Eight of the top male distance runners in the country–led by Meb Keflezighi, the 2004 Olympic silver medalist who came back to finish fourth in the 2012 London Games–will join Ryan Hall in running the 2012 ING New York City Marathon on November 4, it was announced today by NYRR president and CEO Mary Wittenberg.
Among the other headliners in the field is four-time Olympian Abdi Abdirahman, 35, giving the race all three 2012 U.S. Olympians from the men’s marathon field. They will be joined by:
With today’s additions, the field includes six of the top eight male finishers from the 2012 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials. They will be competing for half of a new $100,000 prize purse for U.S. citizens, with the top five U.S. men and women each receiving $20,000, $15,000, $10,000, $3,500, and $1,500.
“I’m delighted they’re doing that,” said Keflezighi, who won the 2009 ING New York City Marathon and has signed a two-year contract to compete in the race. “The New York Road Runners have always done a great job supporting Americans. They’ve always invested in us to maximize our potential and get a good pay day if [we] perform.”
Keflezighi this year will mark the 10th anniversary of his 2002 marathon debut, in which he crossed the Central Park finish line in ninth place. The 2012 race will be his eighth ING New York City appearance.
“In 2009, I was lucky enough to ride in the lead car at the ING New York City Marathon when Meb had his historic win,” said Gotcher, who along with Hartmann will be competing in the race for the first time. “From that moment on, I was sold. To finally be able to toe the line on the biggest marathon stage is a thrill, and truly an honor.”
Prize money in the Open Division and NYRR Member Division remains the same, giving the Marathon a total prize purse of $853,000.
Also announced today were three top American men in the wheelchair field: Krige Schabort, Adam Bleakney, and Josh George, all of whom are in London competing in the 2012 Paralympic Games.
Schabort, 49, will be competing in his 12th consecutive ING New York City Marathon. The former South African, who recently became a U.S. citizen, won the race in 2002 and 2003, and is a five-time Paralympian, winning the marathon bronze medal in 1992 and silver in 2000.
Bleakney, 37, of Savoy, IL, is the head coach of the prestigious wheelchair track and field and road-racing team at the University of Illinois. He broke the American record for the all-conditions wheelchair marathon with his sixth-place 1:26:03 in the 2011 Boston Marathon. George, 28, of Fairfax, VA, won the Bank of America Chicago Marathon in 2003, 2004, and 2006, and he finished third in 2011.
All will be vying to become the first male U.S. winner of the ING New York City Marathon’s wheelchair division since its inception in 2000.
Read the full press release here.