NEW YORK, Aug. 29, 2012—Come November 4, the U.S. Men’s Olympic Marathon team will have another shot at glory. New York Road Runners announced today that London Olympians Meb Keflezighi and Abdi Abdirahman will join the previously announced Ryan Hall at the ING New York City Marathon.
“It’s a good day when we are announcing the equivalent of the USA Men’s Dream Team in marathon running,” said NYRR president and CEO Mary Wittenberg.
Keflezighi, the 2009 ING New York City Marathon champion, finished fourth in the 2012 London Olympic Marathon. It was only the second time an American man has finished in the marathon top five since Frank Shorter earned silver in 1976. The other? Keflezighi’s own silver medal at the 2004 Athens Olympics. Keflezighi has proven himself to be America’s marathoner to beat. He’s finished in the top 10 at the ING New York City Marathon six times and has won more that 20 U.S. titles during his career.
“I’m excited to celebrate the 10th anniversary of my debut in the marathon by running the 2012 ING New York City Marathon,” said Keflezighi, 37. “By this November, I will have run eight of the last 10 NYC Marathons. I’m thankful for not only winning the race in 2009, but also finishing in the top 10 in all but one. I would like to thank NYRR for introducing me to the marathon and supporting me every step of the way, including my 2004 Olympic silver medal, through injuries, and podium finishes in WMM [World Marathon Majors] races.”
Along with the stellar field of American runners, NYRR is introducing a $100,000 prize purse for U.S. citizens to be split amongst the top five male and female finishers. Combined with the Open and NYRR Member Divisions, the race’s total prize purse is $853,000.
Chasing Keflezighi for the American purse and the win will be two-time Olympian Ryan Hall and four-time Olympian Abdi Abdirahman, who both dropped out of the 2012 Olympic Marathon in London mid-race due to injuries.
Hall, 29, is the U.S. record holder in the half-marathon and owns the fastest marathon time ever posted by an American—2:04:58 at the 2011 Boston Marathon. Hall ran the ING New York City Marathon in 2009, finishing fourth.
Abdirahman, 35, is a four-time U.S. 10,000-meter champion who owns a second place finish at the 2007 NYC Half and a fifth place finish at the 2005 ING New York City Marathon.
Rounding out the American men’s field are Jason Hartmann and Brett Gotcher. Hartmann, 31, took fourth at the 2012 Boston Marathon. Gotcher, 28, U.S. will be making his ING New York City Marathon debut.
In the men’s wheelchair race, ING New York City Marathon veterans Krige Schabort, Adam Bleakney, and Josh George lead a deep American field.
“It looks like we will have the largest contingent of American men in the field this year,” said race coordinator Bob Laufer. “No American man has won the division title since its inception in 2000. Krige Schabort was the winner twice while competing for South Africa and is now a U.S. citizen. Perhaps this is the year an American will end up on the top of the podium.”
The 2012 ING New York City Marathon on Nov. 4 will be televised live nationally on ESPN2 and ESPN3 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. ET, and locally in New York on WABC-TV and 7online.com from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Karla Bruning is a veteran journalist and running nerd. She has completed four marathons, two triathlons, trains with the New York Harriers and is a member of New York Road Runners. Follow Karla’s “Notes From a Running Nerd” at RunKarlaRun.com, Facebook and Twitter@KBruning.
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