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By David Monti
(c) 2009 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved

NEW YORK (29-Apr) -- The fourth annual New York City Half-Marathon will take place on Sunday, August 16, the New York Road Runners announced today.

"The half-marathon is one of the most popular race distances, and we are proud to offer this unique course through the heart of the Big Apple," said New York Road Runners president and CEO Mary Wittenberg in a prepared statement.  "In only four years, this event has become a highlight among our summer races."

The race, which counted 10,506 finishers last year, has developed into the top summer half-marathon in the world.  Olympic medalists Haile Gebrselassie (59:24, 2007) and Catherine Ndereba (1:09:43, 2006) hold the course records, impressive times given the heat and humidity normally experienced in New York City in the summer.

The scenic and certified course takes in one shady 10 km loop of Central Park, then runs south through the heart of Times Square before heading downtown to the finish just north of Battery Park.  The first half of the course features challenging hills, while the second half is flat and slightly downhill to the finish.  Top athletes like Abdi Abdirahman (60:29), Thomas Nyariki (61:22), and Madai Perez (70:26) have recorded their career best times on the course.

In a switch from previous years when a lottery system was used, registration for the race this year will be on a first come, first served basis.  Registration opens at http://www.nyrr.org on Friday, May 1.  Demand is expected to be heavy; 19,500 people applied last year and only 10,500 were accepted.




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