FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Sara Hunninghake
Media Relations Department
New York Road Runners
Catherine Ndereba, Elva Dryer, Tatiana Hladyr, and Constantina Tomescu-Dita
Join Professional Women's Field at the ING New York City Marathon 2007
"Leading ladies" to join two-time defending champion Jelena Prokopcuka
Top wheelchair athletes, including 2006 champion Amanda McGrory, to compete
New York, September 6, 2007—Newly crowned IAAF World Marathon Champion
Catherine Ndereba of Kenya and two-time U.S. Olympian Elva Dryer joined a
professional field of "leading ladies" to compete at the ING New York City
Marathon 2007 on Sunday, November 4, it was announced today by New York
Road Runners president and CEO and race director Mary Wittenberg. Ukrainian
national record-holder Tatiana Hladyr, who finished second in New York in
2006, will return, while Olympian Constantina Tomescu-Dita of Romania will
make her ING New York City Marathon debut.
These athletes join the previously announced two-time defending champion
Jelena Prokopcuka of Latvia in a dazzling women's field for the 38th
running of the famed five-borough race that will also serve as the
culminating race in the inaugural World Marathon Majors series.
"With the top three finishers from last year back in Jelena, Tatiana, and
Catherine, this year's race is one to watch," said Wittenberg. "The potent
mix becomes even more intriguing with the addition of Constantina and Elva
to the field."
Ndereba, 35, reclaimed the World Championships crown she first won in 2003
on Sunday with a time of two hours, 30 minutes, 37 seconds. The victory
sends Ndereba up the World Marathon Majors (WMM) leaderboard into a tie for
fourth place and gives her a chance to catch the front-running Prokopcuka
for the overall WMM women's title and $500,000 jackpot prize.
Ndereba is a four-time champion of the Boston Marathon and a two-time
winner of the LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon, with only a New York title
missing from her glittering resume.
"This is a very special year," said Ndereba, the runner-up in New York in
1999 and 2003. "I just won my gold medal in the World Championships and it
feels wonderful to be heading back to New York. To win there means quite a
lot. I have been running all those races in the U.S. and have won almost
everything, but not New York. If get it I will have all of them in my bag."
Dryer, 35, of Albuquerque, finished second at the USA 20K Championships in
New Haven, CT, on Monday in a personal-best time of 1:07:18. After starting
her 2007 season by winning the USA Half-Marathon Championships in Houston
in January with a debut of 1:11:42, Dryer will round out the season with
her ING New York City Marathon debut.
"I am really excited to be running my first ING New York City Marathon,"
said Dryer, a 2000 and 2004 Olympian. " It is a stepping stone to the U.S.
Olympic Trials and hopefully a spot on the U.S. Olympic team for the 2008
Beijing Olympics. I am looking forward to the challenge of the ING New York
City Marathon and I know it will be an experience to remember."
In her second consecutive ING New York City Marathon appearance last year,
Hladyr, 32, was the only competitor who could keep up with the pace set by
eventual champion Prokopcuka into the 20th mile, and eventually finished
exactly one minute behind the winner in 2:26:05.
Tomescu-Dita, 37, who won the 2004 LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon, will be
making her ING New York City Marathon debut after finishing third at the
2007 Flora London Marathon. Forced to withdraw from the IAAF World
Championships Marathon in Osaka on Sunday due to tendinitis in her right
knee, Tomescu-Dita is not expected to miss much training time.
The women's professional wheelchair athlete field includes every female
wheelchair winner in the ING New York City Marathon since 2001, the first
year that prize money was awarded in the wheelchair race. The past winners
include Francesca Porcellato, 37, of Italy (2001); Cheri Blauwet, 27, of
the United States (2002 and 2003); Edith Hunkeler, 35, of Switzerland, the
course record-holder (2004 and 2005); and defending champion Amanda
McGrory, 21, of the United States.
Ndereba, Dryer, Hladyr, and Tomescu-Dita join Prokopcuka, 2006 men's
champion Marilson Gomes dos Santos, and 2004 champion Hendrick Ramaala for
the ING New York City Marathon 2007, one of five events in the World
Marathon Majors series that showcases the sport's top athletes and awards
an unprecedented $1 million champion's prize. The WMM also includes the
Boston Marathon, the Flora London Marathon, the real,- Berlin-Marathon, and
the LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon.
JUST THE FACTS
The Leading Ladies
|Name||Catherine Ndereba||Constantina Tomescu-Dita||Tatiana Hladyr||Elva Dryer ||Jelena Prokopcuka
|Hometown||Nairobi, Kenya||Boulder, CO /Targu-jiu, Romania||Kiev, Ukraine||Albuquerque, N.M.||Jurmala, Latvia|
|Marathon Personal Best||2:18:47, Chicago, 2001||2:21:30, Chicago, 2005||2:25:44, Rome, 2006||2:31:48, Chicago, 2006||2:22:56, Osaka, 2005|