FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Contact: Richard Finn +1 212 423-2229
Amie Desautels +1 212 423 2294
WOMEN'S ELITE RACE WILL START FIRST AT THE 2002 NEW YORK CITY MARATHON
NEW YORK, July 23 - For the first time in any major marathon in the United
States, the women's elite race at the 2002 New York City Marathon on Sunday,
November 3 will start 35 minutes before the men's elite and open race, it
was announced today by New York Road Runners (NYRR) officials.
The women's elite race, with an expected starting field of 50 competitors,
will start at 10:40 a.m. on the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge in Staten Island.
The men's elite race, also with an expected starting field of nearly 50
competitors, and the open race with an expected starting field of 30,000
will begin from the same location at 11:15 a.m. The start of the wheelchair
division, including handcycles, will remain at 10:20 a.m.
"For the last 30 years New York Road Runners has been a leader in promoting
women's running. By moving the women's start before the men, the women will
enjoy unprecedented live TV coverage on WNBC-Ch 4 and be the focus of
attention for the 2.5 million fans out on the course at the New York City
Marathon," said Allan Steinfeld, president and CEO of NYRR and the New York
City Marathon race director.
"This year's women's elite race is shaping up to be one of the strongest and
most competitive ones in our history, so the timing is right to make this
break from the past and put the women first," said Steinfeld.
"The new elite women's start at the New York City Marathon is an ideal
situation," said U.S. Olympian Marla Runyan, who will be making her marathon
debut in New York. "This type of start allows us to focus on our
competition directly, while not having to worry about maneuvering among
masses of people. This could very well enable the field to post some of the
fastest times ever run on the course."
Rules of competition for the women's elite race are:
· The field will consist of all women reasonably expected to run sub two
hours and 40 minutes (2:40) in the opinion of New York City Marathon
· Only runners in the elite race will be eligible for open prize money and
open time bonuses.
The New York City Marathon has a guaranteed prize money purse of $475,000
and offers equal prize money of $80,000 and a Pontiac Vibe to the men's and
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