NEW YORK (07-Apr) -- The inaugural NYRR Distance Carnival, hosted by the University of California at Berkeley on Friday, April 24, has attracted 16 Olympians, the New York Road Runners announced today. Part of the two-day Brutus Hamilton Invitational, the meet represents the first ever formal partnership between the New York Road Runners, America's largest road race organizer, and a university track and field program. The meet will feature professionally-paced distance races designed to help athletes achieve IAAF World Championships qualifying times at 5000 meters, 10,000 meters, and the 3000-meter steeplechase.
Shannon Rowbury, the 2008 USA Olympic Trials 1500m champion, will run the 5000m against compatriots Emily Brown, Sara Hall, and Sara Slattery, plus Irishwoman Mary Cullen. Olympians Juan Luis Barrios of Mexico, Tom Lancashire of Great Britain, Kevin Sullivan of Canada and Jorge Torres of the United States are entered in the men's 5-K, along with former NCAA 5000m champion Bobby Curtis.
In the men's 10,000m race, America's top steeplechaser and two-time Olympian Anthony Famiglietti will race against Australia's Collis Birmingham, Ireland's Martin Fagan, and Britain's Andrew Lemoncello, all of whom competed in the Beijing Olympics. Katie McGregor, Kenyan Philes Ongori and Mexican Olympian Dulce Maria Rodriguez will run the women's 25-lap contest.
The NYRR has recruited quality athletes to handle the pacemaking, including Serbia's Marina Muncan for the women's 5000m, Jon Rankin for the men's 5000m, Bolota Asmerom and Kenyan Haron Lagat for the men's 10,000m, and Bahraini Teyba Naser for the women's 10,000m. Lagat will also assist with the early pacing in the men's 5000m.
The event will take place Cal's famed Edwards Stadium, which will have special lights in place for the NYRR Distance Carnival. The meet will be administrated by Cal's director of track and field, Tony Sandoval, and his director of operations, John Rembao. The NYRR's professional athletes manager, Sam Grotewold, will be coordinating the invitational races of the Distance Carnival.
More information is available at the Cal track and field website at CalBears.com.