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North American Rivals Vie to be Champions of Inaugural Pro Wheelchair Race at 2014 NYC Half

March 05, 2014

Men’s field features Paralympian and three-time Chicago Marathon champion Josh George; two-time New York City Marathon champion Amanda McGrory tops women’s field

Race will be broadcast live in the New York City metropolitan area on WABC-TV and streamed live globally on 7online.com and WatchESPN.com

New York, March 5, 2014—American Paralympians Josh George and Amanda McGrory will lead a powerhouse field of stars who will set out to make history in the inaugural year of a professional wheelchair race at the NYC Half on Sunday, March 16, it was announced today by New York Road Runners president and CEO Mary Wittenberg.

“We are thrilled that the newly reconfigured NYC Half course allows for the addition of a professional wheelchair race,” said Wittenberg. “The new field will further solidify the NYC Half as one of the world’s top running events and enable us to begin a tradition, as we have with the New York City Marathon, of attracting the world’s finest athletes. Manhattan will provide a spectacular backdrop for making history in this inaugural year, and we can’t wait to cheer Josh, Amanda, and the entire field to the finish line.”

The professional wheelchair field will feature 10 Paralympians. In addition to Josh George, top men announced include five-time Paralympian Krige Schabort (USA), 2012 Bank of Chicago Marathon runner-up Adam Bleakney (USA), three-time Paralympian Michel Filteau (Canada), and Paralympian Gyu Dae Kim (South Korea).

“No other organization understands, promotes, and supports wheelchair racing like New York Road Runners, and I am ecstatic to have the opportunity to race in the first-ever pro wheelchair division at the NYC Half,” said George. “New York City is the best city in the world, with the best races in the world, and I will always come back.”

Joining McGrory and adding to the depth of the women’s roster are reigning Paralympic marathon gold medalist Shirley Reilly (USA), 2008 Paralympian Chelsea McClammer (USA), three-time Paralympian Diane Roy (Canada), and 2013 ASICS LA Marathon winner Susannah Scaroni (USA).

“I'm honored to be invited to participate in the first-ever elite wheelchair division of the NYC Half,” said McGrory. “The New York Road Runners puts on an event like no one else, and they’re always at the forefront when it comes to support and recognition of the elite wheelchair athletes. I'm ecstatic to be a part of their plan for continued growth and enthusiasm for our sport.”

The NYC Half will be broadcast live in the New York City metropolitan area on WABC-TV from 7:00 to 9:00 a.m. EDT. Viewers can also watch the race on 7online.com from 7:00 to 10:30 a.m. EDT, or via WatchABC on mobile devices) from 7:00 to 9:00 a.m. EDT (for participating cable providers). For those who have video subscriptions with affiliated providers, the race will also be available via WatchESPN from 7:00 to 10:30 a.m.

Featured Athlete Backgrounds and Notable Performances

  • George, 29, of Fairfax, VA, is a three-time Chicago Marathon champion and finished third in the 2013 race. He is a two-time Paralympian (2008 and 2012) and won the 800 meters at the 2013 IPC Athletics World Championships. George’s half-marathon personal best (47:45) was set at the 2012 OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon in Indianapolis, which he won. He, along with McGrory, is a member of the distinguished University of Illinois wheelchair track team.
  • McGrory, 27, of Champaign, IL, trains with Paralympic superstar Tatyana McFadden and the University of Illinois powerhouse wheelchair program. She set the New York City Marathon course record of 1:50:24 in 2011 and has had five top-three finishes in New York. McGrory was third at the 2013 Boston Marathon and second at the 2013 Virgin Money London Marathon. She is a three-time champion and the course record-holder at the Christie Clinic Illinois Half-Marathon.

Professional Men

Name

Country

Half-Marathon Personal Best

Twitter Handle

Adam Bleakney

USA

47:45

@ChiefFastcow

Josh George

USA

47:45

@jsgeorge

Michel Filteau

CAN

Debut

 

Gyu Dae Kim

KOR

48:00

 

Krige Schabort

USA

45:59

 

 

Professional Women

Name

 

Half-Marathon Personal Best

Twitter Handle

Chelsea McClammer

USA

55:44

@ChelseaMMcC

Amanda McGrory

USA

50:47

@alittlechipped

Shirley Reilly

USA

53:47

@ShirleyReilly1

Diane Roy

CAN

51.11

 

Susannah Scaroni

USA

53:52

@KenyanScaroni

The NYC Half boasts an on-street experience like no other, taking participants on a 13.1-mile tour of Manhattan. The course winds through the rolling hills of Central Park, up to Harlem, down to the bright lights of Times Square, and along the Hudson River waterfront to a finish in lower Manhattan. On the Run, NYRR’s behind-the-scenes webcast available at ontherun.nyrr.org, takes viewers inside the NYC Half and will air Tuesday through Sunday of race week.  

For the latest NYC Half news, updates, features, and media information, please visit the NYRR online media room at media.nyrr.org or follow us on Twitter @nyrrnews.

About 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 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 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.

Categories: Half Marathon News
 
QUOTED

“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