Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Running with the Olympians

One of the reasons I especially love being a marathoner is knowing that I am PARTICIPATING IN THE SAME EVENT as that sport's greatest athletes in the world. Not even golf's U.S. Open can give that kind of opportunity. Anyone can do this, even if it means raising funds for charity and a guaranteed entry, as long as you have the means to get to Fort Wadsworth for the start line on Nov. 3. I don't mind that the elite runners are finishing far ahead of me; it's the same event, the same shared start, the same fluid stations, crowds and bands, the same finish line and clocks, the same medals.

Today's news reaffirms that feeling. New York Road Runners just announced that Meb Keflezighi, Ryan Hall and Kara Goucher will be among the pro field in the ING New York City Marathon. I look forward to being at Fort Wadsworth in Staten Island with them and then following their lead. Finishing is what matters most! Here's the @nyrrnews story:

NEW YORK -- Three of the nation’s most accomplished and admired long-distance runners—Meb Keflezighi, Ryan Hall, and Kara Goucher—will run the 2013 ING New York City Marathon on Sunday, November 3, it was announced today by New York Road Runners president and CEO Mary Wittenberg. The talented trio will lead a group of highly competitive U.S. athletes who are the first official entrants into this year’s professional athlete field. Keflezighi, Hall, and Goucher are among the total of six Olympic athletes confirmed thus far, along with 2012 U.S. Olympians Julie Culley (5000 meters), Amy Hastings (10,000 meters), and Janet Bawcom (10,000 meters).
Additional top American men announced for the race include two-time fourth-place Boston Marathon finisher Jason Hartmann, last year’s eighth-ranked U.S. marathoner Ryan Vail, and 2013 World Championships team member Jeffrey Eggleston. Other top American women include 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials 10,000-meter fifth-place finisher Alisha Williams, 2013 USA Half-Marathon Champion Adriana Nelson, and Mattie Suver, the top American finisher at the 2013 Oakley New York Mini 10K.
Athlete Backgrounds and Notable Performances
·       Keflezighi, 38, of San Diego, CA, was the 2004 Athens Olympic Marathon silver medalist and finished fourth in the 2012 London Olympic Marathon. In 2009, he became the first American since Alberto Salazar in 1982 to win the ING New York City Marathon. Keflezighi has finished in the top 10 in the ING New York City Marathon six times, most recently with a sixth-place finish in 2011.
·       Hall, 30, of Redding, CA, will be running the ING New York City Marathon for the second time after finishing fourth in 2009 in 2:10:36. He finished 10th in the 2008 Beijing Olympic Marathon, but was forced to drop out of the 2012 London race with a hamstring injury. At the 2011 Boston Marathon, Hall took fourth place in a time of 2:04:58—the fastest all-conditions performance ever run by an American. He holds the American half-marathon record at 59:43.
·       Goucher, 35, of Portland, OR, ran the fastest-ever-marathon-debut by an American woman when she finished third at the 2008 ING New York City Marathon in a time of 2:25:33, also the fastest time ever by an American woman in New York. It was the first time in 14 years that an American woman had placed in the top three at the race. At the Boston Marathon, Goucher has finished third in 2009, fifth in 2011 (in a personal-best 2:24:52), and sixth this year. She finished 11th in the 2012 London Olympic Marathon in a time of 2:26:07. She was the 2007 World Championships bronze medalist at 10,000 meters.
Ryan Hall
“I have one goal in mind for this year’s ING New York City Marathon: redemption—restore what has been lost.  I have had my fair share of struggles since qualifying for the 2012 London Olympic Marathon; however, those struggles are now behind me and the lessons learned are paving the path to what I hope is a very redemptive ING New York City Marathon. I am expecting this year’s race to be the most inspirational race in recent memory.”
Meb Keflezighi
“Running the ING New York City Marathon is always a great pleasure and honor for me. This year's race will be extra- special because of the cancellation last year. As always, I will train and ‘run to win.’”
Kara Goucher
“I am so excited to be returning to the ING New York City Marathon. So much in my life has changed during the five years since I last ran this race, but my love for NYC remains the same; it feels like a full-circle moment to return to NYC, where my marathon career began and to return with my son. NYRR has been such an incredible and supportive part of my marathon career. I have been eager to return to NYC when the timing was right, and the time is now.  I look forward to testing myself in the most prestigious marathon in the world.”
Mary Wittenberg
“Meb, Ryan, and Kara are examples of what is so great about our sport—competitors who overcome obstacles, keep going, and help lift the running community. On Marathon Day we’ll run for our City, for Boston, and for runners everywhere. In this year of added meaning, it is an honor to welcome back so many of our City’s and our nation’s favorite American runners and to have these three great athletes lead us as the spirit and excitement of this great race returns to New York.”

Elite Men
Marathon Personal Best
Ryan Hall
Meb Keflezighi
Jason Hartmann
Ryan Vail
Jeff Eggleston
Elite Women
Marathon Personal Best
Twitter Handle
Kara Goucher
Amy Hastings
Adriana Nelson
Janet Bawcom
Alisha Williams
Mattie Suver
    Julie Culley          

Also follow me on Twitter @marathoner

No comments: