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Meb, Hall, Abdi, Goucher Running NYC Half Marathon

America‰Ûªs Finest‰ÛÓMeb Keflezighi, Ryan Hall, and Abdi Abdirahman‰ÛÓWill All Run NYC Half-Marathon

 

Trio to toe the line together on March 20 for the first time since the ING New York City Marathon 2009

 

New York, February 8, 2011‰ÛÓIn a rare gathering of three of America‰Ûªs leading male long-distance
runners of the past decade, Meb Keflezighi, Ryan Hall, and Abdi
Abdirahman will run the NYC Half-Marathon on Sunday, March 20, it was
announced today by New York Road Runners president and CEO Mary
Wittenberg.

 

The
last time this powerhouse trio of Olympians and national title-holders
all ran in the same race was also in New York, at the ING New York City
Marathon 2009, which was won by Keflezighi
in historic and dramatic fashion with Hall fourth and Abdirahman ninth.

 

The
NYC Half-Marathon, which has a $100,000 prize purse (the largest for
any United States half-marathon), will have a strong USA presence, with
the previously announced Olympian and World
Championships bronze medalist Kara Goucher running as part of her
comeback after the birth of her first child.

 

While
it has been unusual to have this threesome of men on one starting line,
it is not new to have them racing on the New York City streets.
Altogether, the three have competed in New
York 32 times in their careers.

 

‰ÛÏThis is
something
of a coming-home party,‰Û said Wittenberg. ‰ÛÏWe welcome three American
favorites of New Yorkers and runners everywhere‰ÛÓmarathon champion Meb,
and the ever- popular Abdi and
Ryan.‰Û

After
qualifying for the 2008 Olympic Games by winning the Trials in New York
City, Hall, 28, of Big Bear Lake, CA, went on to finish 10th in
Beijing. He is the only American to have broken
the one-hour barrier in the half-marathon, which he did by running
59:43 to win the 2007 Houston Half-Marathon. In addition to the Olympic
Trials, Hall found success in New York when he won the 2006 USA Cross
Country Championships 12K, and also in his first
appearance in the NYC Half-Marathon, in 2009, when he finished third.

 

‰ÛÏI
love racing in New York. Every time I show up on the starting line I
feel an incredible sense of opportunity,‰Û said Hall. ‰ÛÏI am honored to
join the great international and domestic
field assembled in this year‰Ûªs half-marathon. Having decided to run
this year‰Ûªs race at an early date allows me to plan accordingly so I can
go after a strong performance at both the NYC Half and the Boston
Marathon to follow in four weeks‰Ûª time.‰Û

 

 

Keflezighi,
35, of Mammoth Lakes, CA, also has a strong history in New York.  In
2009, he became the first American since 1982 to win the ING New York
City Marathon. He has finished in
the top 10 in the Marathon four other times, most recently with a
sixth-place showing last year. A silver medalist in the men‰Ûªs marathon
at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Keflezighi is a three-time USA
cross country champion (2001, 2002, 2009) and a two-time
USA 8K champion (2003, 2004).

 

 Abdirahman,
34, of Tucson, AZ, ran the 2007 NYC Half-Marathon in 1:00:29, the
third-fastest half-marathon in U.S. history, finishing second behind
Haile Gebrselassie‰Ûªs course record.
He also set a then-personal best of 2:11:24 at the ING New York City
Marathon 2005, finishing fifth. A three-time Olympian, Abdirahman has
earned twelve USA Championships at 10,000 meters, 10K, 10 miles, and
20K. 

 

Other top Americans in the field:

 

  • Patrick
    Smyth, 24, of Mammoth Lakes, CA, was victorious at the Emerald Nuts
    Midnight Run in 2009. He finished third at the USA Half-Marathon
    Championships
    in Houston at the end of January in 1:02:32, on the same course where
    he finished runner-up in 2010.
  • Serena
    Burla, 28, of Ellisville, MO, competed in the ING New York City
    Marathon 2010 less than one year after being treated for a malignant
    tumor
    in her hamstring. She found the tumor just a few weeks after competing
    in the 2010 USA Half-Marathon Championship in Houston, where she
    finished second. In January 2011, she finished second again in the same
    event, in a time of 1:11:38.

 

On
a course designed to celebrate New York City, the NYC Half-Marathon
will take more than 9,000 runners on a loop through Central Park, down
Seventh Avenue through Times Square, across
42nd Street, and along the expansive West Side Highway to Battery Park
in the heart of the city‰Ûªs financial district, finishing with a view of
the Statue of Liberty.

 

New York Road Runners

Headquartered
in New York City, New York Road Runners is dedicated to advancing the
sport of running, enhancing health and fitness for all, and meeting our
community‰Ûªs needs. Our goal
is to use the expertise acquired in our 52-year history to empower all
people to live fitter, healthier lives through participation in our
races, community events, instruction and training resources, and youth
programs.  Our races and other events draw more
than 300,000 people each year. The ING New York City Marathon, NYRR‰Ûªs
premier event, is the largest and most inclusive marathon in the world,
attracting the world‰Ûªs top professional runners every year and raising
$30.8 million for charity in 2010. NYRR‰Ûªs running-based
youth programs, which currently serve more than 100,000 children in
hundreds of schools and community centers, promote children‰Ûªs health and
fitness, character development, and personal achievement in underserved
communities. For more information, visit
www.nyrr.org.

 

 

 

 

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