Firehiwot Dado Looking For Triple Crown

Firehiwot Dado returns to New York City this weekend. Photo:

The Ethiopian needs a win at the NYRR Mini 10K.

(c) 2012 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved. Used with permission.

NEW YORK — While I’ll Have Another dominates headlines across the globe, attempting to achieve horse racing’s version of the Triple Crown Saturday on Long Island, twenty kilometers away in Central Park, Firehiwot Dado will try to do the same, hoping to win the New York Road Runners’ version of the Triple Crown.

Dado, who won last November’s ING New York City Marathon, then returned in March to take the NYC Half, will try to complete a three-race sweep by winning Saturday’s NYRR Mini 10K. If she does so, Dado would become the first women to win all three races consecutively.

“For me three wins in New York would be a great achievement. And I hope to achieve my third victory in New York,” Dado told Race Results Weekly here today at a press roundtable, through translator Sabrina Yohannes. “Praise God, all has gone well, my training has been going well, and I do hope that I will be victorious. I am happy to have been so successful in New York.”

Under the guidance of coach Haji Adilo, the 28-year-old Dado has been training in and around her native Addis Ababa, focusing on the NYRR Mini. After running three marathons within a fourteen month span — culminating in a fourth place showing at April’s Boston Marathon — Dado is momentarily dropping down to the 10 km distance, something that will especially work the turnover in her legs.

“The training is different; marathon training is different from the 10 km training but since I am coming from a marathon background, I have to do specific training for the 10K and prepare for this,” said Dado. “As far as the actual [Mini] race itself, because it is shorter, it is going to be faster. And so I figure out what you have to do within the race for that distance.”

Dado’s last race came in Boston, when temperatures rose into the high 80’sF (30C), making for tough racing conditions. Saturday’s forecast calls for warm morning temperatures hovering around 65F (20C). But the calm, soft spoken Dado isn’t too concerned about the weather.

“With this being a shorter race, even if it is hotter it shouldn’t be too bad,” she said. “[In Ethiopia] in recent past it has been pretty warm, not that very different from how it has been here the past few days.”

Coming back here to New York City, Dado can’t help but remember when she was crowned ING New York City Marathon champion after crossing the Central Park finish line in 2:23:15. Saturday’s NYRR Mini has the same finish as the marathon, something that warms Dado’s heart and brings back strong memories.

“Yes!” responded Dado in enthusiasm after being asked about the finishing straight. “This morning, I went out training with Sam [Grotewold, the NYRR Professional Athlete Managerr], and near the finish line he showed me this is where the race will finish and I am very glad it is there. I imagine I will feel good at that point as I pass the finish line.”

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