2011 adidas Grand Prix and New York Road Runners Salute Grete Waitz on June 11, release, note by Larry Eder

Joan Benoit Samuelson & Grete Waitz, 2005 ING NYCM, photo by Photorun.net

Grete Waitz was a quiet women, who lived her life with dignity and gave up her life with dignity. Besides being a trail blazing athlete-Waitz, like Shorter, made the marathon a real pursuit-and Waitz was a total cross country goddess, Grete was very thoughtful about her sport, her life and her husband, Jack.

That the adidas Grand Prix is saluting Grete on June 11 and that the New York Road Runners Club is joining in and also doing a year long remembrance of Grete just begins to show the influence on the modern sport of running that Grete had.

My belief is that, without women like Grete Waitz, Joan Benoit Samuelson, Jacqueline Hansen, Nina Kusick and many others, the sport would note have embraced women as it has.

The adidas Grand Prix and New York Road Runners will join together to honor the late Grete Waitz on Saturday, June 11 -- the date of two major running events in New York City.

NYRR will dedicate the 40th running of the NYRR New York Mini 10K to Waitz,
who shares the record of five wins with Tegla Loroupe. The Mini will take place in the morning on June 11 in Central Park.

The adidas Grand Prix will rename the women's 1500 meters the Grete Waitz 1500 Meters to honor Waitz's longtime association with adidas and the running success she found in New York City. The adidas Grand Prix, which is the sixth stop on the
international Samsung Diamond League circuit, will be in the afternoon at Icahn Stadium on Randall's Island.

Please see NYRR's press release below announcing plans for the weekend.
For more information on the adidas Grand Prix, visit www.adidasgrandprix.com.

Description: Description: NYRR_News_286_Header.jpg


Drea Braxmeier 212.423.2287 | [email protected]

Media Relations Department, New York Road Runners


For Immediate Release


Season-Long Tribute to the Late Grete Waitz Begins at the 40th Running of the NYRR New York Mini 10K


 Iconic women-only road race on Saturday, June 11, will be dedicated to Waitz 


Plans include the naming of the Grete Waitz 1500 Meters at the adidas Grand Prix Diamond League track meet, also on June 11   


New York, May 24, 2011--A season-long tribute to the late Grete Waitz will begin with the dedication of the 40th running of the NYRR New York Mini 10K to the great Norwegian athlete, it was announced today by New York Road Runners president and CEO Mary Wittenberg.


Waitz, who shares the record of five wins with Tegla Loroupe at the world's original women's only road race, also won a record nine New York City Marathon titles and was the silver medalist at the inaugural Olympic women's marathon in 1984. She passed away last month at the age of 57 after a long battle with cancer.


Future tributes and events in memory of Waitz are planned through the rest of the year at other NYRR events, including the ING New York City Marathon on Sunday, November 6.


"Grete was one of the true pioneers for women in our sport, and she had so much impact in so many ways, it's only appropriate that our tributes start at the world's original women-only road race, the Mini," said Wittenberg. 


"The Mini was always an important race for Grete. It was the first women-only road race she ran," said Grete's husband, Jack Waitz. "I am still impressed about the times Grete ran in Central Park. The Mini gave Grete the inspiration to start The Grete Waitz Run in Oslo in 1984, a race that 10 years later had 47,000 women running."


Special events to be introduced on race day and the weekend:


·         Waitz's image will be featured on the runner T-shirt, and the back of the finishing medal will be engraved with the words "Remembering  Grete"

·         New York Road Runners women staff members will be invited to run and will wear special commemorative T-shirts

·         A photo exposition of Waitz's career will be presented at the finishing area in Central Park, and the mile markers on the 6.2-mile course will be designed in her honor

·         A select group of Friends of Grete, led by her husband Jack Waitz, will run the race in her memory

·         The women's 1500 meters at the adidas Grand Prix Diamond League track meet--also on Saturday, June 11 at Icahn Stadium--will be renamed the Grete Waitz 1500 Meters to honor Grete's longtime association with adidas and the running success she found in New York City

·         An industry-wide tribute to Waitz, which will bring together athletes from the track and roads, industry leaders, journalists, NYRR officials, and staff, will be held the weekend of the NYRR New York Mini 10K   

Founded by NYRR in 1972, the Mini got its name when race founder Fred Lebow convinced the first sponsor to support a six-mile "mini marathon"--named for the miniskirt, which was then in fashion--rather than a full marathon. The Mini has been a fixture on the NYRR calendar ever since. The first race had 78 participants; there have been nearly 200,000 entrants to date.


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.

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