10K world record-holder Komon set to lead chase for $25,000 first-place prize—largest of any 10K race in the world—amidst strong international field on Saturday, May 11
Three-time U.S. Olympian Meb Keflezighi, winner of the 2009 ING New York City Marathon, will return to the roads after a nagging calf injury earlier this spring
New York, May 2, 2013—Kenya’s Leonard Patrick Komon, the 10K world record-holder, and Edwin Soi, the 2008 Olympic 5000-meter bronze medalist, will face off against three-time IAAF World Championships medalist Moses Kipsiro of Uganda and IAAF World Cross Country Championship team bronze medalist Abera Kuma of Ethiopia in the 2013 UAE Healthy Kidney 10K on Saturday, May 11, it was announced today by New York Road Runners president and CEO Mary Wittenberg. This race will mark the comeback for American distance star Meb Keflezighi, who suffered from a calf injury throughout the 2013 spring season.
Held over Central Park’s rolling hills, the race is sponsored by the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates and benefits the National Kidney Foundation. The runners will compete for a $25,000 first-place prize and the $30,000 Zayed bonus, which is awarded to the race winner if he breaks the existing Central Park course record of 27:35, set by Komon in 2011. The bonus was named after the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the race’s honoree and the first president of the United Arab Emirates, who was treated for kidney disease in the United States and benefited from the expertise, knowledge, and professionalism of U.S. medical institutions and doctors.
“We are thrilled to collectively host one of the strongest 10K professional fields ever assembled and thousands of eager runners of all ranks at the UAE Healthy Kidney 10K,” said Wittenberg. “Whether runners are coming out to beat the course record or their own personal record, an incredible cause and camaraderie between runners will inspire all.”
Current UAE Healthy Kidney 10K event record-holder Komon, 25, is the world-record holder at the road 10K (26:44) and 15K (41:13). He helped Kenya to three consecutive team gold medals at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships (2008–2010) and earned an individual silver medal at the 2008 race.
Soi, 27, won the bronze medal in the 5000 meters at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. More recently, he took third in the 2012 IAAF World Indoor Championships 3000 meters; he missed the silver medal by one-hundredth of a second.
2010 IAAF World Cross Country Championships bronze medalist Kipsiro, 26, recently placed fourth at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships to lead Uganda’s team to a fifth-place finish. At last summer’s London Olympic Games, he placed 10th at 10,000 meters and 15th at 5000 meters.
Kuma, 22, is a rising star who ran 1:00:19 to finish second in his half-marathon debut last October, at the BUPA Great Birmingham Run in England, after a track season in which he set a new 10,000-meter personal best of 27:18.39. He opened his 2013 season with a win at the Egmond Half-Marathon in the Netherlands in a time of 1:01:20.
Keflezighi, 37, of Mammoth Lakes, CA, will be competing in his third UAE Healthy Kidney 10K. He finished third in 2005, the race’s inaugural year, and seventh in 2012. In 2009, he became the first American since Alberto Salazar in 1982 to win the ING New York City Marathon. Keflezighi is a three-time USA cross country champion (2001, 2002, 2009) and has won more than 20 USA titles in his career. A three-time Olympian and the marathon silver medalist at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Keflezighi placed fourth in the 2012 London Olympic Games Marathon.
Joining Keflezighi is rising American star Bobby Mack, 28, of Raleigh, NC. Mack, a two-time USA champion, helped Team USA take the silver medal at the 2013 IAAF World Cross-Country Championships.
A trio of Australians will also step to the line in Central Park on May 11: Olympians Ben St. Lawrence, 31, and Collis Birmingham, 28, and up-and-comer Brett Robinson, 21. St. Lawrence set the Australian record at 10,000 meters on the track in 2011 (27:24.95), and he recently won the Payton Jordan Cardinal Invitational 10,000 meters at Stanford University. Birmingham is a two-time Olympian (2008 and 2012) and has competed in five IAAF World Cross Country Championships. He set a 27:29.73 personal best at 10,000 meters in 2009.
The ninth annual UAE Healthy Kidney 10K offers something for everyone: thrilling performances from some of the world’s top athletes, a fast course for runners chasing personal records, a great cause to inspire them all, and fantastic giveaways, including a technical shirt for every registered entrant and exciting raffle prizes. The race will begin at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 11, on Central Park’s West Drive near 62nd Street. For more race details, please visit http://www.nyrr.org/run-with-us/uae-healthy-kidney-10k.
New York Road Runners was founded in 1958 when a small group of passionate runners vowed to bring running to the people. Over the past 55 years, NYRR has grown from a local running club to the world’s premier community running organization. NYRR’s mission is to empower everyone, of all ages and abilities—beginners and competitive athletes, the young and the elderly, adult professionals and underserved schoolchildren—to improve their health and well-being through the power of running and fitness.
NYRR’s races, community events, instruction and training resources, and youth programs give hundreds of thousands of people each year the motivation, know-how, and opportunity to start running and keep running for life. NYRR’s premier event, the famed ING New York City Marathon, attracts the world’s top pro runners and committed amateurs alike while also raising millions of dollars annually for charity and driving economic impact for the City. But NYRR is equally committed to the runners of tomorrow, passionately providing youth fitness programs that educate and inspire more than 150,000 kids in underserved communities in New York City, all 50 states, and around the world.
Headquartered in New York City, NYRR implements a unique nonprofit model that teams contributed and earned income to make all its efforts possible. To learn more, please visit www.nyrr.org.
About United Arab Emirates Embassy
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) Embassy in Washington, DC sponsors the annual “UAE Healthy Kidney 10K” in New York City’s Central Park. The race brings together an international field of professional and amateur runners. Last year, more than 10,000 people participated in the race, which benefits the National Kidney Foundation, including top-ranked professional runners and a delegation of athletes from the UAE. The race is organized by New York Road Runners in cooperation with the UAE Embassy and held in honor of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the first President of the UAE. Sheikh Zayed was treated for kidney disease in the United States, and he benefited from the expertise, knowledge, and professionalism of U.S. institutions and doctors. In this regard, the UAE Healthy Kidney 10K race highlights two key UAE government initiatives: sports and health. Officials from the UAE Embassy, the UAE Permanent Mission to the United Nations, and the UAE Armed Forces Officers’ Club attend the event, serving as honorary race starters and congratulating the top finishers.
The UAE is a source of stability, tolerance, innovation, and growth in the Arabian Gulf and around the globe. The United States and the UAE are reliable allies, with historical and present-day shared security and economic interests. In fact, the UAE is the largest export market for US goods in the Middle East and more US naval vessels visit UAE ports than any other port outside the United States. The United States and the UAE also enjoy growing social and cultural ties, and many US institutions in education, healthcare and the arts have formed collaborative partnerships with UAE entities. For more information: www.uae-embassy.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