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Posted: January 1, 2009  :

(RRW) Athletics: Quigley & Aliyu Win Frigid Midnight Run

From David Monti

© 2008 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved

NEW YORK (31-Dec) -- Despite bitterly cold temperatures and strong winds, some 5000 people ran in the New Year at the 30th annual Emerald Nuts Midnight Run, a four mile road race in Central Park accompanied by a spectacular fireworks display.

Leading all finishers was former LaSalle University star Sean Quigley of Philadelphia. Representing Puma, the 23 year-old covered the hilly, and at some points icy, course in 18 minutes and 45 seconds, eight seconds ahead of runner-up Brian Olinger, the former Ohio State steeplechaser from Columbus who now represents Reebok. The Westchester Track Club's Abiyot Endale of Ethiopia was third in 18:59. Seven men broke 20 minutes.

The women's race came down to a sprint finish on the Park's 72nd Street Transverse. Aziza Aliyu, a 23 year-old Ethiopian who lives in the Bronx, spurted away from 24 year-old Emily Brown of Minneapolis, Minn., in the final ten meters to win by one second in 21:21. Aliyu's Westchester Track Club teammate, Buzunesh Deba, got third in 22:05.

New York Road Runners president and CEO, Mary Wittenberg, finished 11th wearing bib number 11.

With temperatures below 20°F (-7°C) and the winds gusting to over 20 MPH (32 KMH), achieving fast times was difficult. The course records of 18:12 and 20:54 set by Andrew Carlson and Carmen Douma Hussar, respectively, one year ago were never threatened.

Quigley and Aliyu each won $500 in prize money plus $100 time bonuses for breaking 19 minutes and 23 minutes, respectively.

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