New Zealand Olympian and decorated record-holder Kim Smith will also compete in 2012 ING New York City Marathon
Broadcast live from Columbus Circle on ABC7 and tv.nyrr.org, event features hosts Rob Powers and Carrie Tollefson and numerous special guests
More than 140,000 applications received for Sunday, November 4 race
For Immediate Release
New York, April 25, 2012—On ING New York City Marathon Opening Day Presented by ASICS, a powerhouse pair of distance runners—U.S. Men’s Olympic Marathon team member Ryan Hall and New Zealand Olympian Kim Smith—were announced as headlining the field on Sunday, November 4. The announcement was made by New York Road Runners president and CEO Mary Wittenberg on the broadcast from Columbus Circle.
Seen live on ABC7 and tv.nyrr.org at noon, the half-hour show was broadcast mere steps from the renowned marathon course and hosted by ABC7 lead sports anchor Rob Powers and Olympian Carrie Tollefson. The annual event featured a highly anticipated special drawing of entrants for the race, along with exciting prizes and giveaways to the live audience of several hundred. Special guests included former Giants wide receiver and finisher of the 2010 ING New York City Marathon Amani Toomer, U.S. professional tennis player James Blake, film and television actress Amy Yasbeck, and internet sensation Zeddie Little, recently dubbed the “Ridiculously Photogenic Guy.”
NYRR officials anticipate more than 140,000 applicants, with 90,000 in the non-guaranteed entry drawing for about 47,500 finishing spots. At the end of the show, entrants will learn of their acceptance status on the tv.nyrr.org website.
“Marathon Opening Day has become our annual launch to marathon season in New York—a real ‘starting line’ celebration for the most global marathon,” said Wittenberg. “As the people’s Olympics, it’s fitting that we have Olympic stars Ryan and Kim here—our first pro athletes in the race—to join us in today’s festivities.”
Hall, 29, of Big Bear Lake, CA, will be running the ING New York City Marathon for the second time, after finishing fourth in 2009 in 2:10:36. In January, he qualified for his second Olympic Games at the marathon Trials. He won the 2008 Trials in New York City in November 2007 and went on to finish 10th in the 2008 Beijing Games. At the 2011 Boston Marathon, Hall took fourth place in a time of 2:04:58, the fastest ever run by an American. In 2007, he became the only American to have broken the one-hour barrier in the half-marathon when he ran 59:43 to win the Aramco Houston Half-Marathon. In addition to the Olympic Trials, Hall found success in New York when he won the 2006 USA Cross Country Championships 12K, and also in his first appearance in the NYC Half in 2009, when he finished third.
“I couldn’t be more excited to return to the ING New York City Marathon,” said Hall. “Having raced the 2009 edition, I have fond memories of the excitement of racing through the five boroughs with the best marathoners in the world. I’ve always said that racing in New York is performing on the big stage. I’m also excited to be a part of Marathon Opening Day to announce the first round of runners who will join me on the streets of New York. What makes the marathon such an incredible event is being one of 50,000 people who all have the same goal of conquering 26.2 challenging miles with the reward of the same finish line that awaits us all.”
Smith, 30, a native of Auckland who now lives in Providence, RI, will be making her fourth appearance at the ING New York City Marathon: After dropping out because of illness in 2008, she placed fifth in both 2010 and 2011. Smith recently finished second in the NYC Half 2012 in a time 1:08:43, after leading eventual winner Firehiwot Dado nearly the entire race. She broke her own record for the fastest-ever half-marathon by a woman on U.S. soil when she won the 2011 Rock ’n’ Roll Philadelphia Half-Marathon in 1:07:11. Smith holds 12 New Zealand records at distances from the mile to the marathon.
“I’m really looking forward to being part of the ING New York City Marathon again this year,” said Smith. “I feel like a regular now at NYRR events, and coming back to race in New York is always an amazing experience. I’m excited about being at Marathon Opening Day this year for the 2012 ING New York City Marathon. To be part of the start of all the excitement, anticipation, and hype of the marathon is inspiring.”
Also announced at ING New York City Marathon Opening Day Presented by ASICS, was the NY Giants Run of Champions 5K Presented by Walgreens and Duane Reade. This inaugural event will take place on Sunday, June 24 at MetLife Stadium and will feature a 5K race, kids’ races and activities, and more. For more information on all activities and to sign up for the race, visit nyrr.org.
“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