Rhines, Frey Headline Women's Half-Marathon
Three-time U.S. Olympian Jen Rhines and two-time U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials qualifier Michelle Frey will headline a field of more than 8,000 runners at the 9th More Magazine / Fitness Magazine Women's Half-Marathon, the largest women-only half-marathon in the country, on Sunday, April 15, it was announced by New York Road Runners president and CEO Mary Wittenberg.
The 13.1-mile race through scenic Central Park is open to women runners and walkers of all ages. The race attracts women from all 50 states and of every level, from first-time runners to elite athletes. Each year, the sold-out event provides thousands of women the opportunity to gather for competition, celebration, and camaraderie. The race champion will win $1000 and receive "The Meyerhoff", an award named in honor of 2010 champion and NYRR member Sally Meyerhoff, who tragically died in a cycling accident last March.
"The More Magazine / Fitness Magazine Women's Half-Marathon is a powerful race that celebrates strong, active, and spirited women," said Wittenberg. "Jen and Michelle bring world class talent and grace to the race, and they are extraordinary role models for women runners everywhere."
Rhines, 37, of Mammoth Lakes, CA, has made three U.S. Olympic teams at three different distances. She competed in the 10,000 meters in Sydney in 2000, the marathon in Athens in 2004, and the 5000 meters in Beijing in 2008. Rhines has also competed in five IAAF World Championships in Athletics (2001, 2005, 2007, 2009 & 2011) and has won 5 USA titles on the track (1) and the road (4). Training under her husband and coach, Terrence Mahon, at the NYRR-backed Mammoth Track Club in Mammoth Lakes, CA, Rhines is the reigning American half-marathon champion and has a 1:11:14 personal best. She will be the fastest woman ever to run the More Magazine / Fitness Magazine Women's Half-Marathon. In June, Rhines will attempt to make her fourth Olympic team at the U.S. Olympic Trials in Eugene, OR.
"I'm looking forward to returning to the streets of New York next month for the More Magazine / Fitness Magazine Women's Half-Marathon," said Rhines. "I anticipate there will be great energy among the thousands of women that will compete in the nation's largest all women's half-marathon. I'm excited to tackle the hills of Central Park as I build my strength for the Olympic Track Trials in June. It will be a great weekend to enjoy the camaraderie and celebrate women's running."
Frey, 29, of Minneapolis, MN, will turn 30 on the day of the More Magazine / Fitness Magazine Women's Half-Marathon. In January, she finished 22nd in a field of 152 finishers at the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials in Houston. Frey, running under her maiden name of Michelle Lilienthal, finished third at the USA Half-Marathon Championships in 2007, clocking her personal-best time of 1:12:46.
"I've always wanted to compete in the More Magazine / Fitness Magazine Women's Half-Marathon, so I'm extremely excited to be racing it for the first time," said Frey. "I love the energy in New York City, and Central Park is one of my all-time favorite places to run. That, combined with the largest all-women's half-marathon in the country, will make for a really special day! I can't wait!"
The View's Elisabeth Hasselbeck will serve as host for the race and will also be running the race it for the second year in a row with Team NOGII to raise money for Celiac Disease research. The event is hosted by Athleta as the presenting sponsor, with product sponsors Aveeno, Birkenstock, Duane Reade, Jenny Craig, Oakley, Playtex Sport, Skechers and Tonalin. Race participants will be raising money for the charitable partner, Hole in the Wall Gang, a nonprofit, summer camp and year-round center serving children and their families coping with cancer. CARE and Florida Grapefruit are expo sponsors, sister magazine EatingWell is the media partner and Francesco Rinaldo is a food court sponsor.
Prior to the race, a two-day Health & Wellness Expo at the Metropolitan Pavilion - located at 18th Street between Sixth and Seventh avenues - will feature health-oriented vendors and exhibitors, guest speakers, product giveaways and more. The Expo, which is free and open to the public, is also the location for race-number pickup for registered runners.
The half-marathon will begin at 8:00am, Sunday, April 15, on Central Park's West Drive near 63rd Street.