18 Rio-Bound Olympic Marathoners to Headline Stacked Field for NYRR New York Mini 10K On June 11th In Central Park

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Press Release
May 24, 2016

New York—Eighteen runners who will compete in the 2016 Rio Olympic Marathon later this year will first stop in iconic Central Park to race the NYRR New York Mini 10K – the world’s original women’s-only road race – on Saturday, June 11, it was announced today by Peter Ciaccia, president of events for New York Road Runners and race director of the TCS New York City Marathon.

Led by American Olympian Desiree Linden, the professional athlete field of marathoners includes a group of runners from 17 different countries and eight women who have run faster than a 33-minute 10K on the road.

“With 18 athletes from 17 different countries on the ‘Road to Rio’ for the marathon, this could be the most recognized field in the 45-year history of the New York Mini 10K,” Ciaccia said. “With Des leading the way, we’ll also have a top field of Americans in a race that has historically brought together women of all ages and abilities, and an event that has become a model for women’s road races around the world. We are excited to be able to showcase these great athletes through our live stream on USATF.tv.”

For the first time, this historic event will include a Girls’ Run for runners ages 7-18. The Girls’ Run at the NYRR New York Mini 10K will start just before the professional athlete group and full field of runners get underway in the 10K race. Approximately 500 girls will participate in the Girls’ Run, which will mimic the women’s race, starting at Columbus Circle and heading up Central Park West before quickly turning into Central Park, ending at the NYRR New York Mini 10K finish line.

“Since 1972, the New York Mini has been an inspirational event for women and a shining example for the world of running,” said Michael Capiraso, president and CEO of New York Road Runners. “The first-ever Girls’ Run at the NYRR New York Mini 10K is the next step in the evolution of this iconic race, allowing women of all ages to come together and help and inspire each other through running.”

Founded by NYRR in 1972, the New York Mini 10K got its name when race founder Fred Lebow convinced the sponsor to support a six-mile “mini” marathon—named for the miniskirt—rather than a full marathon. It was the world’s first road race exclusively for women, with the inaugural race having 78 entrants and this year’s race having one of the most esteemed professional athlete fields in history.

Linden, 32, of Washington Township, MI, qualified for her second Olympics in February after placing second at the U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon in Los Angeles. She dropped out of the 2012 London Olympic Marathon due to an injury, but has since recorded top-five finishes in the 2013 BMW Berlin Marathon, 2014 TCS New York City Marathon and 2015 Boston Marathon. She was the fastest American woman at the latter two races, finishing fifth and fourth in those races, respectively.

“I’m excited to officially be on the road to Rio,” Linden said. “I feel like I need one more opportunity to compete and test my fitness and the NYRR New York Mini 10K is the perfect fit. NYRR will put on a top-notch event with a world-class field that will serve as a preview of the Olympic Marathon competition this summer. I look forward to participating in the 45th edition of this historic race that has played such an important role in women’s running.”

This year’s race will begin at 8:00 a.m. on Saturday, June 11, on Central Park West at 61st Street and will finish at 67th Street on West Drive. Runners will vie for a first-place prize of $10,000 as part of the $35,150 prize purse.

The NYRR New York Mini 10K will be available live on USATF.tv, the digital streaming platform of USA Track & Field powered by RunnerSpace. A complete replay of the event will be available soon after the conclusion of the live coverage and will be made available to subscribers of the +Plus platform on USATF.tv. +Plus subscribers have access to hundreds of live and on-demand events in track and field and road racing including training videos, athlete profiles and exclusive content.

Additional Notable Athlete Backgrounds and Notable Performances

  • Jemima Sumgong, 31, of Kenya, earned her first Abbott World Marathon Majors title as April’s Virgin Money London Marathon winner this year, taking the tape in 2:22:58 even after a fall on mile 22. The win came two months after she lowered her half-marathon best to 1:06:58 at the Ras al Khaimah Half-Marathon.
  • Diane Nukuri, 31, of Burundi, fled her country’s civil war at age 16, finding shelter with a relative in Pickering, Ontario, Canada. While she learned English and adapted to her new home, she was recruited to run for the University of Iowa, where she earned three NCAA All-American honors. After representing Burundi in the 5000 meters at the 2000 Sydney Olympics at age 15, she moved up to the marathon for the 2012 London Games, at which she also served as her country’s flag bearer.
  • Beverly Ramos, 28, of Puerto Rico, competed for her country at the 2011 and 2013 IAAF World Championships, as well as the 2012 London Olympics. Her 2:41:56 at last year’s TCS New York City Marathon was faster than the previous Puerto Rican record by over three minutes and qualified her for the 2016 Rio Games. She lowered that time to 2:36:31 at the Düsseldorf Marathon in April. She ran 33:19 at February’s World’s Best 10K in San Juan, breaking her own record by 31 seconds.
  • Sonia Samuels, 37, of Great Britain, has earned a spot on her country’s team for the 2016 Rio Olympics after placing second among British runners at this year’s London Marathon. She was the top British athlete at the 2015 London Marathon, finishing 15th overall, and she ran a nearly three-minute marathon best for ninth place at the Berlin Marathon last September.
  • Tomomi Tanaka, 28, of Japan, sprinted to a second-place finish at March’s Nagoya Women’s Marathon, the final qualifying race for Japan’s Olympic Marathon team. She will make her Olympic debut in August in Rio. She has raced once previously in New York, finishing eighth in the 2013 NYC Half.
  • Aliphine Tuliamuk-Bolton, 27, of Santa Fe, NM, is originally from Kenya and just gained her U.S. citizenship on April 29. Two days later, she was the second overall and top American finisher at the Lilac Bloomsday Run (12K) in Spokane, WA, clocking in at 39:42. She holds the U.S. Olympic team standard at 10,000m, and last weekend she won the USATF 25K Championships.

Professional Women – 2016 Rio Olympic Marathon Qualifiers

Name 10K Personal Best Twitter Handle
Jemima Sumgong, KEN 31:15  
Diane Nukuri, BDI 31:49 @dnjbdi
Madai Perez, MEX 32:34  
Irvette Van Zyl, RSA 32:50 @Irv87
Tomomi Tanaka, JPN 32:56  
Desiree Linden, USA 32:57 @Des_Linden
Sonia Samuels, GBR 32:58 @SoniaSamuels
Beverly Ramos, PUR 33:19 @Beverly_Ramos
Vianey De La Rosa, MEX 33:47  
Milly Clark, AUS 33:55 @MillyJane14
Jovana De La Cruz, PER 34:06  
Lizzie Lee, IRL 34:18 @LizzieLeevale
Jess Draskau-Petersson, DEN 34:19  
Adriana da Silva, BRA 34:40  
Maria Peralta, ARG 34:43  
Vaida Zusinaite, LTU 34:56  
Zsofia Erdelyi, HUN 35:18  
Kellys Arias, COL 35:38  

Professional Women – Additional Notable Americans

Name 10K Personal Best Twitter Handle
Aliphine Tuliamuk-Bolton, USA 31:52 @aliphinetuliamu
Maegan Krifchin, USA 33:22 @mkrifchin
Dot McMahan, USA 33:24  
Brianne Nelson, USA 32:48 @NelsonBrianne
Allie Kieffer, USA 35:13 @AllieKieffer
Alex Cadicamo, USA 35:32  
Ivette Ramirez, USA 36:06  

About New York Road Runners (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 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 nyrr.org.


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