FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Richard Finn-(212)423-2229
Abdi Abdirahman Leads a Quartet of Top American Men
Joining the Field for the ING New York City Marathon 2005
NEW YORK - (September 28, 2005) - Abdi Abdirahman, the national record
holder at 20K, leads three other American men - Ryan Shay, Matt Downin and
Peter Gilmore - as the latest additions to the field for the ING New York
City Marathon 2005, it was announced by New York Road Runners president and
CEO and race director Mary Wittenberg.
The four athletes join previously announced Meb Keflezighi, the 2004
Olympic silver medalist and ING New York City Marathon 2004 runner-up, to
make up one of the strongest American fields in recent years. The runners
will be put to a stern test against a stellar lineup featuring world record
holder Paul Tergat of Kenya, defending champion Hendrick Ramaala of South
Africa and reigning two-time world champion Jaouad Gharib of Morocco.
The announcement was made just days before Shay and Downin were scheduled
to represent the United States at the IAAF World Championships
Half-Marathon on Saturday, October 1, in Edmonton, Canada.
Abdirahman, 28, of Tucson, Ariz., made his marathon debut at the ING New
York City Marathon 2004, placing 14th in 2:17:09. A five-time World Cross
Country team member, Abdirahman is also a two-time Olympian at 10,000
meters. He has had perhaps his greatest season to date in 2005, with a
runner-up finish at the USA 8K Championship in March, a win at the USA 10
Mile Championship in April, a 10,000 meter national title (28:10.38) in
June and an American record-setting run at the USA 20K Championship (58:42)
earlier this month.
"Abdi has all the talent in the world and has just scratched the surface of
what he can do over the marathon distance," said Wittenberg. "Watch for him
as the dark horse in this year's field."
Shay, 26, of East Jordan, Mich., became only the sixth American man since
1993 to break into the top 10 with an impressive ninth place finish
(2:14:08) at the ING New York City Marathon 2004. In 2005, the Team Running
USA athlete has sustained his reputation as the most consistent presence on
the American distance running scene, winning the USA 15K Championship and
capturing fourth place at the USA 8K Championship, 11th place at the BAA
Boston Marathon and the runner-up spot at the USA 20K Championship.
Downin, 28, of Norwood, N.J., was the top American finisher in the ING New
York City Marathon 2003 with his 17th place finish (2:18.48); he ran
2:18:50 in 2004 to place 16th. Enjoying one of his best-ever seasons in
2005, Downin finished third in the USA Track & Field Championships at
10,000 meters and fourth in the USA 20K Championship.
Gilmore, 28, of San Mateo, Calif., ran a breakthrough race at the 2005 BAA
Boston Marathon in April, finishing 10th, and represented the United States
at the IAAF World Championships Marathon in August.
"Last year, both Meb and Ryan cracked the top 10 here," said Wittenberg.
"With this group of men in the field, there is no reason why we should not
expect to have more Americans break into the top 10 this year."
The ING New York City Marathon 2005 will be run on Sunday, November 6.
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 more than 85,000
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 260 million worldwide television viewers. As any one of the
635,000 past participants will attest, crossing the finish line in Central
Park is one of the great thrills of a lifetime. For more information,