2014 NYC Half to Feature Top American and International Fields for March 16 Race
Reigning New York City Marathon winner Geoffrey Mutai of Kenya and American distance star Molly Huddle join marquee group of athletes for 13.1-mile race through Manhattan
Posted Wednesday, 5 March, 2014
NEW YORK — The 2014 NYC Half
, to be held on Sunday, March 16, will feature two of the world’s top half-marathon fields of 2014. A marquee group of male and female international and American distance-running stars was announced by New York Road Runners president and CEO Mary Wittenberg
Geoffrey Mutai, the two-time defending New York City Marathon champion (2011 and 2013), will challenge previously announced Olympic champion Mo Farah of Great Britain, as well as Americans Meb Keflezighi, Jason Hartmann, and Matt Tegenkamp. The Mutai-Farah battle will be one to watch: Mutai, arguably the world’s greatest marathoner, and Farah, the world’s greatest track distance runner, have never raced each other before—and they will compete again less than one month later in the Virgin Money London Marathon on Sunday, April 13.
“I’m happy that I will compete in the NYC Half,” said Mutai. “For me, it’s like coming home after my victory at the New York City Marathon last year. This will be my first time to run in a race together with Mo Farah, although I know him from his job as pacemaker in the Virgin Money London Marathon last year. I’m happy because I like to compete with strong athletes, and it is a challenge for me to compete with Farah. If the weather conditions fare well on race day, I will try to set a new course record.”
Both Keflezighi and Hartmann will be running the NYC Half prior to their appearances in the Boston Marathon on April 21.
“This is one of the most exciting half-marathon fields ever. To have Geoffrey and Mo [Farah] highlighting such a top-notch group of men, and Molly and Sally [Kipyego] both making their half-marathon debuts alongside such great stars of women’s road racing as Buzunesh [Deba] and Desiree [Linden], New Yorkers are in for a real treat,” said Wittenberg. “This really sets the stage for two huge World Marathon Majors events this spring in London and Boston—what a great way to kick the marathon season into high gear!”
On the women’s side, American Molly Huddle, fresh from running the world’s fastest 5000-meter time of 2014, will be joined by fellow American Desiree Linden (née Davila) and Ethiopia’s Buzunesh Deba, who will both be gearing up for their appearances in the Boston Marathon. London Olympic 10,000-meter silver medalist Sally Kipyego of Kenya will also be making her half-marathon debut.
“I'm excited to be running the NYC Half as my first race at that distance,” said Huddle. “I'm hoping my positive experience from the USA 12K Championships carries over and that all the strength work I did to prepare leads me to some fast track races, and gives me the confidence to race some longer road events in 2014!”
The NYC Half will be broadcast live in the New York City metropolitan area on WABC-TV from 7:00 to 9:00 a.m. EDT. Viewers can also watch the race on 7online.com from 7:00 to 10:30 a.m. EDT, or via WatchABC on mobile devices) from 7:00 to 9:00 a.m. EDT (for participating cable providers). For those who have video subscriptions with affiliated providers, the race will also be available via WatchESPN from 7:00 to 10:30 a.m.
Featured Athlete Backgrounds and Notable Performances
· Mutai, 31, won the ING New York City Marathon in 2011 and 2013 and set the course record (2:05:06) with his first victory. He ran the fastest all-conditions marathon in history, 2:03:02, to win the 2011 Boston Marathon. He was the 2011?2012 World Marathon Majors series champion; he clinched the title with a 2:04:15 victory at the 2012 BMW Berlin Marathon.
· Keflezighi, 38, of San Diego, CA, has competed in the NYC Half three times (2006, 2011, and 2012). The 2004 Olympic marathon silver medalist won the ING New York City Marathon in 2009 and has finished in the top 10 six times, most recently with a sixth-place finish in 2011.
· Hartmann, 32, of Boulder, CO, set his half-marathon personal best of 1:01:51 at the 2013 NYC Half. He was the top American finisher at the Boston Marathon in 2012 and 2013; he finished fourth both times, in 2:14:31 and 2:12:12, respectively.
· Tegenkamp, 32, of Portland, OR, is a two-time Olympian (2008 and 2012) who will make his half-marathon debut in the 2014 NYC half. He has a personal-best time of 58:30 at the 20K distance and ran 2:12:28 in his debut marathon last October in Chicago.
· Huddle, 29, of Providence, RI, will be making her half-marathon debut. She is the American 5000-meter record-holder and the world 12K record-holder.
· Linden, 29, of Rochester Hills, MI, finished second at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Marathon trials with a time of 2:25:55. At the 2011 Boston Marathon, she finished only two seconds behind the winner in a time of 2:22:38, the fastest ever run by an American woman at the Boston Marathon. This will be her second appearance at the NYC Half; she placed ninth in the 2012 race with a time of 1:10:44. Linden ran the 2013 Oakley New York Mini 10K, finishing sixth in 33:22.
· Deba, 26, of the Bronx, is a two-time runner-up at the New York City Marathon (2011 and 2013). She also placed second at the 2013 Chevron Houston Marathon in 2:24:26.
· Kipyego, 28, is a 2012 Olympic silver medalist and a 2011 World Championships silver medalist, both at 10,000 meters. This will be her half-marathon debut.
The NYC Half boasts an on-street experience like no other, taking runners on a 13.1-mile tour of Manhattan—from the rolling hills of Central Park, up to Harlem, down through Times Square, along the Hudson River waterfront, and finishing in Lower Manhattan.
A new course configuration will accommodate an increase in the field size—up to 20,000 finishers—and allow for a professional wheelchair race for the first time. The event features a talented American and international professional athlete field, charity runners, and thousands of runners of all ranks, as well as some 1,500 volunteers and thousands of spectators.
For the latest NYC Half news, updates, features, and media information, please visit the NYRR online media room at media.nyrr.org or follow us on Twitter @nyrrnews. On the Run, NYRR’s behind-the-scenes webcast available at ontherun.nyrr.org, takes viewers inside the NYC Half and will air Tuesday through Sunday of Race Week.