FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Trio of Champions Meb Keflezighi, Gebre Gebremariam, and Edna Kiplagat
Announced on ING New York City Marathon 2011 Opening Day
Eight-time Olympic speed-skating medalist Apolo Anton Ohno will make his
marathon debut in New York on Sunday, November 6
NYRR Live at Opening Day broadcast from Columbus Circle featured hosts
Bruce Beck, Al Roker, and Cat Greenleaf
Record number of 140,000 applications received; economic impact of last
year's race announced at $340 million
New York, April 27, 2011—On ING New York City Marathon Opening Day 2011,
New York Road Runners president and CEO Mary Wittenberg announced the
return of a trio of champions on the broadcast of NYRR Live from Columbus
Circle. Headlining the field on Sunday, November 6, will be 2010 winners
Gebre Gebremariam of Ethiopia and Edna Kiplagat of Kenya and 2009 champion
Meb Keflezighi of the United States.
Keflezighi, the first American to win the race since Alberto Salazar in
1982, was joined by three-time U.S. Olympian Jen Rhines and eight-time
Olympic speed skating medalist Apolo Anton Ohno on the NYRR Live half-hour
show hosted by Today Show personality Al Roker, veteran WNBC sportscaster
Bruce Beck, and WNBC reporter Cat Greenleaf. Both Rhines and Ohno were also
announced by Wittenberg for this year's race, to be run on Sunday, November
Seen on tv.nyrr.org, NYRR Live was broadcast just steps from the famed
marathon course and featured a special drawing of entrants for the race,
along with prizes and giveaways to the live audience of several hundred.
NYRR officials anticipate a race-record 140,000 applicants, with a record
90,000 in the drawing for about 45,000 starting spots. At the end of the
show, entrants will learn of their acceptance status on the tv.nyrr.org
The findings of a NYRR study based on a survey of more than 1,000
participants from last year's race indicates a total economic impact of
approximately $340 million for New York City, Wittenberg announced. This
represents a 25-percent jump since the last study, done in 2006, and was
accompanied by a growth in the charity program that raised more than $30
million in 2010.
"Opening day, our launch to marathon season, is the starting line for our
extended marathon family of professionals like Meb, Gebre, Edna, and Jen,
our celebrity stars like Apolo, all the runners from around the country and
the world who have secured coveted spots in the race, and their friends,
family, and fans, who are now all on the road to the finish at the greatest
day in running, the ING New York City Marathon," said Wittenberg.
Keflezighi, 35, of Mammoth Lakes, CA, is a New York favorite who will be
running the race for the seventh time and has showed remarkable
consistency, with five top-10 finishes including his historic triumph in
2009 and last year's sixth-place finish as the top American. He'll get
extra attention this year, as he's looking to run both New York and the
U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials race in Houston in January 2012.
"Marathons are always challenging, but I'm challenging myself further with
my goal to run both the ING New York City Marathon 2011 and the 2012 U.S.
Olympic Marathon Trials," said Keflezighi. "This timing and challenge is
very similar to 2004, when I won the silver medal at the Olympic Games and
was the runner-up in the ING New York City Marathon 70 days later. This
experience gives me, Coach Bob Larsen, and the rest of my team the
confidence to pursue the goal of winning the ING New York City Marathon
again, and making a third U.S. Olympic team."
Keflezighi will match up against the defending champion, Gebremariam, 26,
of Ethiopia. Since winning the ING New York City Marathon in 2 hours, 8
minutes, and 14 seconds, Gebremariam has finished second at the NYC Half in
March in a time of 1:00:25 and third at the Boston Marathon last week in a
time of 2:04:53.
Ohno, 28, of Seattle, is the most decorated USA Winter Olympian of all
time, having skated his way to two gold, two silver, and four bronze
short-track speed skating medals. He has already demonstrated his
excellence off his skates by winning the reality TV show Dancing with the
Stars in 2007, but running his first 26.2-mile race will be by far one of
his biggest career challenges.
"Running a marathon is something that I've never done, and I am super
excited to take on this incredible challenge," said Ohno, who took up the
challenge by his fellow Subway® enthusiast Jared Fogle, who finished
last year's ING New York City Marathon. "I hope my journey can serve as an
inspiration for others to meet their health goals, get their nutrition in
order, and ultimately make smarter lifestyle choices."
Kiplagat, 31, of Kenya, continued her success after her victory, taking
second place at the NYC Half in March in a time of 1:09:00. She finished
third at the Virgin London Marathon last week, running 2:20:46.
Rhines, 36, of Mammoth Lakes, CA, is coming off a five-year marathon hiatus
after finishing fourth in the Rome Marathon on March 26, 2006. She competed
in the 2004 Olympic marathon, but has recently focused on shorter
distances, including the 5000 meters, which she ran in the 2008 Olympic
Games in Beijing. Rhines has already won two national championships this
year, claiming the half-marathon crown in January and the 15K title last
"It is with great excitement and anticipation that I return to the streets
of New York this fall," said Rhines, who last ran New York in 2005. "My
training this year shows me that I am stronger than ever, and I will be
ready to reach a new personal best. I can't wait to be fighting for a place
on the podium this November!"
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 53-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.
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 some 140,000 applicants.
The race attracts many world-class professional athletes, not only for the
$800,000 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 875,000 past
participants will attest, crossing the finish line in Central Park is one
of the great thrills of a lifetime. For more information, visit