NYC Half Announces Elite Women’s Field

Past Champions to Headline World-Class
Women‰Ûªs Field at the 2015 United Airlines NYC Half on Sunday, March 15


Former NYC Half champions Sally Kipyego and Caroline Rotich, both of Kenya, will lead
a lineup that includes 5000-meter American record-holder Molly Huddle and American marathon standout
Desiree Linden


Race will air live in New York on ABC7 and stream live on WatchABC, 7online, and ESPN3 via WatchESPN


New York, February 24, 2015‰ÛÓDefending
champion Sally Kipyego and two-time NYC Half champion Caroline Rotich
will lead an elite women‰Ûªs contingent featuring American
distance-running icons Molly Huddle and Desiree Linden at the 2015
United Airlines NYC Half on Sunday, March 15, 2015, it was announced
today by Mary Wittenberg, president and CEO of New York Road Runners.


‰ÛÏWe‰Ûªre thrilled to welcome such an impressive
group of world-class women to the United Airlines NYC Half,‰Û said
Wittenberg. ‰ÛÏHaving Sally and Caroline compete against two of America‰Ûªs
best in Desi and Molly and so many other great athletes
from around the globe is a treat for the thousands of runners,
spectators and live broadcast audience experiencing the race.  It‰Ûªs the
perfect way to celebrate the 10th running of our signature NYRR Five
Borough series event.‰Û


Kipyego, 29, a Kenyan who lives and trains in
Eugene, OR, is the defending United Airlines NYC Half champion and the
event record-holder with a time of 1:08:31; the race was her debut at
the distance. She won a silver medal in the 10,000
meters at both the 2011 IAAF World Outdoor Track and Field
Championships and the 2012 Olympics, where she also finished fourth in
the 5000 meters. In 2014, she was the fastest 10,000-meter runner in the
world. She won nine NCAA Division I Championships while
at Texas Tech University, tied for the most NCAA Championships in
history, and she is the only woman to win three consecutive NCAA Cross
Country Championships. The 2015 NYRR Millrose Games 3000-meter champion
finished third and fourth at the 2011 and 2013
NYRR Dash to the Finish Line 5K, respectively.


‰ÛÏIt is a privilege to visit and enjoy New York
City while getting a chance to mingle and compete with some of the best
athletes in the world,‰Û said Kipyego. ‰ÛÏI’m thrilled to be racing the
United Airlines NYC Half again!‰Û


Rotich, 30, a Kenyan who lives and trains in
Santa Fe, NM, is a two-time NYC Half champion with victories in 2011 and
2013. The former NYC Half event record-holder (1:08:52, 2011) won the
2013 Prague Marathon, and has had five top-10 finishes
in World Marathon Majors races: fourth at the 2014 Tokyo Marathon,
fifth at the 2012 Bank of America Chicago Marathon, seventh at the 2011
New York City Marathon, fourth at the 2011 Boston Marathon, and eighth
at the 2010 New York City Marathon. She represented
Kenya at the 2011 IAAF World Championships in the marathon and won both
the 2010 Grandma‰Ûªs Half Marathon and the 2010 B.A.A. Half Marathon.


Linden, 31, of Washington, MI, finished second
at the 2011 Boston Marathon with a personal-best time of 2:22:38, a
breakout performance in which she ran the then-fastest Boston Marathon
time by an American woman. The 2012 Olympian placed
fifth overall and was the top American at the 2014 TCS New York City
Marathon. Although injury prevented her from finishing the 2012 Olympic
Marathon after placing second in the U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon, she
came back strong, placing third in the 2013
Oakley New York Mini 10K, fifth in the 2013 Berlin Marathon, and 10th
at the 2014 Boston Marathon. She returns to the United Airlines NYC Half
after placing seventh last year.


‰ÛÏHaving raced in New York three times last year,
it’s no secret I’ve become hooked on racing through the streets of New
York City,‰Û said Linden. ‰ÛÏI’m thrilled to head back to the Big Apple and
compete in this year’s United Airlines NYC
Half. NYRR always puts together an amazing field, which makes New York
the perfect place to test my fitness as I build into spring racing.
Training is progressing well and I’m anxious to see how I match up
against some of the world‰Ûªs best.‰Û


For the first time in its 10-year history, the
United Airlines NYC Half will feature a separate start for the
professional women at 7:18 a.m., 12 minutes before the professional men
and first wave of runners. The 2015 United Airlines NYC
Half will air live in New York on ABC7 and WatchABC from 7:00 to 9:00
a.m. EDT and on 7online from 7:00-10:30 a.m. Outside of the New York
area, coverage will also be available on ESPN3 via WatchESPN from
7:00-10:30 a.m. on computers, tablets, smartphones,
Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick, Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku, Xbox 360
and Xbox One for those who have video or internet subscriptions from
affiliated providers. International viewers can watch the broadcast from
7:00 to 9:00 a.m. EDT via a variety of global
broadcast partners (international viewers should check local listings).


Additional Top Athlete Backgrounds and Notable Performances


Joyce Chepkirui,
26, of Kenya, is the fastest marathoner in the field with a personal
best of 1:06:19, which she ran to win the 2014 Prague Half Marathon.
The 2014 UAE Healthy Kidney 10K champion won the gold medal at both the
2014 Commonwealth Games and African Championships in the 10,000 meters.
In 2011, she owned the top two times in the world in the 10K, and in
2013 she ran a personal-best of 30:37 at the
distance, the sixth-fastest time in history. In 2010, she placed fifth
at the IAAF World Half-Marathon Championships.

Buzunesh Deba,
27, of Ethiopia, who resides in the Bronx, NY, was the 2014 NYC Half
runner-up with a personal best of 1:08:59. The two-time New York City
Marathon runner-up (2011, 2013) has won eight of the 16 marathons she
has completed in her career. She is one of only 18 women to break
2:20:00 at the distance, setting a personal best of 2:19:59 to finish
second at the 2014 Boston Marathon.

Rkia El Moukim,
27, of Morocco, finished sixth with an impressive debut performance of
2:28:12 at the 2014 TCS New York City Marathon. She ran her
half-marathon at the 2014 International Half-Marathon of Marrakech with
a time of 1:10:03, and defended her title one year later. In 2014, she
set the half-marathon event record at the Hy-Vee Road Races at the Drake
Relays. Earlier this year she finished third
at the Adana Liberation Day International Half-Marathon.

Sabrina Mockenhaupt,
34, of Germany, has won an astounding 40 national titles, the most of
any German runner in history. The three-time Olympian at 10,000
meters won the 2008 Frankfurt Marathon, finished fourth in the 2010
Berlin Marathon, and finished seventh in the 2013 New York City
Marathon. She placed fourth at the 2013 NYC Half and owns a personal
best of 1:08:45.

Lanni Marchant,
30, of Canada, is the Canadian record-holder in the marathon and
half-marathon with times of 2:28:00 and 1:10:47, respectively. Last
she placed fourth at the Commonwealth Games in the marathon. She
represented Canada at the 2013 IAAF World Marathon Championships and
four Chiba Ekiden relays (2008, 2010, 2011, 2012).

Jip Vastenburg,
20, of the Netherlands, is the 2013 5000-meter European Junior champion
and finished fourth at the 2014 European Championships in the
10,000 meters. Although she is one of the younger entrants in the
field, she has won four national titles: the half-marathon in 2014, the
5000 meters in 2014, and the 10K in 2014 and 2015.

Hanae Tanaka,
25, of Japan, was the runner-up at the 2013 Yamaguchi All-Corporate
Half-Marathon Championships, finishing with a personal best of 1:09:18.
Earlier this year she finished eighth at the Marugame Half Marathon
with a time of 1:11:24 in preparation for her United Airlines NYC Half

Annie Bersagel,
31, originally from Greeley, CO, and currently residing in Oslo,
Norway, is the 2013 USA Marathon champion and the 2006 USA Half-Marathon
champion. She represented the United States at the 2014 IAAF World
Half-Marathon Championships, finishing 13th in a personal best of
1:10:10. She was the second American finisher at the 2014 TCS New York
City Marathon and recently finished fifth at the 2015
USA Half-Marathon Championships.

Adriana Nelson,
35, of Boulder, CO, is the 2013 USA Half-Marathon champion and was the
top American at the 2013 New York City Marathon. She has had three
top-10 finishes at World Marathon Majors races: second at the 2007
Chicago Marathon, eighth at the 2008 London Marathon, and sixth at the
2010 Berlin Marathon. She competed at the 2005 and 2012 World
Half-Marathon Championships for Romania and the United States,


Top American Professional Women


Personal Best Half-Marathon

Twitter Handle

Molly Huddle



Annie Bersagel



Desiree Linden



Adriana Nelson



Kristen Zaitz




Top International Professional Women


Personal Best Half-Marathon

Twitter Handle

Joyce Chepkirui, KEN


Sally Kipyego, KEN



Sabrina Mockenhapt, GER



Caroline Rotich, KEN


Buzunesh Deba, ETH



Hanae Tanaka, JPN



Rkia El Moukim, MAR


René Kalmer, RSA



Lanni Marchant, CAN



Iwona Lewandowska, POL


Jip Vastenberg, NED



Natasha Wodak, CAN



Mona Stockhecke, GER



New this year at the United Airlines NYC Half is
the NYRR Times Square Kids‰Ûª Run‰ÛÓa 1500-meter out-and-back road race on
Seventh Avenue for children ages 7 to 18 that starts and ends in Times
Square.  An expected 1,000 kids, including 700
of NYRR‰Ûªs Young Runners, will compete in the high school, middle
school, and elementary school divisions alongside the runners in the
United Airlines NYC Half.


A total of 20,828 runners crossed the finish
line of the 2014 NYC Half, making it the largest NYC Half yet. Runners
from more than 65 countries and all 50 states participated. Geoffrey
Mutai of Kenya won the men‰Ûªs race with a time of 1:00:50,
and Sally Kipyego won the women‰Ûªs race with an event-record time of


About the United Airlines NYC Half

Founded in 1958, New York Road Runners has grown
from a local running club to the world‰Ûªs premier community running
organization, whose mission is to help and inspire people through
running. The United Airlines NYC Half is NYRR‰Ûªs signature
half-marathon, and the opening event of the NYRR Five-Borough Series.
The race features a talented American and international professional
athlete field, competitive, recreational, and charity runners, some
1,500 volunteers and thousands of spectators. The
event offers the quintessential New York experience‰ÛÓa 13.1-mile tour of
the Big Apple like no other‰ÛÓfrom the rolling hills of Central Park, up
to Harlem, down through Times Square, along the Hudson River waterfront,
to a finish in lower Manhattan. United Airlines,
New York area’s largest airline, is the title sponsor of the United
Airlines NYC Half and an NYRR foundation partner. To learn more, visit

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