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Catherine Ndereba to Run 2007 ING NYC Marathon
By David Monti
(c) 2007 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved

NEW YORK (06-Sep) -- Newly crowned world marathon champion, Catherine Ndereba of Kenya, hopes to continue her winning ways at the ING New York City Marathon set for Sunday, Nov. 4., race organizers the New York Road Runners announced today.

Ndereba, 35, who became the only woman to win a second world marathon title when she beat back an impressive field in Osaka last Sunday, sees New York as the one great race in America she has not yet won.  She's won the Boston Marathon four times and the LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon twice.

"This is a very special year," said Ndereba, the runner-up in New York in 1999 and 2003 through a press release. "I just won my gold medal in the World Championships and it feels wonderful to be heading back to New York. To win there means quite a lot. I have been running all those races in the U.S. and have won almost everything, but not New York. If get it I will have all of them in my bag."

Ndereba is the African record holder with a 2:18:47 personal best, and was the first woman to break 2:19 in the marathon.  In addition to her two world titles (2003 and 2007) she earned silver medals at the 2005 IAAF World Championships and the 2004 Olympic Games.

In addition to two-time defending champion Jelena Prokopcuka of Latvia, Ndereba will also be racing the 2005 bronze medalist from the world championships marathon, Constantina Tomescu-Dita of Romania, who will be making her ING New York City Marathon debut.  The 37 year-old Tomescu-Dita is the Romanian record holder with a 2:21:30 personal best.  She finished third at last April's Flora London Marathon in 2:23:55.

Also announced today were American Elva Dryer and Ukrainian Tetyana Hladyr.  Dryer, a two-time Olympian at 10,000m, will be running her first marathon in New York, while Hladyr finished a surprising second in last year's race.

"I am really excited to be running my first ING New York City Marathon," said Dryer who has a 2:31:48 marathon personal best.  "It is a stepping stone to the U.S. Olympic Trials and hopefully a spot on the U.S. Olympic team for the 2008 Beijing Olympics.  I am looking forward to the challenge of the ING New York City Marathon and I know it will be an experience to remember."

Both Prokopcuka (55 points) and Ndereba (35 points) are in the hunt for the $500,000 World Marathon Majors jackpot which will be awarded the day after the ING New York City Marathon.  Prokopcuka is the series leader, while Ndereba is tied for fourth place.  Twenty-five points are awarded for a first place finish, 15 for second, 10, 5, and 1 for fifth, so big changes can take place in just a single race.

"With the top three finishers from last year back in Jelena, Tetyana, and Catherine, this year's race is one to watch,” said New York Road Runners president and CEO, Mary Wittenberg.  "The potent mix becomes even more intriguing with the addition of Constantina and Elva to the field."

The ING New York City Marathon is the largest marathon in the world; last year's race had a record 37,866 finishers.

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