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Olympians Huddle, Meb, Jared Ward Running NYC Half

NYRR Team for
Kids Ambassadors Molly Huddle, Meb Keflezighi, and Tatyana McFadden to
Lead American Professional Athlete Field at 2017 United Airlines NYC
Half (photo by PhotoRun)

 

Six U.S.
Olympians and seven U.S. Paralympians to highlight star-studded American
contingent at the first event of the 2017 NYRR Five-Borough Series on
Sunday, March 19

 

Race will be
broadcast live in the New York area on WABC-TV, Channel 7, and
internationally via a variety of global broadcast partners
 

New York, February 22, 2017 ‰ÛÓTatyana McFadden and Molly Huddle will go for their second and third consecutive United Airlines NYC Half titles, respectively, on Sunday, March 19, while Meb Keflezighi
will race the event for the sixth time to kick off his final season as a
professional athlete. The three NYRR Team for Kids Ambassadors will
lead an American contingent that features six U.S. Olympians and seven
U.S. Paralympians, including four of the six U.S. Olympic marathoners
who served as Grand Marshals of the 2016 TCS New York City Marathon.

 

“We’re thrilled to have the best group of U.S.
athletes in the race’s history competing in this year’s United Airlines
NYC Half,” said Peter Ciaccia, president of events for New York Road Runners and race director of the TCS New York City Marathon.
“While 20,000 runners take to the streets of Manhattan, and hundreds of
younger runners and youth wheelchair racers participate in the free
NYRR Times Square Youth Run, Molly will go for a three-peat, Tatyana
will look to defend her title and Meb will start his journey through his
final pro season, which will culminate back here in November at the TCS
New York City Marathon. It has all the makings of a historic day on the
streets of New York City.”

 

Huddle, 32, of
Providence, RI, is the two-time United Airlines NYC Half reigning
champion, having defended her title at last year’s race in an
event-record time of 1:07:41. She took the tape one-tenth of a second
ahead of Kenya’s Joyce Chepkirui ‰ÛÓ the smallest margin of victory in
event history. She continued her strong run of form throughout the year,
setting an American record over 10,000 meters at the Rio 2016 Olympics
and taking third place in 2:28:13 in her marathon debut at the TCS New
York City Marathon. Her finish was the highest of any American debut
since Shalane Flanagan’s runner-up finish in 2010.

 

I look
forward to returning for my fourth United Airlines NYC Half to kick off
the 2017 season,” Huddle said. “The race has been a great opportunity to
test the strength built over the winter months and to see how things
stack up against a world-class field. I always love the chance to run
with New York Road Runners.”

 

Keflezighi, 41, of
San Diego, CA, is a four-time Olympian who will be racing the United
Airlines NYC Half for the sixth time. His best finish at the event came
in 2006, when he placed second, two years after he won a silver medal in
the Athens Olympic Marathon. Keflezighi, who will race the final
marathon of his professional career at the 2017 TCS New York City
Marathon, was the first American in 27 years to win the New York City
Marathon in 2009, and five years later he was victorious at the Boston
Marathon. Last November, he joined four other members of the U.S.
Olympic Marathon Team as a Grand Marshal for the TCS New York City
Marathon.

 

“I am excited to race the United Airlines NYC Half again this year as a tune-up for the Boston Marathon,” Keflezighi said.
“NYRR races have been a big part of my career, so it is only right that
I will participate in the United Airlines NYC Half this spring and
complete my professional marathon career at the TCS New York City Marathon this fall.” 

 

McFadden, 27, of
Clarksville, MD, will look to defend her United Airlines NYC Half title
in the professional wheelchair division after setting an event record of
52:25 at last year’s race. In November, she won her fourth consecutive
and fifth overall TCS New York City Marathon, and she’s already secured
the first Abbott World Marathon Majors women’s wheelchair title. A
17-time Paralympic medalist who recently donated a racing chair’s NYRR
Youth Wheelchair Training Program, McFadden won six medals at the Rio
2016 Games, including gold medals over 400, 800, 1500 and 5000 meters.

 

“The United Airlines NYC Half is a really
good race to start off the season and just a great setup before the
Boston Marathon,” McFadden said. “This race hits all the marks ‰ÛÓ it has
tough climbs, twists, turns, and a long straightaway that tests your
strength. It’s also really cool running through the heart of New York
City.” 

 

Additional Top Men’s Professional Athletes of Interest:

  • Abdi Abdirahman, 40, of Tucson, AZ, was the top American finisher
    at the 2016 TCS New York City Marathon, finishing third in 2:11.23 to
    become the oldest male runner in event history to reach the podium. He
    is a four-time Olympian and was the runner-up at the 2007 NYC Half.
  • Jared Ward, 28, of Kaysville, UT, finished sixth at the Rio 2016
    Olympic Marathon and then served as a Grand Marshal of the TCS New York
    City Marathon last November. In 2015, he won U.S. titles in the 20K, 25K
    and marathon.
  • Chris Derrick, 26, of Portland, OR, is a three-time winner of the
    USATF Cross Country Championships who finished fifth over 10,000 meters
    at last summer’s U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials.
  • Josh George (wheelchair division), 33, of Champaign, IL won the
    inaugural professional wheelchair race at the 2014 NYC Half and placed
    second the following year. The four-time Paralympian and five-time
    Paralympic medalist was the runner-up at the 2015 TCS New York City
    Marathon and was third at the 2016 edition of the event.

 

Additional Top Women’s Professional Athletes of Interest:

  • Amy Cragg, 33, of Portland, OR, will be making her United
    Airlines NYC Half debut after placing ninth at the Rio 2016 Olympic
    Marathon and serving as a Grand Marshal of the 2016 TCS New York City
    Marathon. Cragg qualified for the 2016 Olympics by winning the U.S.
    Olympic Marathon Trials last February. The two-time Olympic Trials
    champion ran an 83-second half-marathon personal best of 1:08:27 in
    February.
  • Desiree Linden, 33, of Rochester Hills, MI, is a two-time
    Olympian who was the fastest American at both the 2014 TCS New York City
    Marathon and 2015 Boston Marathon, finishing fifth and fourth in those
    races, respectively. As a member of the 2016 U.S. Olympic
    Marathon Team, she served as one of the Grand Marshals of the 2016 TCS
    New York City Marathon.
  • Emily Sisson, 25, of Providence, RI, will be making her half
    marathon debut after winning the USATF 10K Championship on the roads
    last season, in addition to finishing as the runner-up at the 20K
    Championships and 5K Championships.
  • Amanda McGrory (wheelchair division), 30, of Savoy, IL, won
    her New York City Marathon debut in 2006 and finished third at last
    year’s edition of the event. The seven-time Paralympic medalist won
    three medals at the Rio 2016 Games and will be racing the United
    Airlines NYC Half for the fourth time.

Top American Men ‰ÛÓ Professional Runners

Name

Personal Best Half-Marathon

Twitter Handle

Abdi Abdirahman

1:00:29

@Abdi_runs

Diego Estrada

1:00:51

@estradadiego

Meb Keflezighi

1:01:00

@runmeb

Shadrack Biwott

1:01:25

@skiptoob

Jared Ward

1:01:42

@jwardy21

Scott MacPherson

1:02:56

@ScottyMacRuns

Mike Morgan

1:02:56

@mikegmorgan

Johnny Crain

1:03:21

@Jacrain27

Noah Droddy

1:03:22

@IBuiltTheArk

Chris Derrick

1:03:41

@CDerrickRun

Luke Humphrey

1:03:57

@LucusHumphrey

Andy Weaver

1:04:27

@weavittome

Brendan Martin

1:04:38

@bmar89

Chris Bendtsen

1:04:43

@chrisbendtsen

 

Top American Women ‰ÛÓ Professional Runners

Name

Personal Best Half-Marathon

Twitter Handle

Molly Huddle

1:07:41

@MollyHuddle

Amy Cragg

1:08:27

@HastyHastings

Desiree Linden

1:10:34

@des_linden

Dot McMahan

1:11:50

 

Liz Costello

1:12:35

 

Danna Herrick

1:12:55

@dkherrick

Emily Sisson

Debut

@Em_Sisson

 

Top American Men ‰ÛÓ Professional Wheelchairs

Name

Personal Best Half-Marathon

Twitter Handle

Josh George

44:00

@jsgeorge

Krige Schabort

45:13

@KSchabort

Daniel Romanchuk

48:09

 

Brian Siemann

49:00

@bsiemann

 

Top American Women ‰ÛÓ Professional Wheelchairs

Name

Personal Best Half-Marathon

Twitter Handle

Amanda McGrory

50:47

@alittlechipped

Kartina Gerhard

51:28

 

Tatyana McFadden

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