Stephen Sambu Will Try To Defend His Title Against Wilson Kipsang, Lelisa Desisa, Geoffrey Mutai And Ben True At The 2015 UAE Healthy Kidney 10K On Saturday, May 30

Returning champion Stephen Sambu will attempt to defend his title against 2014 TCS New York City Marathon champion Wilson Kipsang, two-time Boston Marathon champion Lelisa Desisa, two-time New York City Marathon champion Geoffrey Mutai, 2015 United Airlines NYC Half champion Leonard Korir, and American 5K record-holder Ben True

Women’s race to feature world-class field headlined by the 2014 top-three finishers—winner Joyce Chepkirui, runner-upMamitu Daska, and third-place finisher Mary Wacera

Press Release
May 6, 2015

New York—A showdown of the most decorated field in event history, comprised of marathon champions, global medalists, and the world’s best road racers, will take place in Central Park at the 2015 UAE Healthy Kidney 10K on Saturday, May 30, it was announced today by Mary Wittenberg, president and CEO of New York Road Runners.

Stephen Sambu will race to defend his title against a distinguished men’s field highlighted by Wilson Kipsang, Geoffrey Mutai, and Leonard Korir of Kenya, Lelisa Desisa of Ethiopia, and American Ben True. The women’s race will feature a world-class field headlined by the 2014 top-three finishers: champion Joyce Chepkirui of Kenya, runner-up Mamitu Daska of Ethiopia, and third-place finisher Mary Wacera of Kenya. 2014 IAAF World Half Marathon champion Gladys Cherono of Kenya will make her New York City racing debut.

“We are excited to welcome some of the greatest athletes in our sport to race in the 2015 UAE Healthy Kidney 10K,” said Wittenberg. “Wilson, Joyce, and Stephen, who have all had career-defining moments here in New York, lead a renowned lineup for what may be one of the most competitive 10K races we’ve ever seen.”

Kipsang, 33, of Kenya, captured the 2013–2014 World Marathon Majors series title with a win at the 2014 TCS New York City Marathon, a course-record win (2:04:29) at the 2014 London Marathon, a then world-record win (2:03:23) at the 2013 Berlin Marathon, and a fifth-place finish at the 2013 London Marathon; he is the only man in history to win at London, Berlin, and New York. He claimed his first World Marathon Majors race victory at the 2012 London Marathon. The 2012 London Olympic Marathon bronze medalist is coming off of a second-place finish at the 2015 London Marathon and has run under 2:05 six times, the most in history. Kipsang holds the course record at the Frankfurt Marathon and was the 2013 NYC Half Champion.

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“New York is a special place for me after my victory in the TCS New York City Marathon,” said Kipsang. “I feel happy to be back on ‘lucky’ ground.”

Sambu, 26, is the defending UAE Healthy Kidney 10K champion; he won by 38 seconds with a time of 27:39, the second-fastest performance in event history. At the 2015 United Airlines NYC Half, he was the runner-up to training partner Leonard Korir by less than one second, an improvement upon his third-place finish in 2014 and seventh-place finish in 2013. At the 2014 B.A.A. 10K, the nine-time Division I NCAA All-American successfully defended his title, clocking a time of 27:25—the world’s fastest road 10K of the year. The 2013 and 2014 B.A.A. Distance Medley Champion also finished third at the 2013 UAE Healthy Kidney 10K. He recently finished second to Ben True at the 2015 B.A.A. 5K.

“New York, Central Park, New York Road Runners—I love it all,” said Sambu. “The 2014 UAE Healthy Kidney 10K was an important race. I was fortunate to improve upon my third-place finish in 2013 to victory in 2014. It’s all an honor. I will never forget it, and I want to have the same experience this year.”

Chepkirui, 26, won the first-ever women’s professional division at the 2014 UAE Healthy Kidney 10K with a time of 31:17, the fastest 10K ever run by a woman in Central Park. In 2014, she ran the third-fastest half-marathon in the world with a performance of 1:06:18 to win the Prague Half Marathon. The 2015 United Airlines NYC Half runner-up won the gold medal in the 10,000 meters at both the 2014 Commonwealth Games and the 2014 African Championships. In 2011, she owned the top two times in the world in the 10K, and in 2013 she ran a personal-best of 30:37 at the distance, the sixth-fastest time in history.

“My recovery from the Boston Marathon is going very well, and with the UAE Healthy Kidney 10K scheduled for May 30, I feel motivated, as racing in New York City is a great opportunity and privilege,” said Chepkirui. “I am looking forward to competing on a good course against strong athletes and giving my best to defend my title.”

Additional Athlete Backgrounds and Notable Performances

Professional Men’s Field

  • Desisa, 25, is the 2013 and 2015 Boston Marathon champion. The 2014 TCS New York City Marathon runner-up earned a silver medal at the most recent IAAF World Marathon Championships. He finished second at the 2015 Dubai Marathon, which he won in 2013 with the fifth-fastest marathon debut in history (2:04:45).
  • Mutai, 33, of Kenya, is the course record-holder (2:05:06) and 2011 and 2013 champion of the New York City Marathon. The 2014 NYC Half champion won the 2011 Boston Marathon with a 2:03:02, the then-fastest marathon of all time. He captured the 2011–2012 World Marathon Majors series title with victories at Boston (2011), New York (2011), and Berlin (2012).
  • Korir, 28, of Kenya, won the 2015 United Airlines NYC Half with a time of 1:01:06, improving upon his fourth-place finish in 2013. The 2012 UAE Healthy Kidney 10K runner-up was a two-time Division I NCAA champion and an eight-time All-American at the tri-state area’s Iona College.
  • True, 29, of Hanover, NH, won the 2015 B.A.A. 5K with an American record time of 13:22. He has won seven national titles on the road at 5K, 10K, 15K, and 10 miles and was the top American at the 2011 and 2013 IAAF World Cross Country Championships, finishing 35th and sixth place, respectively.
  • Abdi Abdirahman, 38, of Tucson, AZ, qualified for his fourth U.S. Olympic team in 2012, his first time in the marathon. The 13-time national champion finished second at the 2007 NYC Half with a time of 1:00:27, the fastest time ever run by an American in New York. He owns 13 national titles at 10,000 meters, 10K, 10 miles, and 20K.

Professional Women’s Field

  • Daska, 31, won the 2013 Oakley New York Mini 10K and finished second in 2014. The runner-up at both the 2014 UAE Healthy Kidney 10K and the 2009 NYC Half won the 2011 Houston Marathon and the 2010 Dubai Marathon. She is the two-time reigning champion of the B.A.A. 10K.
  • Wacera, 26, finished second at the 2014 IAAF World Half Marathon Championships with a personal best of 1:07:44. The 2014 UAE Healthy Kidney 10K runner-up won the 2014 World’s Best 10K. On the track in the 5000 meters, she finished third at the 2006 IAAF World Junior Outdoor Track and Field Championships and first at the 2007 African Junior Athletics Championships.
  • Cherono, 31, won the 2014 IAAF World Half Marathon Championships with a time of 1:07:29. The 2013 IAAF World Outdoor Track and Field Championships 10,000-meter silver medalist finished second at the 2015 Dubai Marathon with a time of 2:20:03, the fourth-fastest marathon debut in history, and ran a 1:06:42 personal best to win the 2015 Istanbul Half Marathon.
  • Gemma Steel, 29, of Great Britain, finished third at the 2013 and 2014 Oakley New York Mini 10K. The 2014 Beach to Beacon 10K champion won the 2014 European Cross Country Championships and finished second at the 2014 Great North Run (half-marathon) with a time of 1:08:13. She represented Great Britain at the 2011 and 2013 IAAF World Cross Country Championships.
  • Lindsey Scherf, 28, of White Plains, NY, originally from Scarsdale, NY, is the 2014 Gasparilla Distance Classic Half-Marathon champion and the 12th-place finisher at the 2014 Chicago Marathon. The U.S. Junior record-holder in the 10,000 meters was a four-time All American at Harvard University and represented the United States at the 2005 IAAF World Junior Cross Country Championships.

Professional Men

Name 10K Road Personal Best Twitter Handle
Geoffrey Mutai, KEN 27:19, Boston, MA, 2011 @GeoffreyMutaiK
Stephen Sambu, KEN 27:25, Boston, MA, 2014 @Sksambu
Wilson Kipsang, KEN 27:42, Ras al-Khaimah, UAE, 2009 @Kipsang_2_03_23
Ben True, USA 27:51, Cape Elizabeth, ME, 2014 @bentrue
Lelisa Desisa, ETH 27:58, Atlanta, GA, 2010
Leonard Korir, KEN 28:09, Boston, MA, 2014
Mourad Marofit, MAR 28:11, Brunssum, NED, 2008
Abdi Abdirahman, USA 28:32, Richmond, VA, 2008 @Abdi_runs
Yonas Mebrahtu, ETH 29:06, Shelter Island, NY, 2014 @yonimebrahtu
Kevin Chelimo, KEN 29:58, San Juan, PUR, 2015

Professional Women

Name 10K Road Personal Best Twitter Handle
Joyce Chepkirui, KEN 30:37, Berlin, GER, 2013
Gladys Cherono, KEN 30:57, Tillburg, NED, 2012
Mamitu Daska, ETH 31:04, Boston, MA, 2014
Gemma Steel, GBR 31:27, Cape Elizabeth, ME, 2014 @GemmaSteel4
Mary Wacera, KEN 31:28, Monterau, FRA, 2012
Risper Gesabwa, KEN 31:43, New Orleans, LA,2014
Lindsey Scherf, USA 32:33, Mobile, AL, 2014 @LindseyScherf

The race will begin at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, May 30, on East Drive near East 62nd Street and will finish at 67th Street on West Drive. Runners will vie for a first-place prize of $25,000 as part of the $100,000 prize purse, one of the largest 10K prize purses in the world. The men’s event record is 27:35, set by Leonard Patrick Komen of Kenya in 2011, and the women’s event record is 31:17, set by Joyce Chepkirui of Kenya in 2014.

New this year to the UAE Healthy Kidney 10K will be a 1.7-mile run around Central Park’s lower loop, as part of the NYRR Youth Running Series. Youth ages 7 to 18, including some of NYRR’s Young Runners, will race in three separate age divisions  (elementary, middle, and high school ) beginning at 11:15 a.m. Registration is open for this event; please visit the NYRR website for more details.

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. The National Kidney Foundation is grateful for the support and donations provided by the people of the United Arab Emirates and the UAE Healthy Kidney 10K participants.

About New York Road Runners

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 running 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, and the largest marathon in the world, is the TCS New York City Marathon. Held annually on the first Sunday in November, the race features 50,000 runners, from the world’s top professional athletes to a vast range of competitive, recreational, and charity runners. To learn more, visit

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