Komon and Kogo, the Two Fastest 10K Road Runners of All Time, to
Compete Against Strong International Field for Record $25,000
First-Place Prize at UAE Healthy Kidney 10K on Saturday, May 14
Kenyan standouts Masai and Ndirangu and rising stars Curtis, St. Lawrence, and Forrest among challengers
Three-time Olympic veteran Abdi Abdirahman on road back after injury-shortened 2010 season
New York, May 4, 2011ÛÓThe two fastest men in history at 10K on the road, Kenyans
Leonard Patrick Komon and
will go head-to-head at the UAE Healthy Kidney 10K on Saturday, May 14,
in Central Park to compete for a $25,000 first-place prize, the biggest
winnerÛªs purse at any 10K race
in the world, it was announced today by New York Road Runners president
and CEO Mary Wittenberg.
ÛÏIt should be fast times in Central Park with bragging rights between
Leonard and Micah at stake along with the $20,000 Zayed Bonus for
beating the Central Park record,Û said Wittenberg. ÛÏAdd red hot Bobby
Curtis and Ben St. Lawrence and one of our favorites,
Abdi Abdirahman, to the field and it promises to be a sizzling run.Û
Kogo, 24, ran 27 minutes and 1 second at the Parelloop 10K in Brunssum,
the Netherlands, in 2009 to claim the world record. Komon, 23, broke
that mark in 2010, blazing a 26:44 at the Singelloop 10K in Utrecht, the
Netherlands. Both men have broken 27 minutes
on the track: Kogo has run 26:35.63 and Komon 26:57.08. The two have
gone head-to-head 10 times in their careers, with each defeating the
other five times and Komon winning the last four matchups.
Pushing Komon and Kogo in New York will be fellow Kenyan stars Moses Masai and
Simon Ndirangu. Masai, 24, the 2009 IAAF World Championships 10,000-meter bronze medalist,
ran 27:19 to win the WorldÛªs Best 10K in Puerto Rico in 2010.
Ndirangu, 26, ran 27:49 in his victory at the 2010 Cooper River Bridge Run in Charleston, SC.
After an injury-shortened 2010 season, Abdi Abdirahman, 34, of
Tucson, AZ, returns for his third UAE Healthy Kidney 10K as he continues
his comeback season with an eye to making a fourth USA Olympic team in
2012. Abdirahman finished sixth in last yearÛªs
race and won the 2009 U.S. 10K Championship in a time of 28:11.
Leading the challenge from the rising stars will be American Bobby Curtis,
27, of Ardmore, PA. Curtis became the seventh-fastest American of all
time at 10,000 meters when he ran 27:24.67 to finish second at the
Payton Jordan Invitational last weekend.
Currently the third-fastest 5K runner in the world for 2011, the
two-time Team USA member for the IAAF World Cross Country Championships
won the 2008 NCAA Championship at 5000 meters in 13:33.93.
ÛÏI feel I have stepped things up a notch this year and I think that
showed at Stanford,Û said Curtis. ÛÏNow IÛªm looking forward to testing
myself against even stronger opposition on the roads of Central Park.
Last year the 10,000 meters at Stanford took a lot
out of me and I wasnÛªt able to produce my best in the UAE Healthy
Kidney 10K, but this year I feel so much fitter and I think I’ll be
ready to really challenge there.”
Ben St. Lawrence, 29, of Australia, currently the second-fastest
5000-meter runner in the world for 2011, will look to improve upon last
yearÛªs performance when he makes his second start at the UAE Healthy
Kidney 10K. In 2010, St. Lawrence finished seventh
in the race in a time of 28:36. He finished third in the Payton Jordan
Invitational 10,000 meters last weekend, a step behind his training
partner Curtis, in an Australian-record time of 27:24.95.
St. LawrenceÛªs countryman, two-time NCAA 10,000-meter runner-up Shawn Forrest,
is another up-and-comer in the star-studded field. No stranger to the
streets of New York, Forrest, 27, finished ninth at the 2011 NYC Half.
Also toeing the line will be American distance-running stalwart James Carney. The 32-year-old two-time USA road-race champion ran a marathon personal best of 2:15:50 in Rotterdam last year.
All of the athletes will be taking aim at the course record and the
$20,000 Zayed Bonus that accompanies it. The time to beat is 27:42, set
last year by Gebre Gebremariam of Ethiopia.
The UAE Healthy Kidney 10K is an open race highlighted by a select field
of professional male runners and offers $60,000 in prize money to the
top finishers, with $25,000 for the winner.
The race is sponsored by the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates to
benefit the National Kidney Foundation, in appreciation of American
medical excellence in the kidney transplant field. The late UAE
president Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al-Nahyan benefited from
American expertise, knowledge, and research when he received a kidney
transplant in 2000. Among his many honors and accomplishments, he was
most proud of being a kidney transplant survivor.
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 communityÛªs 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, NYRRÛªs premier
event, is the largest and most inclusive marathon in the world,
attracting the worldÛªs top professional runners every year and raising
$30.8 million for charity in 2010. NYRRÛªs running-based youth programs,
which currently serve more than 100,000 children
in hundreds of schools and community centers, promote childrenÛªs health
and fitness, character development, and personal achievement in
underserved communities. For more information, visit