Ryan Hall and Kim Smith announced as the first two entrants in the elite field.
From: NYRR Media
American Ryan Hall and New Zealander Kim Smith were the first two professional athletes announced on Wednesday as part of the elite field for the 2012 ING New York City Marathon, set to take place on Nov. 4. Mary Wittenberg, president and CEO of New York Road Runners, made the annoucement during a live broadcast from Columbus Circle.
“I couldn’t be more excited to return to the ING New York City Marathon,” Hall said in a press release. “Having raced the 2009 edition, I have fond memories of the excitement of racing through the five boroughs with the best marathoners in the world. I’ve always said that racing in New York is performing on the big stage.”
Smith, who will be making her fourth New York City Marathon appearance, was equally excited to be returning to The Big Apple.
“I’m really looking forward to being part of the ING New York City Marathon again this year,” said Smith. “I feel like a regular now at NYRR events, and coming back to race in New York is always an amazing experience.”
“ING New York City Marathon Opening Day Presented by ASICS ,” hosted by ABC7 lead sports anchor Rob Powers and 2004 Olympian Carrie Tollefson, began at noon EDT and is being broadcast via live stream at tv.nyrr.org. Much of the half-hour show will be broadcast simultaneously by ABC7 in New York City as part of its new partnership with NYRR.
“Marathon Opening Day has become our annual launch to marathon season in New York,” said Wittenberg. “It’s a real ‘starting line’ celebration for the most global marathon.”
In addition to the two headlining athletes, special guests will include former New York Giants wide receiver Amani Toomer, who ran the 2010 ING New York City Marathon; U.S. tennis star James Blake; actress Amy Yasbeck; and Zeddie Little, the internet sensation known as the “Ridiculously Photogenic Guy.”
Hundreds of runners from the tri-state area will be in the audience to await the drawing of the first entrants selected to run the 2012 ING New York City Marathon. Registration for the non-guaranteed entry drawing closed on Monday.
At the end of the broadcast, a complete list of runners chosen in the drawing will be available on the tv.nyrr.org website; viewers will have the chance for a “sneak peek” as names scroll across the screen.