Hopefuls Bobby Curtis and Chris Thompson Headline
Athlete Additions in NYC Half
World Marathon Majors series champion Liliya Shobukhova
withdraws from field due to injury
to be broadcast live on WABC-TV and streamed live at tv.nyrr.org
beginning at 7:00 a.m.
York, March 7, 2012—Former
NCAA champion and American Olympic 10,000-meter hopeful
Bobby Curtis and 2011 NYRR Dash to the Finish Line 5K
champion and British Olympic hopeful Chris Thompson lead
a talented group of
additions to the professional field for the NYC Half on
Sunday, March 18, it was announced today by New York
Road Runners officials.
World Marathon Majors series champion Liliya Shobukhova
of Russia was forced to withdraw from the race due to a
hamstring injury. Shobukhova, an early favorite for the
Olympic Marathon in London this summer, was set to open
her 2012 season at the NYC Half.
27, of Ardmore, PA, became the seventh-fastest American
of all time at 10,000 meters when he ran 27:24.67 to
finish second at the Stanford Payton Jordan Cardinal
Invitational in April 2011. He is a two-time Team USA
member for the IAAF World Cross Country Championships
and won the 2008 NCAA Championship at 5000 meters in
13:33.93. Curtis made his marathon debut at the ING New
York City Marathon 2011, finishing 15th in a time of
2:16:44. He has a half-marathon best of 1:01:52, set in
30, of Great Britain, was the 10,000-meter silver
medalist at the 2010 European Athletics Championships in
Barcelona. At the 2011 Stanford Payton Jordan Cardinal
Invitational, he ran 27:27.36 for 10,000 meters, the
third-fastest time in British history. Thompson won the
2011 NYRR Dash to the Finish Line 5K during ING New York
City Marathon weekend. The NYC Half will be his debut at
athletes on the men’s side include:
Collis Birmingham, 27, of Australia, a
former Australian 10,000-meter record-holder and 2012
London Olympics hopeful. The NYC Half will be his
Ben St. Lawrence, 30, the Australian
10,000-meter record-holder and a recently announced
member of his nation’s 2012 Olympic team. Like his
training partner Birmingham, he will be making his
Michael Shelley, 28, of Australia, the
2010 Commonwealth Games marathon silver medalist.
athletes in the women’s field include:
Freya Murray, 28, of Great Britain, who is
currently vying for the third and last spot on the
British Olympic women’s marathon team.
Diane Nukuri-Johnson, 28, of Burundi, a
2000 Olympian and holder of several national records.
She was a star runner at the University of Iowa.
Irvette Van Blerk, 24, of South Africa,
who finished ninth at the NYC Half 2011 in a personal
best time of 1:10:56.
Karolina Jarzynska, 30, Poland’s best
women’s distance runner and a likely member of her
country’s Olympic marathon team.
Lisa Weightman, 33, of Australia, a 2008
Olympian and the 2010 Commonwealth Games bronze medalist
in the marathon.
flagship half-marathon, in its seventh running, will
feature a race-record field of 15,000 runners and a
thrilling new course. Also new this year, WABC-TV will
be airing the NYC Half live, beginning at 7:00 a.m., as
part of NYRR’s recently announced comprehensive
television agreement with ESPN/WABC-TV. The race will
also be broadcast live on the New York Road Runners
website. Viewers can tune in at 7:00–9:00 a.m. EDT on
Sunday, March 18 to tv.nyrr.org
to watch the race coverage. The NYC Half will again
offer a prize purse of $100,000—the largest
half-marathon purse in the United States. The men’s
and women’s champions will each earn $20,000. The race
continues to attract prominent professional athletes and
recreational runners from around the world.
previously announced men’s field includes three
world-class Americans: 2012 Olympic Trials Marathon
champion Meb Keflezighi, two-time Olympian Dathan
Ritzenhein, and 2011 World Championships 10,000-meter
runner Scott Bauhs. Also announced were Moroccan
Olympian Abderrahime Bouramdane; Kenyan Peter Kirui, who
competed in the 10,000 meters at the 2011 IAAF World
Championships in Daegu, South Korea; Canadian Olympian
Eric Gillis; Wesley Korir of Kenya, runner-up at the
2011 Bank of American Chicago Marathon; Ethiopian
Olympian Deriba Merga, the 2009 Boston Marathon
champion; and Kenyan Samuel Chelanga, the NCAA
women’s pro field includes previously announced top
American runners Kara Goucher and Desiree Davila (both
members of this year’s U.S. Olympic Marathon team),
Janet Cherobon-Bawcom, Julie Culley, Jeannette Faber,
and Stephanie Pezzullo. Molly Pritz, the top American
female finisher in the ING New York City Marathon 2011,
was forced to withdraw from the race due to illness.
Also announced were Mexican Olympian Madaí Pérez,
British Olympian Jo Pavey, Dutch Olympian Hilda Kibet,
and Claire Hallissey, a contender for the British
Olympic marathon team.
Half will offer runners a spectacular tour of Manhattan
as they race through Central Park, Times Square, the
Hudson River waterfront, and lower Manhattan, en route
to the scenic South Street Seaport finish line. At the
Post-Race Festival Presented by Poland Spring, there
will be refreshments, entertainment by Irish rockers
Black 47 and the Shinbone Alley Stilt Band, treatments
supplied by the Swedish Institute of Massage, and much
more. The Festival is free and open to the public.
York Road Runners was founded in 1958 when a small group
of passionate runners vowed to bring running to the
people. Over the past 53 years, NYRR has grown from a
local running club to the world’s premier community
running organization. NYRR’s mission is to empower
everyone, of all ages and abilities—beginners and
competitive athletes, the young and the elderly, adult
professionals and underserved schoolchildren—to
improve their health and well-being through the power of
running and fitness.
races, community events, instruction and training
resources, and youth programs give hundreds of thousands
of people each year the motivation, know-how, and
opportunity to start running and keep running for life.
NYRR’s premier event, the famed ING New York City
Marathon, attracts the world’s top pro runners and
committed amateurs alike while also raising millions of
dollars annually for charity and driving economic impact
for the City. But NYRR is equally committed to the
runners of tomorrow, passionately providing youth
fitness programs that educate and inspire more than
100,000 kids in underserved communities in New York
City, all 50 states, and around the world.
in New York City, NYRR implements a unique nonprofit
model that teams contributed and earned income to make
all its efforts possible. To learn more, please visit www.nyrr.org.