins near East 80th Street and finishes at East 60th Street. The
wheelchair and handcycle race will kick off the event at 9:00 a.m. After that,
entrants will run in heats according to age and gender. The professional
women‰Ûªs race is scheduled to start at 12:45 p.m., followed by the
professional men‰Ûªs race at 1:05 p.m. A total prize purse of $30,000 for
the men‰Ûªs and women‰Ûªs professional races will be offered with the
top men‰Ûªs and women‰Ûªs professional finishers each receiving $5,000.

 

JUST THE FACTS

Continental Airlines Fifth Avenue Mile Athletes

 

 

Lisa
Dobriskey

Shannon
Rowbury

Christin
Wurth-Thomas

Bernard
Lagat

Matt
Tegenkamp

 

Lopez
Lomong

Age

24

25

29

34

27

24

Hometown

Ashford,
Kent, UK

San
Francisco, CA

Fayetteville,

AR

Tucson,
AZ

Portland,
OR

Colorado
Springs, CO

Mile

Personal
Best

4:20.35

 

4:20.34

 

4:27.18

3:47.28

3:56.38

 

3:53.35

 

New York Road Runners

New York Road Runners, founded in 1958, is dedicated to
promoting the sport of distance running, enhancing health and fitness for all,
and responding to community needs. Our road races and other fitness programs
draw upwards of 300,000 runners annually, and together with our magazine and
website support and promote professional and recreational running. A staff of
more than 100, assisted by thousands of volunteers, stages the ING New York
City Marathon, as well as a road race nearly every weekend plus many track and
cross country events. NYRR‰Ûªs home base in New York, and its lifelong
identification with Central Park, have given many of its events iconic status,
attracting the world‰Ûªs top professional runners. Our youth
programs provide running to 100,000 schoolchildren in New York City, around the
country, and in South Africa who would otherwise have few or no fitness
opportunities. For more information, visit http://www.nyrr.org/

 

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