Quartet of U.S. Stars Meb Keflezighi, Dathan Ritzenhein,
Kara Goucher, and Desiree Davila Will Run NYC Half
of America’s leading long-distance runners will take
on new 13.1-mile course on March 18
New York, February 16, 2012—In a
notable gathering of four world-class American runners,
Meb Keflezighi, Dathan Ritzenhein, Kara Goucher, and
Desiree Davila will run the NYC Half on Sunday, March
18, it was announced today by New York Road Runners
president and CEO Mary Wittenberg.
announcements of Keflezighi, Goucher, and Davila give
the race three members of this year’s U.S. Olympic
Marathon team. Ritzenhein, who will focus on making the
Olympic team at 10,000 meters after his fourth-place
finish at the marathon Trials, adds great strength to
the field. Increasing the depth of the American roster
are talented pros Scott Bauhs, Janet Cherobon-Bawcom,
Molly Pritz, Julie Culley, Jeannette Faber, and
flagship half-marathon, in its seventh edition, 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 NYC Half
will again offer the largest half-marathon prize purse
in the United States: $100,000. 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.
are ecstatic to welcome four of America’s brightest
running stars to NYC,” said Wittenberg. “New Yorkers
and runners and fans everywhere will no doubt be awed as
this spirited foursome races through the city streets on
their ‘Road to London.’”
qualifying for the 2012 Olympic Games by winning the
U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials earlier this year,
Keflezighi, 36, of Mammoth Lakes, CA, will be on
familiar ground in New York. In 2009, he became the
first American since Alberto Salazar in 1982 to win the
ING New York City Marathon. He has finished in the top
10 in the Marathon a total of seven times, most recently
with a sixth-place finish in 2011. A silver medalist in
the men’s marathon at the 2004 Olympic Games in
Athens, Keflezighi is a three-time USA cross country
champion (2001, 2002, 2009) and has won more than 20 USA
titles in his career.
happy to announce that my first race after winning the
U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials will be the NYC Half,”
said Keflezighi. “NYRR events have been a big part of
my professional career, so I am very excited to start my
2012 Olympic Games buildup at the NYC Half. I recovered
well from the Olympic Trials and look forward to
competing against the field.”
29, of Portland, OR, recently ran a personal best time
of 2:09:55 at the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials, narrowly
missing a spot on the Marathon team. A two-time U.S.
Olympian, Ritzenhein finished second in the 2008 U.S.
Olympic Marathon Trials and went on to finish
ninth—and top American—at the Beijing Games.
Ritzenhein took the bronze medal at the 2009 IAAF World
Half-Marathon Championships, and his 60:00 finishing
time there makes him the second-fastest American in
history over the distance.
off the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials, I need a big race
to test my fitness but more importantly to turn my focus
to making the Olympic 10,000-meter team, and the NYC
Half is the perfect step in achieving that goal,” said
Ritzenhein. “I’ve had great success at the
half-marathon distance and it gives me a good bridge to
slowly work my way back down to the speed it will take
to have a great summer track season. I love racing in
New York City and can’t wait to be back there in a few
weeks to continue the journey to making the team for
America’s premier women’s distance runners, Goucher,
33, of Portland, OR, qualified for the London Olympic
Marathon by placing third at the U.S. Trials last
month in a time of 2:26:06. A native of Queens, Goucher
will return to New York as a fan favorite, having placed
third at last year’s NYC Half. At the 2011 Boston
Marathon, Goucher finished fifth in a personal-best time
of 2:24:26. She made her mark on the ING New York City
Marathon in 2008 when she ran the fastest-ever debut
marathon by an American woman—2:25:53—and finished
third. The time is also the fastest ever by an American
woman at the race. At the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Trials,
Goucher achieved the rare feat of qualifying for Team
USA in two events, winning the 5000 meters and placing
second in the 10,000 meters.
always, I’m looking forward to returning to NYC to run
the half-marathon,” said Goucher. “I feel a special
connection with NYC, and it’s always a season
highlight for me when I race there. This will be my
first race after making the 2012 Olympic team. I
couldn’t imagine a better place to start my run-up to
the London Games.”
28, of Rochester Hills, MI, became a member of the U.S.
Olympic marathon team by finishing second in the U.S.
Trials with a time of 2:25:55. Davila burst into the
spotlight with her thrilling finish at the 2011 Boston
Marathon, in which she battled for the win with eventual
winner Caroline Kilel through the final miles and
finished second by only a two-second margin. Davila’s
time of 2:22:38 was the fastest time ever by an American
woman at the Boston Marathon.
the high of the Olympic Trials, followed by a bit of
recovery time, it was important for me to find a race
that would get me excited to compete and motivated to
train hard through the spring season,” said Davila.
“The strong fields that NYRR traditionally puts
together, along with the thrill of running through the
streets of New York, made the NYC Half the perfect
top Americans in the field:
Scott Bauhs, 25, of Danville, CA, is a
three-time NCAA Division II champion, with titles in the
10,000 meters (2007), 5000 meters (2008), and cross
country (2008). He finished third at the 2011 USA
Outdoor Championships in the 10,000 meters and competed
at that distance at last summer’s World Championships
in Daegu, South Korea.
Janet Cherobon-Bawcom, 33, of Rome, GA,
recently finished fifth in the U.S. Olympic Marathon
Trials in a time of 2:29:45. She won the 2011 Boston
Half-Marathon and followed that victory with U.S. road
championships at 20K, 10 miles, and 10K.
Molly Pritz, 23, of Rochester Hills, MI,
was the top American female finisher in the ING New York
City Marathon 2011, finishing 12th in a time of 2:31:52
in her debut at the distance. Earlier in 2011, she won
the USA 25K Championship in 1:25:38.
Julie Culley, 30, of Lebanon, NJ, was the
USA 5K champion in 2011 and the runner-up (to
Cherobon-Bawcom) at last fall’s USA 10-Mile
Championship. The New Jersey native was second in the
2011 NYRR Dash to the Finish Line 5K on ING New York
City Marathon weekend. The NYC Half will be her
Jeannette Faber, 29, of Portland, OR,
recently competed in the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials,
finishing in a personal-best time of 2:36:50. She
finished third at the 2011 USA 25K Championships.
Stephanie Pezzullo, 29, of Charlotte, NC,
recently won the Naples Daily News Half-Marathon in a
personal-best time of 1:13:12. She also won the Emerald
Nuts Midnight Run in Central Park on New Year’s Eve
this past December.
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.