FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Long Distance Legend Haile Gebrselassie to Run
2010 ING New York City Marathon
This marks the marathon world record-holder's ING New York City Marathon
debut and his first major marathon in the United States
New York, June 2, 2010-Long-distance legend, multiple Olympic and World
Championships gold medalist, and marathon world record-holder Haile
Gebrselassie of Ethiopia will make his first career appearance at the ING
New York City Marathon 2010 on November 7, it was announced today by New
York Road Runners president and CEO Mary Wittenberg.
"It is pretty much a thrill of a lifetime for us to host Haile in the
marathon," said Wittenberg. "We have looked forward to this day for
literally years. Haile represents the very best of our sport and more. We
are privileged and honored to bring him here. I know he'll touch New
Yorkers, as he has touched fans around the world."
The announcement was made at Icahn Stadium, where Gebrselassie joined 1,500
schoolchildren for the New York Road Runners Mighty Milers Fun Run as part
of the second annual National Running Day celebration.
"It has been a long dream of mine to compete in this outstanding event, and
I'm so excited about competing for the first time in my career in the ING
New York City Marathon this November," said Gebrselassie. "I know my
longtime friend Tesfaye Jifar has the course record in New York and with
all of us in the field I believe that we might be able to make it a race
which can be remembered for a long time as a historical race."
Widely considered the greatest distance runner of all time, Gebrselassie,
37, set the marathon world record in 2008 at the real,- Berlin Marathon
with a time of 2:03:59. Gebrselassie has focused on road racing and the
marathon since the 2004 Olympic Games, and he captured his first title in a
World Marathon Majors race in Berlin in 2006. In addition to four straight
wins in Berlin, he has also claimed marathon victories in Amsterdam (2005),
Fukuoka, Japan (2006), and Dubai (2008, 2009, 2010).
The 1996 and 2000 Olympic 10,000-meter gold medalist has won 124 races,
only four of which (Atlanta, Boston, Tempe, and New York) have been in the
United States. He has now set 25 world records in his illustrious career
with a total of 15 senior medals at the Olympic Games (2), World Outdoor
Championships (7), World Indoor Championships (4), World Half-Marathon
Championships (1), and World Cross Country Championships (1).
It was also announced today that fresh off his course-record victory of
2:09:34 at the Ottawa Marathon on Sunday, Arata Fujiwara of Japan will run
in this year's race. Fuijwara, 28, was twice the runner-up at the Tokyo
Marathon (2008 and 2010) and was third at the Fukuoka Marathon in 2008. No
Japanese man or woman has won the ING New York City Marathon.
New York Road Runners
New York Road Runners, founded in 1958, is dedicated to promoting the sport
of distance running, enhancing health and fitness for all, and responding
to community needs. Our road races and other fitness programs draw upwards
of 300,000 runners annually, and together with our magazine and website
support and promote professional and recreational running. A staff of more
than 100, assisted by thousands of volunteers, stages the ING New York City
Marathon, as well as a road race nearly every weekend plus many track and
cross country events. NYRR's home base in New York, and its lifelong
identification with Central Park, have given many of its events iconic
status, attracting the world's top professional runners. Our youth programs
provide running to nearly 100,000 schoolchildren in New York City, around
the country, and in South Africa who would otherwise have few or no fitness
opportunities. For more information, visit www.nyrr.org.
The ING New York City Marathon
The premier event of New York Road Runners, the ING New York City Marathon
is one of the world's great road races, drawing nearly 105,000 applicants.
The race attracts many world-class professional athletes, not only for the
more than $600,000 in prize money, but also for the chance to excel in the
media capital of the world before two million cheering spectators and a
worldwide broadcast reach of 330 million. As any one of the more than
830,000 past participants will attest, crossing the finish line in Central
Park is one of the great thrills of a lifetime. For more information visit