FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Kim Smith Joins Veterans Gete Wami and Dire Tune
in the ING New York City Marathon 2008
Hayley Haining, Lyubov Morgunova and Kara Goucher all
"leading ladies" in the 39th running of the five-borough classic
NEW YORK - (September 22, 2008) - First-time marathoner Kim Smith of New
Zealand and a trio of time-tested champions, including Ethiopians Gete Wami
and Dire Tune and Russian Lyubov Morgunova, will compete at the ING New
York City Marathon 2008 on Sunday, November 2, it was announced by New York
Road Runners president and CEO Mary Wittenberg.
Also announced was the 36-year-old Briton Hayley Haining, who set a
personal record of 2:29:18 in the London Marathon earlier this year. The
five leading ladies join the previously announced United States Olympian
and IAAF World Championships 10,000 meter bronze medalist, Kara Goucher,
who will be making her much-anticipated marathon debut in the final race of
the 2007-08 World Marathon Majors Series.
"What a cast of stars we have gathered as, once again, the leading ladies
of the marathon world will be out front and center on race day," Wittenberg
said. "With more announcements to follow, it's already a potent mix, with
highly-touted rookies Kim Smith and Kara Goucher joining steely-eyed
veterans like Gete, Dire, and Lyubov."
A two-time Olympian, Smith, 26, is one of New Zealand's finest distance
runners, holding seven New Zealand national records. Only two Kiwis have
won the New York City Marathon: Allison Roe in 1981, setting a world best
time of 2:25:29, and Rod Dixon in 1983, running in 2:08:59.
"We Kiwis have a great distance running tradition and I would love to
enhance this tradition in New York City on November 2," Smith said. "I have
always wanted to run the marathon distance and now is the right time for
me. I am really excited to run my debut marathon at the ING New York City
Wami, 37, is the reigning World Marathon Majors series champion and was
runner-up to Paula Radcliffe at last year's ING New York City Marathon. She
is a two-time Berlin Marathon champion (2006-07). She holds the Ethiopian
national record in the marathon and has won three Olympic medals (silver,
10,000 meters, 2000; bronze, 5000 meters, 2000; bronze, 10,000 meters,
Tune, 23, is the 2008 Boston Marathon champion and two-time winner and
course record holder of the Chevron Houston Marathon. She represented
Ethiopia in the Olympic Games this year in the marathon.
Morgunova, 37, won the 2008 Rotterdam Marathon in a personal best time of
The women's professional wheelchair field includes all three medalists in
the 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing, including gold medal winner and
reigning course record holder and champion from last year, Edith Hunkeler
At the ING New York City Marathon 2007, Hunkeler broke her own course
record, which she set when she won the 2004 race. American silver medalist
Amanda McGrory returns for her third year - she placed third in 2007 and
won in her debut in 2006. Swiss bronze medalist Sandra Graf has finished
among the top five in each of her appearances since 2004. Shelly Woods of
Great Britain, Beijing bronze medalist in the 1500 meters, will be making
her fifth consecutive appearance at the ING New York City Marathon.
For more information, visit: INGnycmarathon.org