by: Woodrow Wilson Race Press Release
September 14, 2009
ALEXANDRIA, VA - Catherine Ndereba, considered the greatest women’s marathoner of all time, will headline the field of 4,000 runners Sunday at the inaugural Woodrow Wilson Bridge Half Marathon presented by Burke & Herbert Bank.
The USATF-sanctioned race over a 13.1-mile USATF-certified course begins at the famous Mount Vernon Estate in Alexandria, Va., and travels over the new Woodrow Wilson Bridge into the resort of National Harbor in Maryland to end at the notable Awakening statue.
Ndereba, 38, earned silver medals in both the 2004 Athens Olympics and 2008 Beijing Olympics. The graceful Kenyan affectionately known as “Catherine the Great” has won the Boston Marathon four times and broke the women's marathon world record in 2001, running 2:18:47 at the Chicago Marathon. In addition, Ndereba has mined gold at the 2003 and 2007 World Championships and a silver in 2005.
In 2008, Ndereba was described by veteran Chicago Tribune sportswriter Philip Hersh as the greatest women's marathoner of all time.
Last year, when Ndereba placed seventh at the London Marathon, she equaled Katrin Dorre's record of 21 sub-2:30 marathons. Since her marathon debut in 1998 - finishing sixth at Boston in 2:28:27 – she has run three sub-2:20 marathons.
She also has won the Philadelphia Distance Run half marathon seven times, most recently in 2009.
She will sport Bib No. 1 and will be on hand at the packet pickup at Pacers Running Store in Alexandria on Friday afternoon and at the Westin National Harbor on Saturday to sign autographs and discuss her storied running career.
“To have the best of the best of all-time coming to our race is simply unbelievable,” said Steve Nearman, founder and event director of the Woodrow Wilson Bridge Half Marathon. “It is truly an honor to have Catherine wear No. 1 at our race.”
Ndereba trains in the Philadelphia suburb of Royersford but resides in Nairobi, Kenya, with her husband Anthony Maina and daughter Jane. Her brother Samuel Ndereba and sister Anastasia Ndereba also are accomplished marathon runners.