2013 champion Mamitu Daska, runner-up Linet Masai, and third-place finisher Gemma Steel return to lead international contingent
2014 NYC Half third-place finisher and American 5000-meter record-holder Molly Huddle to headline American field
New York, June 10, 2014—The top three finishers from the 2013 Oakley New York Mini 10K will return to Central Park for the 2014 edition of the Oakley New York Mini 10K on Saturday, June 14, to race against a deep American field. Leading the international competitors are 2013 champion Mamitu Daska of Ethiopia, 2013 runner-up (and two-time former champion) Linet Masai of Kenya, and 2013 third-place finisher Gemma Steel of Great Britain. The star-studded American field will be led by 2014 NYC Half third-place finisher and 12-kilometer world record-holder Molly Huddle, it was announced today by New York Road Runners president and CEO Mary Wittenberg.
“This event is all about women leading the way to self-empowerment through the support of NYRR and running,” said Wittenberg. “We are so proud of this event and thankful to Fred Lebow, Kathrine Switzer, and Nina Kuscsik for starting it. We are especially excited about this year’s pro field, many of them leaders in their own right, who break the mold of what it means to be a pro athlete. Molly Huddle could break the American record, and athletes like Lauren Fleshman run fast while taking the time and energy to challenge our sport to be at its very best. Both the pro athletes and Kathrine Switzer step into the shoes of greats like Grete Waitz, Paula Radcliffe, Tegla Loroupe, and Lornah Kiplagat, and into the midst of women of all ages and abilities to be part of a great morning that will be much more than a race. We can’t wait to get to it.”
Founded by NYRR in 1972, the Mini got its name when race founder Fred Lebow convinced the first sponsor to support a six-mile “mini” marathon—named for the miniskirt, which was then in fashion—rather than a full marathon. It was the world’s first road race exclusively for women. A few weeks later, Title IX became law, guaranteeing young women the right to participate in school sports and creating new opportunities for generations of female athletes. The inaugural race featured 78 participants. Today, the race has had 162,398 total finishers and has been a model for women’s road races around the globe. This year marks the 43rd running of the event, which welcomes women of all ability levels—including the very best in the world.
Huddle, 29, of Providence, RI, grabbed the world’s attention in 2013 when she set the 12-kilometer world record at the U.S. National Road Racing Championships with a time of 37:50. She followed that performance with a third-place finish at the 2014 NYC Half in a time of 1:09:04 in her debut at the distance. A 2012 Olympian, Huddle is also the American record-holder at 5000 meters with a time of 14:44.76.
“I have many good memories of racing in New York City in recent years and always jump at opportunities to return to NYRR events, from the Fifth Avenue Mile to the NYC Half and now the Oakley New York Mini 10K,” said Huddle. “As the world’s original all-women’s race, the Mini makes a bit of history every year, and I look forward to being a part of it, along with great American and International fields in 2014!”
Daska, 30, won last year’s race by breaking away from runner-up Masai mid-race, finishing with a time of 31:47. In May, she returned to Central Park and finished second in the UAE Healthy Kidney 10K, then won the Bolder Boulder 10K title in Colorado on Memorial Day. Other career highlights include a victory at the 2011 BMW Frankfurt Marathon and two wins (2011 and 2012) at the Freihofer’s Run for Women in Albany, NY.
Masai, 24, is a back-to-back champion of the Mini, setting a personal best of 30:48 in 2010 and returning to win again in 2011. On the track, she won the 2009 IAAF World Championship at 10,000 meters and was the 2011 fourth-place finisher in the same event. She is a three-time runner-up at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships (2009, 2010, and 2011). A 2008 Olympian, Masai still holds the 19-and-under world record for 10,000 meters.
Steel, 28, followed up her debut Mini performance in 2013 with a personal-best effort of 31:36 to finish second at the Beach to Beacon 10K in Maine in last year. She represented Great Britain at both the 2012 IAAF World Half-Marathon Championships and the 2013 IAAF World Cross Country Championships, after winning the British National Cross Country Championships.
A $35,150 prize purse will be awarded to the top five overall female finishers, the top five American finishers, and the top three NYRR members in the open division, masters division (40+), and 50+ age-graded division. The first place finisher will receive $10,000.
Other Featured Athlete Backgrounds and Notable Performances:
The race will begin at 8:00 a.m., Saturday, June 14, on Central Park West at West 61st Street. For more race details, please visit http://www.nyrr.org/races-and-events/2014/oakley-new-york-mini-10k.
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.
Established in 1975 and headquartered in Southern California, Oakley is one of the leading sports brands in the world. The holder of more than 675 patents, Oakley is continually seeking problems, solving them with inventions and wrapping those inventions in art. This philosophy has made Oakley one of the most iconic and inimitable brands on the market, with innovations that world-class athletes around the globe depend on to compete at the highest level possible. Oakley is famed for its insuperable lens technologies such as High Definition Optics® (HDO®) which is incorporated into all Oakley sun and prescription eyewear, and all premium Oakley goggles. Oakley has extended its leadership position as the world’s leading sports eyewear brand into apparel, footwear and accessories collections. Laser focused on the consumer, Oakley has both men’s and women’s product lines that target Sports Performance, Active and Lifestyle consumers. Oakley is a subsidiary of Luxottica Group. Additional information is available at www.oakley.com.
“Our races are to our sport what Wimbledon and the Australian, U.S., and French Opens are to tennis, and what the Masters, U.S., and British Opens and PGA Championship are to golf. Each race has the history, the tradition, the honor roll of legendary champions, and a special place in the eyes of all to make them stand apart from the other events.” Mary Wittenberg