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Kipsang, Smith Head Int’l Field at NYC Half Marathon

Kenya’s
Olympic Bronze Medalist Wilson Kipsang and Three-time Olympian Kim
Smith of New Zealand to Challenge the World at NYC Half on March 17

 

World Championships bronze medalist Bob Tahri of France to make half-marathon debut

 

Portugal’s newly crowned European Indoor Championships gold medalist Sara Moreira to
make U.S debut

 

New York, March 6, 2013‰ÛÓOlympic
bronze medalist Wilson Kipsang of Kenya and three-time Olympian
Kim Smith of New Zealand will headline the international fields for the
NYC Half on March 17; World Championships bronze medalist Bob Tahri of
France will make his half-marathon debut; and Portugal’s newly crowned
European Indoor Championships gold medalist
Sara Moreira will run the NYC Half as her U.S. debut, it was announced
today by New York Road Runners president and CEO Mary Wittenberg.

 

Previously
announced runners for the NYC Half men’s professional field include
U.S. Olympians Meb Keflezighi, Abdi Abdirahman, Dathan Ritzenhein, and
Bernard Lagat. Additional
U.S. competitors include Jason Hartmann, the top American in the 2012
Boston Marathon; and Guor Marial, who ran the London Olympic Marathon
under the flag of the IOC and will be running his first race as a U.S.
citizen.

 

In
the women’s race, previously announced runners include Janet Bawcom, a
2012 U.S. Olympian at 10,000 meters, along with Americans Adriana
Nelson, Maegan Krifchin, Molly
Pritz, Stephanie Rothstein Bruce, and Serena Burla.

 

“We
are privileged to host Wilson Kipsang and Kim Smith here in New York
again, and welcome every opportunity for them to run through the streets
of the City,” said Wittenberg.
“The diversity of this field is similar to the diversity of New York. 
Just like the runners who travel across the country for this event share
their stories with friends and families back home, these decorated
international athletes bring a piece of NYC back
to their countries.”

 

Arguably
the world’s best marathoner, Kipsang, 30, of Kenya, has a half-marathon
best of 58:59. His marathon best of 2:03:42, set at the 2011 Frankfurt
Marathon, makes him
the second-fastest marathoner of all time on a record-standard course.
Kipsang took bronze in the 2012 Olympic Games men’s marathon, and he won
the 2012 Virgin London Marathon champion by more than two minutes.

 

“I’m
glad to come back to New York,” said Kipsang, who was scheduled to run
the ING New York City Marathon before its cancellation in the aftermath
of Superstorm Sandy. “At
the moment, I train a few times a week with Geoffrey Mutai, and my
preparation is going well for my spring marathon in April. My
preparation for the half-marathon in New York is okay, and I hope I can
run a time below 60 minutes‰ÛÓthat’s my goal.”

 

Smith,
31, a native of Auckland who now lives in Providence, RI, placed fifth
at the ING New York City Marathon in both 2010 and 2011. She finished
second at the NYC Half
2012 in a time of 1:08:43 after leading nearly the entire race. She
broke her own record for the fastest-ever half-marathon by a woman on
U.S. soil when she won the 2011 Rock ‘n’ Roll Philadelphia Half-Marathon
in 1:07:11. Smith holds 12 New Zealand records
at distances from the mile to the marathon. 

 

“I’m
really looking forward to racing my favorite distance at the NYC Half
again this year,” said Smith. “After coming close to winning last year, I
want to come back and
get the top spot on the podium. I hope that doing half-marathons early
in the year will set me up for some fast times at the shorter distance
of five and 10 kilometers this summer.”

 

Tahri,
34, of France, is a three-time Olympian and was the 2009 World
Championships bronze medalist in the 3000-meter steeplechase. He is also
a four-time European Championships
medalist in the 3000 meters and 3000-meter steeplechase.

 

Moreira,
27, of Portugal, recently became the European Indoor Champion at 3000
meters; she and her Portuguese teammates have won three European Cross
Country team championships.

 

Additional top international contenders for the NYC Half 2013 include:

 

  • Daniele Meucci, 27, of Italy, the 2012 European Championships 10,000-meter silver medalist and winner of the 2012 UAE
    Healthy Kidney 10K in Central Park
  • Deressa Chimsa, 36, of Ethiopia, the 2012 IAAF World Half-Marathon Championships silver medalist, with a personal best
    half-marathon time of 1:00:51
  • Juan Luis Barrios, 29, of Mexico, a three-time Pan American Games medalist
  • Madaí Pérez, 33, of Mexico, the winner of the 2011
    Rock
    ‘n’ Roll Arizona Half Marathon in 1:11:49, who will be running her
    sixth NYC Half, including a second-place finish in 2008 and third in
    2010
  • Sabrina Mockenhaupt, 32, of Germany, a three-time Olympian who holds 29 national titles and has a personal best half-marathon
    of 1:08:45
  • Valeria Straneo, 36, of Italy, the Italian marathon
    record-holder
    (2:23:44), who finished eighth at both the 2012 London Olympic Marathon
    (2:25:27) and the 2011 BMW Berlin Marathon (2:26:33)
  • Adriana Da Silva, 31, of Brazil, the 2011 Pan American Games Marathon gold medalist

 

NYRR’s
flagship half-marathon, in its eighth running, will air live locally on
WABC-TV from 7:00 to 9:00 a.m. and online at 7online.com. It will also
stream live nationally
on ESPN3.com. NYRR’s On the Run broadcast will air on
www.nyrr.org
at 8:00 p.m. Friday and Saturday, March 15 and 16, with a post-race recap Sunday evening.

 

The
NYC Half will offer 15,000 runners a spectacular 13.1 mile tour of
Manhattan as they race through Central Park to Times Square and along
the Hudson River
waterfront to finish in lower Manhattan.
The race continues to attract prominent professional athletes and thousands of recreational runners from around the world.
This year’s race is “More than a Run,”
offering runners and their family, friends, and fans ways to get
involved, give back, and have fun. 

 

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