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Boston, London Champions Added to New York field

Boston 2011 winners for New York City

Boston 2011 winners for New York City

NEW YORK – 2011 Boston Marathon champions Geoffrey Mutai and Caroline Kilel and 2011 Virgin London Marathon champion Mary Keitany are part of a powerful field of Kenyan standouts who will compete against Ethiopian Olympic and World Championships medalist Tsegaye Kebede, 2011 Honda LA Marathon champion Buzunesh Deba, Russian phenomenon Galina Bogomolova and Swedish sensation Isabellah Andersson in the ING New York City Marathon 2011 on Sunday, November 6, it was announced by New York Road Runners president and CEO Mary Wittenberg.

Course record holders Kurt Fearnley of Australia and Edith Wolf-Hunkeler of Switzerland and 2010 winner Tatyana McFadden of the United States were also announced for the wheelchair race.

Previously announced runners for the men’s race include 2010 champion Gebre Gebremariam of Ethiopia, 2009 champion and 2004 Olympic silver medalist Meb Keflezighi and fellow Americans Bobby Curtis and Ed Moran, 2011 Virgin London Marathon champion Emmanuel Mutai of Kenya and Olympians Juan Luis Barrios of Mexico and Jaouad Gharib of Morocco. Two-time New York City Marathon champion Martin Lel was forced to withdraw from the race due to injury.

In the women’s race, previously announced runners include defending champion and 2011 World champion Edna Kiplagat of Kenya, three-time U.S. Olympian Jen Rhines, New Zealand Olympian Kim Smith, Jo Pavey of Great Britain, Portugal’s championship long-distance duo of Jéssica Augusto and Ana Dulce Félix, and U.S. runners Lauren Fleshman and Molly Pritz making their marathon debuts.

“We have a star-studded international field for the ING New York City Marathon 2011 that brings together an incredible lineup of champions from this year’s Boston, London and LA marathons,” said Wittenberg. “What a treat to have Geoffrey Mutai, who ran the fastest time ever recorded for a marathon at Boston this year, in the race, along with Buzunesh Deba, this year’s LA winner, here again to compete in the city she lives and trains in.”

Mutai, 29, of Kenya, won the 2011 Boston Marathon in a time of 2 hours, 3 minutes, 2 seconds – the fastest time ever recorded on a certified marathon course. Since then, he has been unbeatable on the roads, winning the B.A.A. 10K in Boston on June 26, in 27:19, and the Giro Podistico Internazionale di Castelbuono 10K in Sicily on July 26 in 29:05.

Kebede, 24, of Ethiopia, won the bronze medal in the marathons at both the 2008 Olympic Games and the 2009 World Championships. One of the world’s most decorated marathoners, he’s won Fukuoka twice (2008 and 2009), Paris in 2008 and London in 2010. He has a 2:05:18 personal best, and will be making his ING New York City Marathon debut.

Keitany, 29, of Kenya, won the 2011 Virgin London Marathon in a personal best time of 2:19:19, the fastest time in the world this year. She finished third at the ING New York City Marathon last year and is also the world record holder at the half marathon (1:05:50) and 25K (1:19:53).

Kilel, 30, of Kenya, won the 2011 Boston Marathon by two seconds in a personal best time of 2:22:36 after a thrilling stretch duel with American Desiree Davila. Kilel has also recorded marathon victories in Frankfurt (2010), Ljubljana (2009), Taipei (2008) and Nairobi (2005).

Deba, 24, an Ethiopian who lives full-time in New York City, has recorded two marathon victories this year, setting personal best times with both efforts. Last March she won the Honda LA Marathon in 2:26:34, then won the Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego Marathon last June in an even faster 2:23:31. She won four marathons in 2010, and finished 10th at the ING New York City Marathon.

Bogomolova, 33, is Russia’s second fastest marathoner ever with a 2:20:47 personal best set in Chicago in 2006. She was the Russian marathon record holder for four years from 2006 through 2010.

Andersson, 30, of Sweden is a four-time winner of the Stockholm Marathon. She is the Swedish record holder with a 2:23:41 career best.

Fearnley, 30, of Australia, is one of the most colorful-and feared-wheelchair athletes in the world. He’s captured nine medals at the Paralympic Games, and won four consecutive ING New York City Marathon titles (2006-09); his 1:29:22 course record from 2006 still stands. Fearnley has won Paralympic Marathon gold medals, World Championships marathon gold, and has marathon wins in 10 countries on five continents.

“Finishing up my marathon racing year in New York is an annual event for me, which has special meaning in 2011, because I am here as a married man for the first time, with my wife, Sheridan, and I have a special mission, which is to become the champion again, after my four-year winning streak was broken in 2010,” said Fearnley.

Wolf-Hunkeler, 39, of Switzerland, is a five-time ING New York City Marathon champion (2004-05, 2007-09) and set the course record twice, including her still-standing mark of 1:52:38 from 2007. Hunkeler did not race in 2010, as she gave birth to her first child, daughter Elin, on September 14, 2010. Wolf-Hunkeler also holds the Olympic wheelchair marathon record at 1:39:21.

“New York is the highlight of my season. It is also special and beautiful moment after the birth of my daughter Elin to again participate in a major marathon, which brought me so much success in the past,” said Wolf-Hunkeler.

McFadden, 22, of Clarksville, MD, a student at the University of Illinois, won last year’s ING New York City Marathon with the boldest of tactics: She powered up the course’s biggest hill – the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge – in the first mile and took a 30 meter lead that would only widen as the race went on. As packs of racers worked together behind her, McFadden pushed on alone for the entire distance. By the finish, her lead had grown to nearly six minutes. McFadden is a six-time Paralympic medalist, five-time American record-holder, and multi-gold medal winner at the most recent Paralympic World Championships in New Zealand. She was a 2011 nominee for the ESPY Award in the Female Athlete with a Disability category.

“I am thrilled to be returning to the ING New York City Marathon this year,” said McFadden. “It will be incredible to defend my title against this amazingly deep and talented field of athletes. I really look forward to the challenge and the excitement that comes with the marathon in New York City.”

The premier event of New York Road Runners, the ING New York City Marathon is one of the world’s great road races, drawing some 140,000 applicants. The race attracts many world class professional athletes, not only for the $650,000 in prize money, but also for the chance to excel in the media capital of the world before two million cheering spectators and a worldwide broadcast reach of 330 million. As any one of the more than 875,000 past participants will attest, crossing the finish line in Central Park is one of the great thrills of a lifetime.

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