Girma Bekele Gebre and Belaynesh Fikadu Honored as Fred Lebow Runners of the Year at NYRR Club Night

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Awards presented in a variety of special categories, including NYRR Youth Programs Award and NYRR Strider of the Year

New York, January 31, 2020 – Girma Bekele Gebre (Manhattan) and Belaynesh Fikadu (Bronx) – both of West Side Runners – were honored as the Fred Lebow Runners of the Year at the 41st annual NYRR Club Night on Thursday, January 30 at the Manhattan Center. The awards were given to the male and female runners who have consistently exhibited the most superior performances over a variety of races and distances, and who have completed at least six fully scored NYRR races during the last year.

“This year’s NYRR Club Night was outstanding and a great way to celebrate the top runners and teams in New York City and our entire running club community,” said Michael Capiraso, president and CEO of NYRR. “Congratulations to Girma, Belaynesh, and the entire running club community across the five boroughs – from youth to seniors – for having another tremendous year on the roads.”

NYRR Club Night has been a New York Road Runners tradition since 1980 that features an awards ceremony honoring the top-scoring teams in the 2019 club points series, the best age-group performers of the year and special award winners. The Awards Committee is comprised of NYRR staff members and representatives from the local running community.

In 2019, Gebre finished third at the TCS New York City Marathon in 2:08:38 and won the Italy Run by Nutella Café 5 Mile and Japan Run 4 Mile. He also finished in the top 10 at the Popular Brooklyn Half, UAE Healthy Kidney 10K, Achilles Hope and Possibility 4 Mile and NYRR Queens 10K.

Fikadu was ninth at the TCS New York City Marathon in 2:27:27 and won the NYRR Staten Island Half and New Balance Bronx 10 Mile. She was also the runner-up at the NYRR Queens 10K and Achilles Hope and Possibility 4 Mile.

The following Special Awards were also presented at NYRR Club Night:

  • NYRR Youth Programs Award: Jesse Garcia and Zury Reyes
  • Achilles Athlete of the Year: Alan Kaufman and Hannah Gavios
  • Ted Corbitt Ultrarunner of the Year: Daniel Lemelman and Tiffany England
  • NYRR Strider of the Year: Dorothy Clay
  • Joe Kleinerman Award (presented in recognition of outstanding and inspiring community service): Bette Clark
  • Team Spirit Award: Front Runners NY

The complete list of NYRR Club Night winners can be found here.

NYRR serves as an umbrella organization for approximately 100 local running clubs during the year through its monthly Club Council meetings, and encourages competition among clubs at NYRR races, 11 of which are scored and designated as club points races.

About New York Road Runners (NYRR)
NYRR’s mission is to help and inspire people through running. Since 1958, New York Road Runners has grown from a local running club to the world’s premier community running organization. NYRR’s commitment to New York City’s five boroughs features races, community events, free youth running initiatives and school programs, the NYRR RUNCENTER featuring the New Balance Run Hub, 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, and the largest marathon in the world, is the TCS New York City Marathon. Held annually on the first Sunday in November, the race features 50,000 runners, from the world’s top professional athletes to a vast range of competitive, recreational, and charity runners.  To learn more, visit

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