U.S. Olympic Marathon team member Desiree Davila, reigning world marathon champion Edna Kiplagat, and 2011 ING New York City Marathon and 2012 NYC Half champion Firehiwot Dado lead a field that includes eight 2012 Olympians
Women's running pioneers and NYRR New York Mini 10K co-founders Kathrine Switzer and Nina Kuscsik, and the event’s first champion, Jacqueline Dixon, will be part of race celebration
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
New York, May 30, 2012—Thirty-one world-class athletes representing 12 nations, led by U.S. Olympic Marathon team member Desiree Davila, reigning world marathon champion Edna Kiplagat, and 2011 ING New York City Marathon and 2012 NYC Half champion Firehiwot Dado, will run the NYRR New York Mini 10K on Saturday, June 9, it was announced today by New York Road Runners president and CEO Mary Wittenberg.
The 40th anniversary of the world’s first road race exclusively for female participants will also feature three Mini 10K legends: race co-founders Kathrine Switzer and Nina Kuscsik, and the event’s first champion, Jacqueline Dixon, who won the inaugural race in 1972. From those who led the way 40 years ago, to active women and girls participating in sports programs across the country, this race will bring together several generations of women who run.
“On this special anniversary year of the world’s first all-women road race and of Title IX, we’re celebrating with one of the strongest and most diverse women’s fields around,” said Wittenberg. “Our outstanding roster of champions and legends, coupled with thousands of active women from around the nation, will more than mark the Mini’s 40th anniversary. It may be called the Mini, but this race, and what it stands for, is truly massive.”
Davila, 28, of Rochester Hills, MI, became a member of the U.S. Olympic marathon team by finishing second in the U.S. Trials with a time of 2:25:55. She burst into the spotlight with her thrilling second-place finish at the 2011 Boston Marathon, in which she battled for the lead with eventual winner Caroline Kilel of Kenya through the final miles and finished only two seconds behind Kilel. Davila’s time of 2:22:38 was the fastest time ever run by an American woman at the Boston Marathon.
“The Mini 10K has been on my bucket list of races for some time,” said Davila. “I’m looking forward to being a part of the 40th anniversary and competing on the same roads as some of the greatest female runners ever. I’m excited that with my focus being on the roads, it fits in with my summer schedule and I’ll finally have the opportunity to compete in the historic event, and maybe even write a little bit of history myself.”
Kiplagat, 32, of Kenya, is the 2011 World Championships marathon gold medalist. She finished second in the 2012 Virgin London Marathon with a personal best time of 2:19:50, earning her a spot on the Kenyan Olympic Marathon team. Kiplagat won the 2010 ING New York City Marathon in a time of 2:28:20.
Dado, 28, of Ethiopia, is the 2011 ING New York City Marathon and 2012 NYC Half champion. Dado finished the marathon in a personal-best time of 2:23:15 in her New York City debut. She is also a three-time winner of the Rome City Marathon.
Switzer, 65, of the U.S., is a running legend, women’s running pioneer, and Mini 10K co-founder. She is best known for challenging the all-male tradition of the Boston Marathon and becoming the first woman to officially enter and run the event. Her participation created an uproar and worldwide notoriety when a race official tried to forcibly remove her from the competition. The “Boston Incident” also inspired Kathrine to become a respected athlete: She has run more than 30 marathons, won the 1974 New York City Marathon, and ran her personal best of 2:51.33 by finishing second in the 1975 Boston Marathon.
“This is a whopper of an anniversary year for women,” said Switzer. “It’s the year of the first women’s-only road race, the year we were first “allowed” to run an official marathon, and the year the Title IX amendment was added to the Constitution; it was the year that changed everything! I’m so proud of this race, and of NYRR, who have kept it thriving through the years. The Mini 10K continues to give women of all ages and abilities a forum to run, inspired by an elite field leading the way.”
Honored guests will include women’s running pioneer and Mini 10K co-founder Nina Kuscsik, 73, of the United States—the first woman to run in the New York City Marathon (and a two-time winner) and the first female winner of the Boston Marathon—and Jacqueline Dixon, 57, of the United States, the winner of the first Mini 10K in 1972.
Other top contenders in the field:
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 all-women road race. 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 first race featured 78 participants. The event has had a total of nearly 150,000 finishers and has been a model for women’s road races around the globe.
The NYRR New York Mini 10K will begin at 8:00 a.m. on Saturday, June 9, on Central Park’s West Drive near 61st Street. For more race details, please visit http://www.nyrr.org/run-with-us/nyrr-new-york-mini-10K.
“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