Meb Keflezighi winning 2009 ING NYCM, photo
Meb Keflezighi, the 2009 ING NYCM Marathon winner, and Deena Kastor, the 2004 Olympic bronze medalist and American Record holder, will both be running the ING New York City Marathon in the fall! Per the release from the New York Road Runners, both Meb and Deena expressed the significance of the race through five boroughs on their careers. (Meb Keflezighi is running BAA Boston on April 19, and Deena Kastor is running Virgin London Marathon on April 26).
Deena Kastor, 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials, photo by PhotoRun.net.
The fact is that Meb Keflezighi (AR, 10,000 m, 2004 silver medalist, 2009 ING NYCM champ), and Deena Kastor (2004 Olympic bronze medalist, 2005 B of A Chicago Marathon champ, 2006 Flora London Marathon Champ, former AR at
10,000m, silver & bronze medalist, World XC) have lead a renaissance in American distance running.
Meb finishing 2004 U.S. Oly Trials 10,000 meters, photo by PhotoRun.net.
By raising the bar themselves, they have challenged other American runners to go to the next level. For most of the past decade, both Meb & Deena have been at the pinnacle of our sport, and to see them racing so well, with some great young runners in their footsteps, attests to the health of American distance running….
Deena, 2004 U.S. Olympic Trials 10,000 meters, photo by PhotoRun.net.
The other fact that should be understood is the significance of the support of the major marathon directors: Guy Morse of BAA Boston, Carey Pinkowski of B of A Chicago and Mary Wittenberg of ING New York in supporting the continued development of American distance running. Add to this group, two Brits, Dave Bedford of Virgin London and Ian Stewart of UK Athletics (Aviva Meetings), who consciously and purposely, bring U.S. athletes to their events, giving them a chance to run against the cream of the crop. Great athletes need to be nurtured, and they have to race against the best to know where they really stand. The five people mentioned above, in their unique ways, support the development of American distance running, and they should be recognized.
(This does not belittle the huge support by the major footwear companies–who represent the greatest sponsorship revenue in our sport–or the coaches and training groups for the top athletes. It has been a group effort, but RBR feels that is important to note the support given my top marathon directors).
Deena Kastor setting AR of 2:19:36 at 2006 FLORA (now Virgin) London Marathon, photo by PhotoRun.net.
Keflezighi, Kastor Announce Return to 2010 ING New York City Marathon
New York, April 7, 2010â€”Americans Meb Keflezighi, the ING New York City Marathon 2009 champion, and Deena Kastor, the nationâ€™s finest female long distance runner of the past decade, were announced for this yearâ€™s ING New York City Marathon, along with the first runners selected from the lottery, by New York Road Runners president and CEO Mary Wittenberg on Wednesday, April 7, in the first-ever live streaming of the lottery selection.
The lottery show, which can be seen at http://www.nyrrvideo.org/, was hosted by veteran sports announcer Bruce Beck and Wittenberg from the Parker Meridian Hotel overlooking Central Park.
Meb & the pack, 2009 ING NYCM, photo by PhotoRun.net.
â€œWith Mebâ€™s win last year and Deenaâ€™s gutsy efforts over the years, they have become part of the magic and history of our marathon,â€ said Wittenberg. â€œWe are so pleased to welcome them back today, as we warmly welcome runners from around the globe to our ING NYC Marathon 2010.â€
Keflezighi, 34, returns after last yearâ€™s historic triumph, when he became the first American winner of the race in the 27 years since Alberto Salazarâ€™s third win in 1982. Keflezighiâ€™s victory, in a personal-best time of 2 hours, 9 minutes, and 15 seconds, was the pinnacle of an already illustrious marathon career that began with his debut in New York in 2002 and was highlighted by his silver medal at the 2004 Athens Olympic Marathon. Keflezighi will be one of the top contenders in this monthâ€™s Boston Marathon.
â€œThe ING New York City Marathon has been the core race in my marathon career,â€ said Keflezighi, who will be making his fifth start in New York. â€œI came back several times looking for that elusive victory and I finally got it. I hope that my victory on November 1, 2009 teaches us that while we may not accomplish our dreams and goals overnight, we need to stay committed.â€
Kastor, 37, made her marathon debut in New York in 2001 and will be making her fourth start in the five-borough challenge; her best finish has been her sixth place in 2006. The 2004 Olympic Marathon bronze medalist, Kastor has won World Marathon Majors titles in Chicago and London. She is one of the leading contenders in this monthâ€™s Virgin London Marathon.
â€œI was brought to tears when Meb won [last year] against a stellar field of the worldâ€™s best, and Iâ€™m inspired to commit to succeeding in New York come November,â€ said Kastor. â€œThe ING New York City Marathon is a perfect representation of the diversity that the city is known for, and itâ€™s wonderful to be part of such high-spirited celebration of running.â€
More than 120,000 applicationsâ€”the most in historyâ€”were received by New York Road Runners officials, who plan for a starting field of between 42,000 and 43,000. This is the fourth consecutive year in which 100,000 or more applications have been received for the five-borough race.
â€œA quantum leap in the number of marathon applicants, in the midst of the recession, speaks volumes about the importance of the ING NEW York City Marathon in the lives of so many,â€ said Wittenberg.
Reflecting the worldwide interest in the race, the list of the first entrants announced spans the globeâ€”from Oslo, Norway, to Eugene, Oregon, and from SÃ£o Paulo, Brazil, to Portland, Maine. The first lottery winners named were Victoria Salbu of Oslo, Norway; Rebecca Slater of Oxford, United Kingdom; Gustavo Bueno of SÃ£o Paulo, Brazil; Seiichi Tanabe of Tokyo, Japan; Trae Richardson of Eugene, OR; Jordon Medeiros of Detroit, MI; Dr. William Burnett of Dallas, TX; Meredith Pendleton of Portland, ME; and Lynn Berman of New York City, NY.
For more on the ING NYCM, please click on www.nyrr.org
For more on the marathon majors, please click on www.worldmarathonmajors.com.
For more on the sport of running, please click on www.runningnetwork.com.