May 14: World Medalists Edna Kiplagat, Mary Wacera And Cynthia Limo Lead Women’s Field For The UAE Healthy Kidney 10K

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Press Release
April 26, 2016

New York—A trio of IAAF World Championship medalists will headline the women’s professional athlete field at the 2016 UAE Healthy Kidney 10K in Central Park on Saturday, May 14, it was announced today by Peter Ciaccia, president of events for New York Road Runners and race director of the TCS New York City Marathon.

Two-time IAAF World Championships Marathon gold medalist Edna Kiplagat, two-time IAAF World Half-Marathon medalist Mary Wacera and reigning IAAF World Half Marathon Championships silver medalist Cynthia Limo will race alongside the 2015 TCS New York City Marathon’s top American female finisher, Laura Thweatt, in a chase for the $25,000 first-place prize – tied for the largest of any 10K race in the world and the largest of any non-marathon race in the U.S.

Wilson Chebet and Zane Robertson will both return to New York to highlight the men’s field after finishing second and eighth, respectively, at the United Airlines NYC Half in March.

“Three of the world’s top distance racers, Edna, Mary, and Cynthia, will join Laura, the top American at the 2015 TCS New York City Marathon, in pursuit of one of road racing’s largest prize purses at the UAE Healthy Kidney 10K,” said Ciaccia. “In the men’s field, having Wilson and Zane return to Central Park less than two months after completing the United Airlines NYC Half is a true testament to their commitment to racing NYRR events.”

Kiplagat, 36, of Kenya was the IAAF World Championships Marathon gold medalist in both 2011 and 2013. She has proven to be formidable in New York, having won her New York City Marathon debut in

2010, and following that with a second-place finish in the 2011 NYC Half and a victory in the 2012 New York Mini 10K. Also the 2014 Virgin Money London Marathon champion, Kiplagat and her husband,

Gilbert Koech, are strong advocates for children. In addition to two biological children of their own, they are raising the two children of Kiplagat’s late sister, and are also financially supporting the child of their late neighbor.

“I’m very much looking forward to racing the UAE Healthy Kidney 10K next month for the first time,” Kiplagat said. “I’ve done the NYRR’s other three big international events, so the UAE Healthy Kidney 10K  will give me a new challenge. The last five years, I always ran the London Marathon in April, so I could not be sharp for the shorter spring road races after that. But this year, because I ran Tokyo in February, I am fully recovered and have been able to do good speed training. I know Central Park well, so I always feel comfortable to race there.”

Robertson, 26, of New Zealand, finished eighth in his United Airlines NYC Half debut in March despite suffering from a bad sinus infection. Just last week, he was named to his first Olympic team and will be racing the 10,000 meters at the 2016 Rio Games. Robertson has been residing in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, since he and his twin brother, Jake, moved to Africa following high school in 2007 in order to train among some of the world’s best runners, including 2016 Boston Marathon champion Lemi Berhanu Hayle. In 2014, Robertson brought New Zealand its first 5000-meter Commonwealth Games medal since 1962, capturing the bronze.

“I’m happy to be coming back to New York again to race and build more experience on the streets,” Robertson said. “It’s a long-term ambition of mine to race the TCS New York City Marathon and finish on the podium, or even win. The NYRR family is amazing, and I really believe in what they are trying to achieve with the youth. I’m looking forward to the race, especially with one of my mates, Lucas Rotich. We trained together in 2008, and have been great friends for a long time. Finally, we can clash on the road.” 

Additional Top Women’s Professional Runner Backgrounds

  • Cynthia Limo, 26, of Kenya, placed second at the IAAF World Half Marathon Championships in March, earning her first individual medal on the world stage, along with a gold medal in the team competition. She raced a 1:06:04 at February’s Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon, which is the UAE’s premier road race, and is currently the No. 1 road racer in the world according to the Association of Road Racing Statisticians.
  • Mary Wacera, 27, of Kenya took third at this year’s IAAF World Half Marathon Championships following her silver-medal winning performance in 2014. In both races, she contributed to Kenya’s overall team gold. In her only UAE Healthy Kidney 10K appearance in 2014, Wacera finished third with a time of 31:52.
  • Laura Thweatt, 27, of Boulder, CO, finished seventh in 2:28:23 in her TCS New York City Marathon debut last November, which is the seventh fastest time by an American woman in the event. Thweatt trains under coach Lee Troop, a three-time Olympic marathoner for Australia, and is the world’s No. 1-ranked 10K runner in 2016. 

Additional Top Men’s Professional Runner Backgrounds

  • Wilson Chebet, 30, of Kenya, was the runner-up in his United Airlines NYC Half debut in March with a time of 1:01:35. He won three consecutive TCS Amsterdam Marathon titles from 2011-2013. In 2014, he was runner-up at the Boston Marathon, finishing just 11 seconds behind winner Meb Keflezighi, and he was third the following year. In addition to his training, Chebet has been involved with the Professional Athletes Association of Kenya as an advocate for athletes’ rights and stricter doping controls in the country.

In addition to the men’s and women’s $25,000 first-place prizes, runners will vie for a $30,000 Zayed Bonus awarded by the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates in honor of former UAE president Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al-Nahyan. The bonus prize will be given to any man who breaks 27:35 (Leonard Patrick Komon, 2011 UAE Healthy Kidney 10K) and/or any woman who breaks 30:44 (Lornah Kiplagat, 2002 New York Mini 10K).

Professional Men

Name10K Personal BestTwitter Handle
Wilson Chebet, KEN27:42@WilsonChebet
Teshome Mekonen, ETH27:50
Lucas Rotich, KEN27:56@LucasRotich
Zane Robertson, NZL28:10@runninelvis
Scott Bauhs, USA29:15@ScottyBauhs
Alex Monroe, USAN/A@AlexMonroe10

Professional Women

Name10K Personal BestTwitter Handle
Edna Kiplagat, KEN31:18@kiplagatedna
Mary Wacera, KEN31:28
Diane Nukuri, BDI31:52@dnjbdi
Buze Diriba, ETH31:57
Cynthia Limo, KEN31:58
Salome Kosgei, KEN32:28
Laura Thweatt, USA32:37@thweatt11
Maegan Krifchin, USA33:22@mkrifchin
Grace Kahura, KEN34:02@gracetherunner1

The race will begin at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, May 14, on West Drive near 62nd Street and will finish at 67th Street on West Drive, the same place as the finish line for the TCS New York City Marathon.

For the second consecutive year, the UAE Healthy Kidney 10K will include a 1.7-mile run around Central Park’s lower loop for kids ages 7 to 18. The young runners will race in three separate age divisions (elementary, middle, and high school) beginning at 11:15 a.m.

“NYRR has held a successful long-standing partnership with the UAE to put on this race since 2005,”said Michael Capiraso, president and CEO of New York Road Runners. “It is fantastic that for the second consecutive year at this event, kids ages 7 to 18 will have the opportunity to partake in an unforgettable race through the heart of Central Park – the third of six races in our NYRR Youth Running Series this spring.”

The United Arab Emirates is the primary sponsor of the race, which benefits the National Kidney Foundation, Inc., in appreciation of American doctors and U.S. excellence in the kidney transplant arena. UAE’s founder and first president, Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, benefited from U.S. expertise, knowledge, and research when he received a kidney transplant in 2000. Among his many honors and accomplishments, he was most proud of being a kidney transplant survivor.

The National Kidney Foundation is the leading organization in the United States dedicated to the awareness, prevention, and treatment of kidney disease for hundreds of thousands of healthcare professionals, millions of patients and their families, and tens of millions of Americans at risk. The National Kidney Foundation is grateful for the support and donations provided by the people of the United Arab Emirates and the UAE Healthy Kidney 10K participants.

About New York Road Runners (NYRR)

Founded in 1958, New York Road Runners has grown from a local running club to the world’s premier community running organization, whose mission is to help and inspire people through running. NYRR’s commitment to New York City’s five boroughs features races, community events, youth running initiatives, school programs, and training resources that provide hundreds of thousands of people each year, from children to seniors, with the motivation, know-how, and opportunity to Run for Life. NYRR’s premier event, and the largest marathon in the world, is the TCS New York City Marathon. Held annually on the first Sunday in November, the race features 50,000 runners, from the world’s top professional athletes to a vast range of competitive, recreational, and charity runners. To learn more, visit nyrr.org.


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