Marilson Gomes dos Santos, Alistair Cragg, and Gebre Gebremariam Added to Field at NYC Half-Marathon

Live broadcast and streaming of the fifth annual race will be available on Universal Sports TV and UniversalSports.com

New York, March 4, 2010—A lineup of some of the world’s best long-distance runners, including 2006 and 2008 ING New York City Marathon champion Marilson Gomes dos Santos of Brazil, two-time Olympian Alistair Cragg of Ireland, and 2009 World Cross Country champion Gebre Gebremariam of Ethiopia have been added to the field of the first spring running of the NYC Half-Marathon on Sunday, March 21, it was announced today by New York Road Runners president and CEO Mary Wittenberg.

The 90-minute live broadcast will start at 7:30 a.m. EDT featuring the men’s and women’s professional race. It will be seen on Universal Sports TV and streamed on UniversalSports.com. Veteran sports broadcaster Bruce Beck will host the show.

“The interest continues to build with the addition of World Cross Country champion Gebre Gebremariam and Ireland’s best long-distance runner Alistair Cragg as they tackle the half-marathon distance,” said Wittenberg. “Marilson is one of our all-time favorite ING New York City Marathon champions and we always enjoy having him race here. The broadcast of the race continues NYRR’s strategy of bringing the very best in road racing to a global audience.”

These athletes join a previously announced field of Americans, including 2009 ING New York City Marathon champion Meb Keflezighi, 2004 Olympic bronze medalist Deena Kastor, three-time Olympian Abdi Abdirahman, two-time Olympic steeplechaser Anthony Famiglietti, and 2006 NCAA cross country champion Josh Rohatinsky. International stars in the field include marathon world record-holder Haile Gebrselassie of Ethiopia, 2009 London Marathon runner-up Mara Yamauchi of Great Britain, 2008 NYC Half-Marathon runner-up Madaí Pérez of Mexico, and 2009 Hokkaido Marathon champion Kiyoko Shimahara of Japan.

The first South American winner of the ING New York City Marathon, Gomes, 32, returns to New York after dropping out in the 23rd mile in last year’s ING New York City Marathon. A hero in his home country, Gomes made history when he surprised a stellar field in 2006 to win the ING New York City Marathon. He repeated the victory in 2008, finishing in 2:08:43. In 2007, Gomes ran the fastest half-marathon ever by an athlete from the Western Hemisphere with his 59:33 seventh-place finish at the IAAF World Road Running Championships.

The U.S.-based Cragg, 29, will be making his half-marathon debut. A seven-time NCAA champion, Cragg is the Irish national record-holder in the 3000 meters, 5000 meters indoors, and 10,000 meters outdoors.

A 2004 Olympian, Gebremariam, 25, will be running in his first road race in the United States. After much success at the 5000-meter and 10,000-meter distance, Gebremariam will be participating in only his second half-marathon. 

Previously announced, the NYC Half-Marathon will offer the largest half-marathon prize purse in the United States: $100,000. The men’s and women’s champions will each earn $20,000, the largest first-prize checks for a non-marathon race in the country.

The NYC Half-Marathon continues to attract leading professional athletes and recreational runners from around the world. In 2009, more than 19,000 people applied to run the race, and more than 10,000 finished.

On a course designed to celebrate New York City, the NYC Half-Marathon will take runners on a loop through Central Park, down Seventh Avenue through Times Square, across 42nd Street, and along the expansive West Side Highway to Chambers Street in the heart of the city’s financial district.

New York Road Runners

New York Road Runners, founded in 1958, is dedicated to promoting the sport of distance running, enhancing health and fitness for all, and responding to community needs. Our road races and other fitness programs draw upwards of 300,000 runners annually, and together with our magazine and website support and promote professional and recreational running. A staff of more than 100, assisted by thousands of volunteers, stages the ING New York City Marathon, as well as a road race nearly every weekend plus many track and cross country events. NYRR’s home base in New York, and its lifelong identification with Central Park, have given many of its events iconic status, attracting the world’s top professional runners. Our youth programs provide running to nearly 100,000 schoolchildren in New York City, around the country, and in South Africa who would otherwise have few or no fitness opportunities. For more information, visit www.nyrr.org.

 

 

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