NYC Half Marathon Elite Field (including Ryan Hall)

The World‰Ûªs Best, Including Tadese Tola, Patrick
Makau, Abdi Abdirahman, Hendrick Ramaala, and Jaouad Gharib, to Compete at NYC


U.S. star marathoner Ryan Hall previously announced
for the race on Sunday, August 16


New York, July 30, 2009‰ÛÓSome of the
world‰Ûªs best long-distance runners, including defending champion Tadese
Tola of Ethiopia, two-time IAAF World Half-Marathon Championships silver
medalist Patrick Makau of Kenya, three-time 10,000-meter Olympian Abdi
Abdirahman of the United States, ING New York City Marathon 2004 winner
Hendrick Ramaala of South Africa, and 2008 Olympic marathon silver medalist and
two-time World Marathon champion Jaouad Gharib of Morocco, will duel
 on the streets of Manhattan at the NYC Half-Marathon on Sunday, August
16, it was announced today by New York Road Runners president and CEO Mary


Previously announced for the fourth annual 13.1-mile race
was top American marathoner and 2008 Olympian Ryan Hall, 26, of Mammoth Lakes,
CA, who will make his NYC Half-Marathon debut.


‰ÛÏThis is a glittering lineup of the world‰Ûªs best
emerging stars like Tola, Makau, and Hall, side by side with ageless
veterans like Ramaala, Abdi, and Gharib,‰Û said Wittenberg. ‰ÛÏIt
should be a fast and furious race through the streets of Manhattan.‰Û

A trio of the sport‰Ûªs all-time greats‰ÛÓdefending
champion and two-time Olympic medalist Catherine Ndereba of Kenya, 2004 Olympic
bronze medalist Deena Kastor of the U.S., and half-marathon world record-holder
Lornah Kiplagat of the Netherlands‰ÛÓheadline the women‰Ûªs field.


A one-hour same-day highlights show of the race will air
from 11:35 p.m. until 12:35 a.m. on WABC-TV, Channel 7, in New York City.


Tola, 21, edged Kenya‰Ûªs Patrick Makau in the final
meters to win by one second in last year‰Ûªs NYC Half-Marathon, finishing
in 1:00:58. Tola will make his first trip to New York since running the fastest
10K ever recorded in Central Park at the 2009 Healthy Kidney 10K in a time of


 Makau, 24, held on to finish second at the Healthy
Kidney 10K in 28:28, nine seconds slower than his winning performance the
previous year. Earlier this year, Makau ran the second-fastest half-marathon ever (58:52) at the
Ras Al Khaimah Half-Marathon and made his marathon debut at the Fortis
Rotterdam Marathon in April,
finishing fourth in a time of 2:06:14.


 Abdirahman, 32, of Tucson, AZ, will return to New York
after running the Healthy Kidney 10K, where he finished 11th in 29:02 coming
off of a knee injury. A four-time USA champion at
10,000 meters, he qualified for his third Olympic team by winning the 10,000
meters at the 2008 Olympic Team Trials ‰ÛÒ Track & Field and finished
15th in the event (27:52.53) at the Beijing Olympic Games.
Abdirahman made his third appearance at the ING New York City Marathon last
November and finished in sixth place (2:14:17).


The only man to ever win two World Championships marathon
titles, Gharib, 37, of Morocco, who finished third at the London Marathon
earlier this year in a Moroccan record time of 2:05:27, and four-time Olympian
Ramaala, 37, who holds several South African records, including 59:20 for the
half-marathon, will also compete.


Athletes will be vying for a prize purse of more than
$70,000, with the men‰Ûªs and women‰Ûªs winners each receiving $10,000.


The NYC Half-Marathon continues to attract the world‰Ûªs
leading professional athletes, in addition to a sold-out field of more than
10,000 recreational runners from around the world. Runners were admitted on a
first-come, first-served basis, a change from the lottery entry process that
was used in previous years. On a course designed to celebrate New York City,
the NYC Half-Marathon will take 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.



The Top Internationals


Tadesse Tola

Patrick Makau

Abdi Abdirahman

Hendrick Ramaala

Jaouad Gharib










USA (Tucson, AZ)

South Africa


Half-Marathon Personal Best

1:00:58, NYC, 2008

58:52, Ras Al Khaimah, 2009

1:01:29, NYC, 2007

59:20, Lisbon, 2000

59:56, Lisbon, 2004



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 nearly 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


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