Top 2013 Finishers Return to 2014 Oakley New York Mini 10K
2013 champion Mamitu Daska, runner-up Linet Masai, and third-place finisher Gemma Steel return to lead international contingent; Molly Huddle headlines American field
Posted Wednesday, 11 June, 2014
NEW YORK - The top three finishers from the 2013 Oakley New York Mini 10K will return to Central Park for the 2014 edition of the event on Saturday, June 14, to race against a deep American field. Leading the international competitors are 2013 champion Mamitu Daska of Ethiopia, 2013 runner-up (and two-time former champion) Linet Masai of Kenya, and 2013 third-place finisher Gemma Steel of Great Britain. The star-studded American field will be led by 2014 NYC Half third-place finisher and 12K world record-holder Molly Huddle, it was announced by New York Road Runners president and CEO Mary Wittenberg.
“We are thrilled to welcome back such talented and influential women from the United States and throughout the world to this year’s competition,” said Wittenberg. “This race gives every participant the chance to celebrate the positive changes associated with the acceptance and advancement of women’s participation in all athletic endeavors. Our elite female athletes have helped tremendously at the forefront of this change, and they continue to inspire women from all different backgrounds all over the globe to lead active and healthy lives.”
Founded by NYRR in 1972, the Mini got its name when race founder Fred Lebow convinced the first sponsor to support a six-mile “mini” marathon—named for the miniskirt, which was then in fashion—rather than a full marathon. It was the world’s first road race exclusively for women. A few weeks later, Title IX became law, guaranteeing young women the right to participate in school sports and creating new opportunities for generations of female athletes. The inaugural race featured 78 participants. Today, the race has had 162,398 total finishers and has been a model for women’s road races around the globe. This year marks the 43rd running of the event, which welcomes women of all ability levels—including the very best in the world.
Huddle, 29, of Providence, RI, grabbed the world’s attention in 2013 when she set the 12-kilometer world record at the U.S. National Road Racing Championships with a time of 37:50. She followed that performance with a third-place finish at the 2014 NYC Half in a time of 1:09:04 in her debut at the distance. A 2012 Olympian, Huddle is also the American record-holder at 5000 meters with a time of 14:44.76.
“I have many good memories of racing in New York City in recent years and always jump at opportunities to return to NYRR events, from the Fifth Avenue Mile to the NYC Half and now the Oakley New York Mini 10K,” said Huddle. “As the world’s original all-women’s race, the Mini makes a bit of history every year, and I look forward to being a part of it, along with great American and International fields in 2014!”
Daska, 30, won last year’s race by breaking away from runner-up Masai mid-race, finishing with a time of 31:47. In May, she returned to Central Park and finished second in the UAE Healthy Kidney 10K, then won the Bolder Boulder 10K title in Colorado on Memorial Day. Other career highlights include a victory at the 2011 BMW Frankfurt Marathon and two wins (2011 and 2012) at the Freihofer’s Run for Women in Albany, NY.
Masai, 24, is a back-to-back champion of the Mini, setting a personal best of 30:48 in 2010 and returning to win again in 2011. On the track, she won the 2009 IAAF World Championship at 10,000 meters and was the 2011 fourth-place finisher in the same event. She is a three-time runner-up at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships (2009, 2010, and 2011). A 2008 Olympian, Masai still holds the 19-and-under world record for 10,000 meters.
Steel, 28, followed up her debut Mini performance in 2013 with a personal-best effort of 31:36 to finish second at the Beach to Beacon 10K in Maine in last year. She represented Great Britain at both the 2012 IAAF World Half-Marathon Championships and the 2013 IAAF World Cross Country Championships, after winning the British National Cross Country Championships.
A $35,150 prize purse will be awarded to the top five overall female finishers, the top five American finishers, and the top three NYRR members in the open division, masters division (40+), and 50+ age-graded division. The first place finisher will receive $10,000.
Other Featured Athletes:
· Buzunesh Deba, 26, of the Bronx, NY, has finished second at the 2014 NYC Half, the 2014 Boston Marathon, and the 2011 and 2013 New York City Marathons. Her personal best from Boston (2:19:59) is more than ten minutes faster than any other New York City female resident has ever run.
· Desiree Linden, 30, of Washington Township, Mich., finished fifth at the 2013 Oakley New York Mini 10K. She finished second in the 2011 Boston Marathon with a personal-best time of 2:22:38, and she qualified for the 2012 U.S. Olympic Marathon team at the Olympic Trials in Houston, Texas, with a second-place finish.
· Amy Hastings, 30, of Providence, RI, finished 11th in the 2012 Olympic 10,000 meters after winning the event at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials. She also finished fourth at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials.
· Amy Van Alstine, 26, of Flagstaff, Ariz., won the 2014 U.S. Cross Country Championships and took third at the 2014 USA 15K Championships.
· Annie Bersagel, 31, an American who lives in Oslo, Norway, won the 2014 Dusseldorf Marathon with a time of 2:28:59. Last year she finished 13th in a personal-best time of 1:10:10 at the IAAF World Half-Marathon Championships.
· Deena Kastor, 41, of Mammoth Lakes, Calif., won this year’s More Magazine/Fitness Magazine Women’s Half-Marathon, setting a national masters record of 1:11:38. A bronze medalist at the 2004 Athens Olympic Marathon and the winner of the 2006 London Marathon, Kastor holds four open American records, including 2:19:36 for the marathon.
· Lauren Fleshman, 32, of Bend, Ore., is a two-time U.S. champion at 5000 meters (2006 and 2010).
The race will begin at 8:00 a.m., Saturday, June 14, on Central Park West at West 61st Street. For more race details, please visit http://www.nyrr.org/races-and-events/2014/oakley-new-york-mini-10k