Gebremariam Breaks Central Park 10K Record

Gebremariam Smashes Course Record at UAE Healthy Kidney
National Kidney Foundation receives $470,000 check
from UAE; more than 7,800 finishers for 6th edition


NEW YORK – (May 15, 2010) – For the second year in a row, an
accomplished Ethiopian runner debuting at the UAE Healthy Kidney 10K
smashed the course record. On a beautiful Saturday morning, Gebre
, 25, cut six seconds off Tadese Tola‘s 2009 record,
running 27 minutes, 42 seconds – the fastest-ever lap of Central Park.

The race, in its sixth running, had a field of a depth rarely
seen on one starting line: 10 entrants had 10K personal-best times faster than
28 minutes, and two athletes were able to produce that kind of speed again, even
on Central Park’s hills. And local runners proved they were up to the challenge
of competing against professionals.

Gebremariam and Peter Kamais of Kenya broke from the
pack within the first two miles and set the pace at the front for the rest of
the race. Great Britain’s Chris Thompson and Kenya’s Julius Kogo
ran their own race for second and third, never coming within striking distance
of the leaders.

With 800 meters to go, Gebremariam and Kamais were still
shoulder-to-shoulder, as they’d been all morning. But Gebremariam was able to
take it up a notch, and he pulled away to win by seven seconds. Kogo kept
Thompson at bay to finish third in 28:19.

“I noticed at mile 5 that I was on pace to win, and I wanted
to break the course record,” said Gebremariam. “I felt I controlled the race.”
The record performance added the $20,000 Zayed Bonus to his winnings for a
$27,500 total.

Kamais, 33, coming off a recent win at the NYC Half-Marathon
in March, added a runner-up at the UAE Healthy Kidney 10K to his résumé. He
wasn’t prepared for Gerbremariam’s final surge; he looks forward to longer
races, such as a marathon this fall.

Abdi Abdirahman of Tucson, AZ, was the first U.S.
finisher in sixth place (28:35). This was American Khalid Khannouchi’s
to racing after foot surgery last year. The 38-year-old had a
pain-free 21st-place finish. “I am so excited to be back running in Central
Park-my own backyard,” he said. “I’ll train solidly for the next four to five
weeks before I race again in July.”

NYRR Runner of the Year Buzunesh Deba of West Side
Runners (WSX) broke the tape in 33:09 and bested the women’s event record by 23
seconds, earning $1000 for her efforts. Frances Koons of Bryn Mawr, PA
took second in 33:31 and donated her $500 prize purse to the National Kidney
Foundation, one of the event sponsors. Koons, who suffered from kidney cancer in
2007, has made a full recovery. Local runner Alemtsehay Misganaw of
Adidas East Women’s Team was third (33:44). In this friendly but competitive
team-points race, there were strong fields in both the women’s and men’s

In the men’s member division, the top-three finishers were
Deresse Deniboba of Westchester Track Club in 29:09 and teammates
Kumsa Adugna Megersa (29:19) and Tesfaye Girma (29:24) of WSX.

Representative of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the event’s
primary sponsor showed their commitment to the cause by presenting the
National Kidney Foundation with a massive check for $470,000. “We worked
with our partners at the UAE and the National Kidney Foundation,” said NYRR
president and CEO Mary Wittenberg. “It was a race to remember for a very
long time.”

At a special event on Friday, Abdi Abdirahman, Boaz
and Frances Koons, along with representatives and runners from the
United Arab Emirates, who were all in town for the UAE Healthy Kidney 10K, spent
the afternoon inspiring children. The athletes spoke about their experiences
growing up in very different places and the positive influence running had on
their lives. But the event didn’t stop there: UAE representatives gave each kid
from P.S. 182 and P.S. 83, who participate in the NYRR Mighty Milers
throughout the school year, a race T-shirt and then led stretches
and a run with the kids in a Harlem schoolyard. It was a celebratory day for
kidney cancer survivors, like Koons, the National Kidney Foundation and UAE,
both fighting for research and awareness of kidney health, and the children who
have been encouraged to keep running for life.

6th UAE Healthy Kidney 10K
York, NY, Saturday, May 15, 2010

1) Gebre Gebremariam (ETH), 27:42*, $27,500
Peter Kamais (KEN), 27:49, $5000
3) Julius Kogo (KEN), 28:19, $3000
Chris Thompson (GBR), 28:25, $2000
5) Alistair Cragg (IRL), 28:33,
6) Abdi Abdirahman (USA / AZ), 28:35, $750
7) Ben St. Lawrence
(AUS), 28:36, $600
8) Mohamed Trafeh (USA / CA), 28:37, $350
9) Ed Moran
(USA / VA), 28:39, $250
10) Shadrack Biwott (KEN), 28:57, $100
record (previous record, 27:48, Tadese Tola (ETH) 2009)

1) Buzunesh Deba (ETH), 33:09, $1000
2) Frances
Koons (USA / PA), 33:31, $500
3) Alemtsehay Misganaw (ETH), 33:44, $250

Complete race results, photos and more available at:

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