2012 U.S. Olympians Set for NYC Half

February 27, 2013 at 10:30am EST | by Barbara Huebner, NYRR News Service

A trio of U.S. stars, instantly recognized as simply Meb, Abdi, and Ritz, are headed for Broadway.

Meb Keflezighi, Abdi Abdirahman, and Dathan Ritzenhein headline the field for the NYC Half 2013, it was announced today by New York Road Runners president and CEO Mary Wittenberg. All are 2012 Olympians: Keflezighi won the 2012 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials and finished fourth in London; Abdirahman finished third at the Trials to make his fourth U.S. Olympic team; and Ritzenhein competed at his third Olympics after earning a spot at 10,000 meters.

“We are positively thrilled to welcome Meb, Dathan, and Abdi—three of America’s finest and favorite long distance runners—to the bright lights of NYC,” said Wittenberg.

They join the previously announced Bernard Lagat, a four-time Olympian, two-time Olympic medalist at 1500 meters, and five-time World Champion.

A fifth 2012 U.S. Olympian is Janet Bawcom, of Flagstaff, AZ, who finished 12th in the 10,000 meters in a personal best of 31:12.68. She has run the last two editions of the NYC Half, finishing fifth last year in a personal best of 1:09:55. Bawcom, 34, is the reigning U.S. 10-mile, 15K, and 25K champion.

Adding to the U.S. depth in the men’s field are Jason Hartmann, 31, the first U.S. finisher in the 2012 Boston Marathon; and Guor Marial, 28, who competed in the 2012 Olympic Marathon under the International Olympic Committee flag as a Sudanese refugee, and who will be running his first race as a U.S. citizen.

The women’s field is strengthened by Serena Burla, 30, whose breakthrough marathon--a 2:28:27--came in Seoul last year; Maegan Krifchin, 24, who ran a personal-best 1:10:56 to finish second at the 2012 USA Half-Marathon Championships; Adriana Nelson, 33, with a half-marathon personal best of 1:09:59; Molly Pritz, 24, the top U.S. woman in the 2011 ING New York City Marathon; Stephanie Rothstein Bruce, 29, third at the 2012 Honolulu Marathon; and Lindsey Scherf, 26, runner-up in the 2012 U.S. 25K Championships.

Keflezighi, 37, the 2004 Olympic silver medalist in the marathon and winner of the 2009 ING New York City Marathon, will be running the NYC Half for the fourth time. His best finish was second in 2006, in 1:01:28. The three-time Olympian will also compete in the 2013 ING New York City Marathon, but first is preparing to run the Boston Marathon in April.

Abdirahman, 36, and Ritzenhein, 31, have both had great success at the half-marathon distance. Abdirahman was runner-up in the 2007 NYC Half in 1:00:29, the third-fastest half-marathon ever run by an American, and is the reigning U.S. half-marathon champion; Ritzenhein is the 2009 IAAF World Half-Marathon Championships bronze medalist and the second-fastest American ever, with a personal best of 1:00:00. More recently, Ritzenhein moved into third on the U.S. all-time marathon list with his 2:07:47 last fall at the Bank of America Chicago Marathon. He will return to Chicago this fall; Abdirahman is set for Boston this spring.

NYRR’s flagship half-marathon, in its eighth running, will air live locally on WABC-TV from 7:00 to 9:00 a.m. and concurrently stream live on ESPN3. NYRR’s On the Run broadcast will air on www.nyrr.org at 8:00 p.m. Friday and Saturday, March 15 and 16, with a post-race recap Sunday evening.

More than 15,000 runners are expected.

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Categories: NYC Half, Pro Athletes