2014 UAE Healthy Kidney 10K: Kenyan Road 10K World Record Leonard Komon Faces Sam Chelanga And Collis Birmingham

Field features World 10K record-holder Leonard Patrick Komon and 2014 Prague Half-Marathon winner and course record-holder Joyce Chepkirui, both of Kenya

 First-ever women’s professional field marks this year’s 10th anniversary of the race

Press Release
May 6, 2014

New York—Kenyan world record-holder Leonard Patrick Komon and his countrywoman Joyce Chepkirui lead a powerful international field in a chase for the $25,000 first-place prize—the largest for any 10K race in the world—at the 2014 UAE Healthy Kidney 10K on Saturday, May 10, it was announced today by New York Road Runners president and CEO Mary Wittenberg.

“We are thrilled to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the UAE Healthy Kidney 10K, which is highlighted by the race’s first-ever women’s professional field,” said Wittenberg. “This is always a special race, as many of the world’s top long-distance athletes join thousands of runners of all abilities to support the National Kidney Foundation.  It’s an inspiring day for everyone.”

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Komon, who holds the world records for 10K and 15K and earlier this year ran history’s fastest-ever half-marathon debut, will seek a record third Healthy Kidney 10K title. He will be challenged by NCAA 10,000-meter record-holder Sam Chelangaof Kenya and two-time Olympian Collis Birmingham of AustraliaThe fast field encompasses record-holders, Olympians, and World Championships medalists.

“I’m happy to come back to my favorite city in the U.S. and to make a hat trick in a new course record at the UAE Healthy Kidney 10K,” said Komon. “Let’s cross fingers for a great day!”

In the inaugural professional women’s race, Chepkirui, the fastest 10K road runner in the field, will challenge Ethiopia’s World Championships gold medalist Gelete Burka, Kenyan World Half-Marathon Championships medalist Mary Wacera, and American two-time Olympic Trials steeplechaser Delilah DiCrescenzo.

“Some races are run out of preparation and in full training, and some for fun,” said Chepkirui. “Some races are run for excellence, and it is an honor to compete in a city that runs and jogs so well. With the 10th edition of the UAE Healthy Kidney 10K and the first-ever invited women’s field, I couldn’t be happier to take part and do my best. I am looking forward to competing well and breaking 30:44, and earning the $30,000 Zayed Bonus in one of the top events for distance and road running.”

The runners will compete for a $25,000 first-place prize and the $30,000 Zayed Bonus, awarded by the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates in honor of former UAE president Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al-Nahyan, given to the first man to break 27:35 (Leonard Patrick Komon, UAE Healthy Kidney 10K, 2011) and/or the first woman to break 30:44 (Lornah Kiplagat, New York Mini 10K, 2002).

Featured Athlete Backgrounds and Notable Performances

  • Leonard Patrick Komon, 26, is the world record-holder at 10K and 15K, and he won the 2014 Prague Half-Marathon in the fastest debut in history (59:14). He holds the current UAE Healthy Kidney 10K event record and looks to become the first three-time male winner in event history.
  • Sam Chelanga, 29, took second place at the 2013 NYRR Dash to the Finish Line 5K, won the 2013 Manchester Road Race, and is the NCAA record-holder at 10,000 meters.
  • Stephen Sambu, 25, finished third in the 2013 UAE Healthy Kidney 10K and followed that up with another third-place finish at the 2014 NYC Half. The former University of Arizona standout won the $100,000 BAA Distance Medley in 2013.
  • Collis Birmingham, 29, is a two-time Olympian (2008 and 2012) and a former Australian 10,000-meter record-holder. He took fifth place at the 2013 UAE Healthy Kidney 10K.
  • Joyce Chepkirui, 25, ran a course record at the 2014 Prague Half-Marathon to become the fifth-fastest female half-marathoner of all time in 1:06:19.  Her 30:37 10K best, set in Berlin last fall, is the fastest in the women’s field.
  • Gelete Burka, 28, is a four-time World Championships medalist, including gold in 2006 (cross country) and 2008 (1500 meters indoors).
  • Mamitu Daska, 30, won the 2013 Oakley New York Mini 10K to become the first Ethiopian champion in the history of the world’s original women-only road race. She also won the 2013 BAA 10K.
  • Mary Wacera, 25, took silver at the 2014 IAAF/AL-Bank World Half-Marathon Championships. She won the 2014 World’s Best 10K in a time of 32:06.
  • Delilah DiCrescenzo, 31, of New York, NY, was third in the 3000-meter steeplechase at the 2011 USATF Championships, qualifying for the U.S. World Championship Team. She’s also twice represented Team USA at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships.

Professional Men

Name Country 10K Personal Best Twitter Handle
Collis Birmingham AUS 28:29 (road), 27:29.73 (track) @cjbirmingham
Sam Chelanga KEN 28:31 (road), 27:08.39 (track) @SamChelanga
Leonard Patrick Komon KEN 26:44 (road),  26:55.29 (track)
Mourad Marofit MAR 28:11 (road),  29:44.40 (track)
Daniele Meucci ITA 28:28 (road), 27:32.86 (track) @MeucciDaniele
Harbert Okuti UGA 29:42 (road) @HarbertOkuti
Stephen Sambu KEN 28:02 (road), 27:28.64 (track) @Sksambu

Professional Women

Name Country 10K Personal Best Twitter Handle
Gelete Burka ETH 30:53 (road) @Geleteburka
Joyce Chepkirui KEN 30:37 (road), 31:26.10 (track)
Mamitu Daska ETH 31:44 (road),  31:36.88 (track)
Delilah DiCrescenzo USA 33:36 (road) @DelilahDiCre
Rkia El Moukim MAR 32:07 (road)
Risper Gesabwa KEN 31:43 (road)
Aliphine Tuliamuk-Bolton KEN 32:11 (road), 32:07.20 (track)
Mary Wacera KEN 31:28 (road)

The United Arab Emirates is the primary sponsor of the race, which benefits the National Kidney Foundation, Inc., in appreciation of American doctors and U.S. excellence in the kidney transplant arena. UAE’s founder and first president Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan benefited from U.S. expertise, knowledge, and research when he received a kidney transplant in 2000. Among his many honors and accomplishments, he was most proud of being a kidney transplant survivor.

The National Kidney Foundation (NKF) is the leading organization in the United States dedicated to the awareness, prevention, and treatment of kidney disease for hundreds of thousands of healthcare professionals, millions of patients and their families, and tens of millions of Americans at risk. Over $1.2 million has been raised through the UAE Healthy Kidney 10K.

The race will begin at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, May 10, on East Drive near East 68th Street. For more race details, please visit http://www.nyrr.org/races-and-events/2014/uae-healthy-kidney-10k.

About NYRR

Founded in 1958, New York Road Runners has grown from a local running club to the world’s premier community running organization, whose mission is to help and inspire people through running.  NYRR’s commitment to New York City’s five boroughs features races, community events, youth initiatives, school programs, and training resources that provide hundreds of thousands of people each year, from children to seniors, with the motivation, know-how, and opportunity to run for life.  NYRR’s premier event, the TCS New York City Marathon, features an estimated 47,500 to 50,000 participants, from the world’s elite athletes to a wide range of recreational and charity runners, and is part of the World Marathon Majors, an alliance of the world’s six biggest marathons that determines each year’s top male and top female marathoner. To learn more, visit www.nyrr.org.

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