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Lisa Dobriskey, Ricky Soos, and Brian Olinger to Celebrate the Countdown to 2009 at the 31st Annual Emerald Nuts Midnight Run in Central Park on December 31

American service members to stage second companion midnight run in Camp Al Taqaddum, Iraq

New York, December 11, 2008—British Olympians Lisa Dobriskey and Ricky Soos and NCAA All-American Brian Olinger lead a competitive field and over 5,000 participants that will ring in the new year at the Emerald Nuts Midnight Run on December 31 in Central Park, it was announced today by New York Road Runners president and CEO Mary Wittenberg.

For the second year, more than 300 military personal stationed in Camp Al Taqaddum, Iraq, will start their own Midnight Run at the stroke of midnight—eight time zones ahead of New York. Lieutenant Tiffany Perng of Fort Lee, NJ, was inspired to organize the race, having been a New York Road Runners member before being stationed at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, CA, in 2005. Perng’s parents, who live in New Jersey, plan to participate in this year’s Midnight Run in Central Park.

Since its founding in 1978, the Emerald Nuts Midnight Run continues to be a unique and cost-efficient New York New Year’s event. Runners and spectators looking for a fun, healthy way to celebrate the holiday without fighting the crowds in Times Square can look no further than Central Park. 

“Over the past 30 years the Emerald Nuts Midnight Run has become the biggest New Year’s Eve party in New York City,” Wittenberg said. “Runners and non-runners alike look forward to all of the festivities that this event has to offer.”

The event kicks off with a dance party and costume contest at 10:00 p.m. and a parade beginning at 11:00 p.m. At the stroke of midnight, the runners will begin their non-scored four-mile run through Central Park, dazzled by a 17-minute fireworks show. A non-alcoholic champagne station near mile two will be available for runners who want to toast the new year.

Lisa Dobriskey found success on the roads of New York City this year with a victory in the famed Continental Airlines Fifth Avenue Mile in September; her time of 4:18.6 was the second-fastest in the event’s history. The 24-year-old narrowly missed the podium in the 1500 meters at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, finishing fourth. On the men’s side, Ricky Soos, who competed in the 800 meters at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games, will challenge 2004 Big Ten 5000-meter champion Brian Olinger of Columbus, OH.

New York Road Runners will offer a prize purse of $2,000, including $500 apiece to the male and female winners. 

“Here at New York Road Runners, we encourage people year-round to stay physically fit through running and exercise,” Wittenberg said. “There is no better time or way to start the new year than by participating in this fun-filled and cost-efficient, family event.”

FAST FACTS

What: 31st Annual Emerald Nuts Midnight Run

When: Wednesday, December 31, 2008
10:00 p.m. DJ music and dance party
11:00 p.m. Costume parade and contest
12:00 a.m. Fireworks display and start of four-mile fun run


Where: Central Park

Costume contest, music, and dancing at the Bandshell, located just south of the 72nd Street Transverse. The race will start on the 72nd Street Transverse near Cherry Hill. Runners will head east, then turn left on East Drive and head north, turn left on the 102nd Street Transverse, run south on West Drive, and finish on the 72nd Street Transverse. 

Entry Fees: Members* Jr. /Sr. Members* Non-members
On or before December 16 $30 $30 $35
December 17-30 $35 $35 $40

Limited event-day entries* $45 $40 $50 

New York Road Runners

New York Road Runners is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2008. NYRR is dedicated to promoting the sport of distance running, enhancing health and fitness for all, and responding to community needs. Our road races and other fitness programs draw upwards of 300,000 runners annually, and together with our magazine and website support and promote professional and recreational running. A staff of more than 100, assisted by thousands of volunteers, stages the ING New York City Marathon, as well as a road race nearly every weekend plus many track and cross country events. NYRR’s home base in New York, and its lifelong identification with Central Park, have given many of its events iconic status, attracting the world’s top professional runners. Our youth programs provide running to some 50,000 schoolchildren in New York City and around the country who would otherwise have few or no fitness opportunities. For more information, visit www.nyrr.org.

About Diamond Foods

Diamond Foods is a leading branded food company specializing in processing, marketing and distributing culinary nuts and snack products under the Diamond®, Emerald® and Pop Secret® brands.

Contacts:
Meghan Chisholm 212.423.2203 | mchisholm@nyrr.org
Media Relations Department, New York Road Runners
Lorraine DelliCarpini 212.642.7772 | lorraine.dellicarpini@edelman.com

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