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Stacked Fields Set For NYC Half

  • By Duncan Larkin
  • Published Feb. 27, 2013
Next month's NYC Half boasts strong men's and women's fields. Photo: PhotoRun.net

Five U.S. Olympians will take part. Event to be broadcast live locally on WABC-TV and nationally on ESPN3.

A formidable trio of 2012 U.S. Olympians — Meb Keflezighi, Abdi Abdirahman, and Dathan Ritzenhein — will run the NYC Half 2013 on Sunday, March 17, it was announced today by New York Road Runners president and CEO Mary Wittenberg.

“We are positively thrilled to welcome Meb, Dathan, and Abdi—three of America’s finest and favorite long distance runners—back to New York City as we celebrate the spirit of New York City,” said Wittenberg. “This NYC Half is more than a run. It’s about the spirit of our runners of all types, and especially this year, it’s about the spirit of Lower Manhattan and all of New York City. Meb, Dathan, and Abdi each have comeback stories of their own to add to the inspiration of the day.”

RELATED: Bernard Lagat To Make Half-Marathon Debut

The announcement of Keflezighi, Abdirahman, and Ritzenhein gives the race two members of the 2012 U.S. Olympic men’s marathon team and one member of its 10,000-meter team, respectively. Increasing the depth of the American roster are talented pros Jason Hartmann, Guor Marial, Janet Bawcom, Serena Burla, Maegan Krifchin, Adriana Nelson, Molly Pritz, Stephanie Rothstein Bruce, and Lindsey Scherf. Previously announced was Bernard Lagat, a five-time world champion and international medalist.

Keflezighi, 37, of Mammoth Lakes, CA, finished fourth (and first American) in the 2012 Olympic Marathon, eight years after his silver-medal performance in the 2004 Athens Games. He has competed in the NYC Half three times (2006, 2011, and 2012) and was the top American last year, placing 13th in 1:01:41. The three-time Olympian is also set to compete in the 2013 ING New York City Marathon per a two-year contract with NYRR. In 2009, Keflezighi became the first American since Alberto Salazar in 1982 to win the New York City Marathon. He has finished in the race’s top 10 six times, most recently with a sixth-place finish in 2011.

“I am honored to be a part of the great field NYRR has assembled for this year’s NYC Half,” said Keflezighi. “This race will serve as a great tune-up as I prepare for the Boston Marathon. I’m looking forward to racing in front of my New York City fans and friends.”

Abdirahman, 36, of Tucson, AZ, became a four-time Olympian by finishing third in the U.S. Marathon Trials in January 2012. His best performance in the NYC Half was a second-place finish in 2007 in 1:00:29, which is currently the third-fastest half-marathon ever run by an American.

Ritzenhein, 31, of Portland, OR, finished 13th in the 10,000 meters at the 2012 London Olympics with a time of 27:45:89. He has competed in the NYC Half twice (2008 and 2012), placing third in 2008 in a time of 1:01:38. In 2009, Ritzenhein took the bronze medal at the 2009 IAAF World Half-Marathon Championships. Earlier this month, he finished second in the USA Cross Country Championships. At the 2012 Bank of America Chicago Marathon, he ran a personal best time of 2:07:47, finishing ninth overall and first among Americans; the performance put him into third on the all-time U.S. list behind Khalid Khannouchi and Ryan Hall. “Ritz” is set to return to the Bank of America Chicago Marathon this year.

“I am very excited to be returning again this year to the NYC Half!” said Ritzenhein. “I love this race, and it gives me a great opportunity to test the fitness I have gained from the winter training, and then transition into the upcoming racing season. The half-marathon is a distance that has always suited me well and I hope to use the strength I gained from a healthy 2012 to have a great race on March 17!”

Bawcom, 34, of Flagstaff, AZ, finished 12th in the London Olympic 10,000 meters in a personal best of 31:12.68. She has run the last two editions of the NYC Half, setting her personal best of 1:09:55 with a fifth-place finish last year.

Other top U.S. runners entered in the NYC Half 2013:

  • Jason Hartmann, 31, of Boulder, CO, has a half-marathon personal best of 1:03:07, which he ran at the 2003 Houston Half-Marathon. He finished second in NYRR’s 2012 Brooklyn Half-Marathon. Hartmann was the top American in the 2012 Boston Marathon, finishing fourth in a time of 2:14:31.
  • Guor Marial, 28, of Flagstaff, AZ, will be running his first race as a U.S. citizen in the NYC Half. Originally from South Sudan, he was permitted to run in the London Olympic Marathon under the flag of the IOC because he refused to represent Sudan whose soldiers killed 28 members of his family. Serena Burla, 30, of Falls Church, VA, ran her personal-best half-marathon of 1:10:08 at the 2010 Houston Half-Marathon.
  • Maegan Krifchin, 24, of Ithaca, NY, has a half-marathon personal best of 1:10:56, which she ran at the 2012 USA Half-Marathon Championships in Duluth, MN.
  • Adriana Nelson, 33, of Ft. Collins, CO, ran her half-marathon personal best of 1:09:59 at the2005 Lauwersong Half-Marathon. She finished 11th in the 2011 NYC Half in a time of 1:12:03.
  • Molly Pritz, 24, of Boulder, CO, has a half-marathon personal best of 1:10:45 from the 2012 San Francisco 2nd Half-Marathon.
  • Stephanie Rothstein Bruce, 29, of Flagstaff, AZ, ran a half-marathon personal best of 1:12:19 at the 2012 Big Sur Half Marathon. She finished third at the 2012 Honolulu Marathon. Lindsey Scherf, 26, of Durham, NC, has a half-marathon personal best of 1:11:45 from the 2012 NYC Half. She also ran the NYC Half in 2009 and 2011.

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Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin is the news editor at Competitor.com and a freelance journalist who’s been covering the sport of running for over five years. He’s run 2:32 in the marathon and won the Himalayan 100-Mile Stage Race in 2007. His first running book, RUN SIMPLE, was released last July.

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