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Fleshman, Curtis to Debut at New York 2011

Fleshman, Curtis to Debut at ING New York City Marathon 2011

New York debut for Fleshman

New York debut for Fleshman

Moran, Pritz round out “Freshman Class of 2011” of U.S. runners making marathon debuts in New York on Sunday, November 6

NEW YORK – (August 10, 2011) – The “Freshman Class of 2011” – Bobby Curtis, Ed Moran, Lauren Fleshman and Molly Pritz – will make their marathon debuts at the ING New York City Marathon on Sunday, November 6, it was announced by New York Road Runners president and CEO Mary Wittenberg.

This quartet of American standouts continues a tradition set by compatriots Deena Kastor (2001), Meb Keflezighi (2002), Marla Runyan (2002), Dathan Ritzenhein (2006), Kara Goucher (2008), Jorge Torres (2009) and Shalane Flanagan (2010) of making their marathon debuts on New York City streets.

“This year’s ‘Freshman Class’ are some of the best in their respective distances, and we are very excited to see what they can do in the marathon,” said Wittenberg. “New York has become an inviting and exciting place for our Americans to debut from Alberto, Deena and Meb to Kara and Shalane, and we are ready to see what Bobby, Ed, Molly and Lauren have in store for 2011.”

Curtis and Moran will join a pair of previously announced ING New York City Marathon champions on the men’s side: Gebre Gebremariam of Ethiopia (2010) and Meb Keflezighi (2009) of the United States. In the women’s division, Fleshman and Pritz will battle against defending champion Edna Kiplagat of Kenya, three-time Olympian Jen Rhines of the United States and Kim Smith of New Zealand.

Curtis, 26, of Ardmore, PA, became the seventh-fastest American of all time at 10,000 meters when he ran 27:24.67 to finish second at the Payton Jordan Invitational in April. Currently the third-fastest 5K runner in the world for 2011, the two-time Team USA member of the IAAF World Cross Country Championships team won the 2008 NCAA Championship at 5000 meters in 13:33.93.

“I’m thrilled to be debuting at the ING New York City Marathon,” said Curtis. “I’m looking forward to competing as an American in what I believe to be the USA’s most prestigious road race. Not only that, I’m excited to be competing in a city full of passionate running fans, many of whom will be running the marathon on November 6 just like me. I can think of no better event than the ING New York City Marathon for an American distance runner to have the race of his or her life.”

Moran, 30, of Williamsburg, VA, won gold in the 5000 meters at the 2007 Pan American Games, becoming the first American male to do so since 1987. He also took home the title of USA 10K champion in 2010 at the AJC Peachtree Road Race in Atlanta. Moran finished fourth in the 10,000 meters at the 2008 Olympic Trials, missing the Olympic team by six seconds.

“I’m excited about making my marathon debut in New York City this fall,” said Moran, who was born in Staten Island. “While I am mostly focused on the challenge of the marathon distance and the world class competition that comes to the Big Apple, I’m equally excited about fulfilling my childhood dream of running across the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge. For me, the ING New York City Marathon will be more than just a race. It is an event that I have always dreamed of competing in.”

Fleshman, 29, of Eugene, OR, is making her marathon debut after winning the 5000 meters at the Aviva London Grand Prix over the weekend. The two-time USA 5000m champion has twice competed in the World Track & Field Championships, and sees the marathon as a stepping-stone on the way to her 2012 Olympic goals.

“My dream for the past 11 years has been to do something special with the 5000 meters in the 2012 Olympics,” said Fleshman, a three-time NCAA titlist for Stanford University. “I know I need to get a lot stronger, so it became obvious that I need to throw some new wood on the fire. I’ve seen the marathon work its magic on many women I admire, and I’m convinced: Nothing will change my physiology, stretch my mind and freshen my perspective more than running the ING New York City Marathon.”

Pritz, 23, of Williamsport, PA, won the 2011 USA 25K Championship in May in 1:25:38. She has shown success in the half-marathon distance with a win at the 2010 Rock ‘n’ Roll San Antonio Half-Marathon in 1:12:14 and finished as the runner-up to Smith at the 2011 Mardi Grad Half-Marathon in 1:11:05. Pritz has competed in the last two NYRR New York Mini 10K races in Central Park, finishing 16th in 2010 and 15th in 2011.

“Watching the ING New York City Marathon in 2008 is the reason I became a long-distance runner,” said Pritz. “Ever since then I couldn’t imagine a better place to make my marathon debut. I am not only excited to race in New York City, but am also thankful to be able to have an experience of a lifetime.”

Kastor and Goucher set women’s U.S. marathon debut records in New York. Goucher set the current record at 2:25:53 when she finished third three years ago.

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