Olympians, World Champions, Pioneers to Run 40th NYRR New York Mini 10K
June 9th field includes Desiree Davila, Edna Kiplagat, Firehiwot Dado, eight 2012 Olympic team members and women's running pioneers and NYRR New York Mini 10K co-founders Kathrine Switzer and Nina Kuscsik, and the event's first champion, Jacqueline Dixon, all part of race celebration
Posted Thursday, 31 May, 2012
From Ryan Lamppa, Running USA
NEW YORK - (May 30, 2012) - Thirty-one world-class athletes representing 12 nations, led by U.S. Olympic Marathon team member Desiree Davila, reigning world marathon champion Edna Kiplagat, and 2011 ING New York City Marathon and 2012 NYC Half champion Firehiwot Dado, will run the NYRR New York Mini 10K on Saturday, June 9, it was announced today by New York Road Runners president and CEO Mary Wittenberg.
The 40th anniversary of the world's first road race exclusively for female participants will also feature three Mini 10K legends: race co-founders Kathrine Switzer and Nina Kuscsik, and the event's first champion, Jacqueline Dixon, who won the inaugural race in 1972. From those who led the way 40 years ago, to active women and girls participating in sports programs across the country, this race will bring together several generations of women who run.
"On this special anniversary year of the world's first all-women road race and of Title IX, we're celebrating with one of the strongest and most diverse women's fields around," said Wittenberg. "Our outstanding roster of champions and legends, coupled with thousands of active women from around the nation, will more than mark the Mini's 40th anniversary. It may be called the Mini, but this race, and what it stands for, is truly massive."
Davila, 28, of Rochester Hills, MI, became a member of the 2012 U.S. Olympic Marathon team by finishing second in the U.S. Trials in 2 hours, 25 minutes, 55 seconds. She burst into the spotlight with her thrilling runner-up finish at the 2011 Boston Marathon, in which she battled for the lead with eventual winner Caroline Kilel of Kenya through the final miles and finished only two seconds behind Kilel. Davila's time of 2:22:38 was the fastest time ever run by an American woman at the Boston Marathon.
"The Mini 10K has been on my bucket list of races for some time," said Davila. "I'm looking forward to being a part of the 40th anniversary and competing on the same roads as some of the greatest female runners ever. I'm excited that with my focus being on the roads, it fits in with my summer schedule and I'll finally have the opportunity to compete in the historic event, and maybe even write a little bit of history myself."
Kiplagat, 32, of Kenya, is the 2011 World Championships marathon gold medalist. She finished second in the 2012 Virgin London Marathon with a personal best time of 2:19:50, earning her a spot on the Kenyan Olympic Marathon team. Kiplagat won the 2010 ING New York City Marathon in a time of 2:28:20.
Dado, 28, of Ethiopia, is the 2011 ING New York City Marathon and 2012 NYC Half champion. Dado finished the marathon in a personal-best time of 2:23:15 in her New York City debut. She is also a three-time winner of the Rome City Marathon.
Switzer, 65, of the U.S., is a running legend, women's running pioneer, and Mini 10K co-founder. She is best known for challenging the all-male tradition of the Boston Marathon and becoming the first woman to officially enter and run the event. Her participation created an uproar and worldwide notoriety when a race official tried to forcibly remove her from the competition. The "Boston Incident" also inspired Kathrine to become a respected athlete: She has run more than 30 marathons, won the 1974 New York City Marathon, and ran her personal best of 2:51.33 by finishing second in the 1975 Boston Marathon.
"This is a whopper of an anniversary year for women," said Switzer. "It's the year of the first women's-only road race, the year we were first "allowed" to run an official marathon, and the year the Title IX amendment was added to the Constitution; it was the year that changed everything! I'm so proud of this race, and of NYRR, who have kept it thriving through the years. The Mini 10K continues to give women of all ages and abilities a forum to run, inspired by an elite field leading the way."
Honored guests will include women's running pioneer and Mini 10K co-founder Nina Kuscsik, 73, of the United States-the first woman to run in the New York City Marathon (and a two-time winner) and the first female winner of the Boston Marathon-and Jacqueline Dixon, 57, of the United States, the winner of the first Mini 10K in 1972.
Other top contenders in the field include:
* Jessica Augusto, 30, of Portugal, will compete in the 2012 Olympic Marathon. She is a 2008 Olympian, was the 2010 European Championships bronze medalist at 10,000 meters, and won the 2010 European Cross Country Championship.
* Buzunesh Deba, 24, of Ethiopia, is the 2011 ING New York City Marathon runner-up and is a top NYRR member, living and training in the Bronx.
* Claire Hallissey, 29, of Great Britain, is a member of the 2012 British Olympic Marathon team. After crossing the line in a personal-best time of 2:27:44 at the 2012 Virgin London Marathon, she gained the third and final spot on the team that also includes Mara Yamauchi and world record-holder Paula Radcliffe.
* Hilda Kibet, 31, of the Netherlands, is a two-time NYRR event winner (NYC Half, 2007, and NYRR New York Mini 10K, 2008), the 2008 European Cross Country champion, and a 2012 Olympian in the marathon. She was also a 2008 Olympian at 10,000 meters.
* Catherine Ndereba, 39, of Kenya, is a two-time Olympic marathon silver medalist (2004 and 2008) and two-time World Marathon champion (2003 and 2007).
* Diane Nukuri-Johnson, 27, of Burundi, will be competing in her third NYRR New York Mini 10K. She is a 2000 Olympian at 5000 meters, 2012 Olympian in the marathon, and a multiple national record-holder.
* Barbara Parker, 29, of Great Britain was a 2008 Olympian in the 3000 meter steeplechase and hopes to compete in that event and at 5000 meters at the London Games.
* Stephanie Rothstein, 28, of the U.S., was the fourth-ranked U.S. marathoner in 2011.
* Lidia Simon, 38, of Romania, is the 2000 Olympic Marathon silver medalist and a three-time world marathon championships medalist (gold in 2001 and bronze in 1997 and 1999). She will run her fifth Olympic Games marathon this summer, the only athlete ever to do so.
* Lara Tamsett, 23, of Australia, is her country's best 10K road racer and a world-champion mountain runner.
* Irvette Van Blerk, 24, of South Africa, is a 2012 Olympian in the marathon.
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 all-women road race. 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 first race featured 78 participants. The event has had a total of nearly 150,000 finishers and has been a model for women's road races around the globe.
The NYRR New York Mini 10K will begin at 8:00am on Saturday, June 9, on Central Park's West Drive near 61st Street. For more race details, go to: www.nyrr.org/run-with-us/nyrr-new-york-mini-10K