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Martin Lel, Emmanuel Mutai, Jaouad Gharib and Jo Pavey Running 2011 ING NYC Marathon

By New York City Marathon
September 13, 2011

Juan Luis Barrios Also Running

New York, September 13, 2011—Two-time New York City Marathon champion Martin Lel, 2011 Virgin London Marathon champion Emmanuel Mutai, and 2011 BUPA London 10,000 champion Jo Pavey will join the already stellar field for the ING New York City Marathon on Sunday, November 6, it was announced today by New York Road Runners president and CEO Mary Wittenberg.

Lel, Mutai, and Pavey will be joined this weekend by Olympians Juan Luis Barrios and Jaouad Gharib at the BUPA Great North Run in Newcastle, England, as they ready themselves for November’s ING New York City Marathon.

“The field for the ING New York City Marathon 2011 is going to blockbuster strong,” said Wittenberg. “We’re ensured a great race when we have the likes of two-time champion Martin Lel, London champion Emmanuel Mutai, and perennial contender Jaouad Gharib. And we’re honored to host Jo Pavey as she continues her buildup to the London 2012 Olympics in her home country.”

Lel, 33, of Kenya, has run the ING New York City Marathon twice and won it both times, in 2003 and 2007. He has also won three London Marathons and has placed in the top three in 11 of his 12 marathon finishes. Lel bounced back from two years of injuries last spring when he finished second in London. This will mark his first return to the ING New York City Marathon since his 2007 victory.

Mutai, 27, of Kenya, finished second at the ING New York City Marathon 2010 behind champion Gebre Gebremariam, who will also be back in 2011. Mutai set his personal best this past spring when he smashed the course record at the Virgin London Marathon with a time of 2:04:40, winning by 1:05 and becoming the fourth-fastest marathoner in history on a certified course.

“I always aim for the win and I prefer to do that in the biggest races our sport has, so it's an honor to be part of the ING New York City Marathon again,” said Mutai. “Winning New York would mean I have won two of the biggest races in the world in one year. I know I have a chance to win the overall World Marathon Major title as well, but I can't battle in two races at the same time. So I will just do the maximum during the race and the only place to count points is behind the finish line in Central Park."

Pavey, 38, of England, will make her ING New York City Marathon debut this year after making her marathon debut in London this past April. (She finished 19th in 2:28:24.) Pavey had two strong New York City finishes earlier this year: sixth at the NYC Half in March (1:09:33) and seventh at the NYRR New York Mini 10K in June (32:46).

“I’m really excited to be coming back to New York to race for the third time this year, and to be finally toeing the line in Staten Island,” said Pavey. “No marathon career would be complete without competing in the ING New York City Marathon, and it’s great that my second marathon will be in a race that has such a tremendous history. NYRR has assembled a strong field, and a world-class race is exactly what I need ahead of an Olympic year. The marathon is new to me and I’m finding the new challenge really motivating—I can’t wait for November 6th!”

Barrios, 28, of Mexico, was a 5000-meter finalist at the 2008 Olympic Games, finishing seventh. He made his marathon debut earlier this year at the Lala International Marathon in Mexico and finished third in 2:14:20. In 2010, Barrios earned two golds at the Central American & Caribbean Games in the 1500 meters and the 5000 meters.

Gharib, 38, of Morocco, is the Moroccan record-holder for both the half-marathon (59:59) and the marathon (2:05:27). He finished second in the 2008 Beijing Olympic marathon in 2:07:16, and he won IAAF World Championships Marathon gold in 2003 and 2005. Earlier this year, Gharib finished sixth at the Virgin London Marathon in 2:08:26.

In addition to Gebremariam, others previously announced for the men’s race include 2009 champion Meb Keflezighi and fellow Americans Bobby Curtis and Ed Moran. In the women’s race, Pavey will face defending champion Edna Kiplagat, Americans Jen Rhines, Lauren Fleshman, and Molly Pritz, and Kim Smith of New Zealand.

New York Road Runners

Headquartered in New York City, New York Road Runners is dedicated to advancing the sport of running, enhancing health and fitness for all, and meeting our community’s needs. Our goal is to use the expertise acquired in our 53-year history to empower all people to live fitter, healthier lives through participation in our races, community events, instruction and training resources, and youth programs. Our races and other events draw more than 300,000 people each year. The ING New York City Marathon, NYRR’s premier event, is the largest and most inclusive marathon in the world, attracting the world’s top professional runners every year and raising $30.8 million for charity in 2010. NYRR’s running-based youth programs, which currently serve more than 100,000 children in hundreds of schools and community centers, promote children’s health and fitness, character development, and personal achievement in underserved communities. For more information, visit www.nyrr.org.

The ING New York City Marathon

The premier event of New York Road Runners, the ING New York City Marathon is one of the world’s great road races, drawing some 140,000 applicants. The race attracts many world-class professional athletes, not only for the $650,000 in prize money, but also for the chance to excel in the media capital of the world before two million cheering spectators and a worldwide broadcast reach of 330 million. As any one of the more than 875,000 past participants will attest, crossing the finish line in Central Park is one of the great thrills of a lifetime. For more information, visit www.ingnycmarathon.org.

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