FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
America's Finest-Meb Keflezighi, Ryan Hall, and Abdi Abdirahman-
Will All Run NYC Half-Marathon
Trio to toe the line together on March 20 for the first time since the ING
New York City Marathon 2009
New York, February 8, 2011-In a rare gathering of three of America's
leading male long-distance runners of the past decade, Meb Keflezighi, Ryan
Hall, and Abdi Abdirahman will run the NYC Half-Marathon on Sunday, March
20, it was announced today by New York Road Runners president and CEO Mary
The last time this powerhouse trio of Olympians and national title-holders
all ran in the same race was also in New York, at the ING New York City
Marathon 2009, which was won by Keflezighi in historic and dramatic fashion
with Hall fourth and Abdirahman ninth.
The NYC Half-Marathon, which has a $100,000 prize purse (the largest for
any United States half-marathon), will have a strong USA presence, with the
previously announced Olympian and World Championships bronze medalist Kara
Goucher running as part of her comeback after the birth of her first child.
While it has been unusual to have this threesome of men on one starting
line, it is not new to have them racing on the New York City streets.
Altogether, the three have competed in New York 32 times in their careers.
"This is something of a coming-home party," said Wittenberg. "We welcome
three American favorites of New Yorkers and runners everywhere-marathon
champion Meb, and the ever- popular Abdi and Ryan."
After qualifying for the 2008 Olympic Games by winning the Trials in New
York City, Hall, 28, of Big Bear Lake, CA, went on to finish 10th in
Beijing. He is the only American to have broken the one-hour barrier in the
half-marathon, which he did by running 59:43 to win the 2007 Houston
Half-Marathon. In addition to the Olympic Trials, Hall found success in New
York when he won the 2006 USA Cross Country Championships 12K, and also in
his first appearance in the NYC Half-Marathon, in 2009, when he finished
"I love racing in New York. Every time I show up on the starting line I
feel an incredible sense of opportunity," said Hall. "I am honored to join
the great international and domestic field assembled in this year's
half-marathon. Having decided to run this year's race at an early date
allows me to plan accordingly so I can go after a strong performance at
both the NYC Half and the Boston Marathon to follow in four weeks' time."
Keflezighi, 35, of Mammoth Lakes, CA, also has a strong history in New
York. In 2009, he became the first American since 1982 to win the ING New
York City Marathon. He has finished in the top 10 in the Marathon four
other times, most recently with a sixth-place showing last year. A silver
medalist in the men's marathon at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens,
Keflezighi is a three-time USA cross country champion (2001, 2002, 2009)
and a two-time USA 8K champion (2003, 2004).
Abdirahman, 34, of Tucson, AZ, ran the 2007 NYC Half-Marathon in 1:00:29,
the third-fastest half-marathon in U.S. history, finishing second behind
Haile Gebrselassie's course record. He also set a then-personal best of
2:11:24 at the ING New York City Marathon 2005, finishing fifth. A
three-time Olympian, Abdirahman has earned twelve USA Championships at
10,000 meters, 10K, 10 miles, and 20K.
Other top Americans in the field:
Patrick Smyth, 24, of Mammoth Lakes, CA, was victorious at the Emerald Nuts
Midnight Run in 2009. He finished third at the USA Half-Marathon
Championships in Houston at the end of January in 1:02:32, on the same
course where he finished runner-up in 2010.
Serena Burla, 28, of Ellisville, MO, competed in the ING New York City
Marathon 2010 less than one year after being treated for a malignant tumor
in her hamstring. She found the tumor just a few weeks after competing in
the 2010 USA Half-Marathon Championship in Houston, where she finished
second. In January 2011, she finished second again in the same event, in a
time of 1:11:38.
On a course designed to celebrate New York City, the NYC Half-Marathon will
take more than 9,000 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's financial
district, finishing with a view of the Statue of Liberty.
New York Road Runners
Headquartered in New York City, New York Road Runners is dedicated to
advancing the sport of running, enhancing health and fitness for all, and
meeting our community's needs. Our goal is to use the expertise acquired in
our 52-year history to empower all people to live fitter, healthier lives
through participation in our races, community events, instruction and
training resources, and youth programs. Our races and other events draw
more than 300,000 people each year. The ING New York City Marathon, NYRR's
premier event, is the largest and most inclusive marathon in the world,
attracting the world's top professional runners every year and raising
$30.8 million for charity in 2010. NYRR's running-based youth programs,
which currently serve more than 100,000 children in hundreds of schools and
community centers, promote children's health and fitness, character
development, and personal achievement in underserved communities. For more
information, visit www.nyrr.org.