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Posted: May 7, 2009  : Add to Mixx! Subscribe to stories like this

(RWire) Athletics: Kenyan Patrick Makau to Defend Healthy Kidney 10K Title Against Star-Studded Field

Marilson Gomes dos Santos, Abdi Abdirahman and Anthony Famiglietti entered in fifth edition

NEW YORK - (May 5, 2009) - Defending Healthy Kidney 10K champion Patrick Makau will be challenged by a world class international field in Central Park on Saturday, May 16, it was announced by New York Road Runners president and CEO Mary Wittenberg. Other top entrants are two-time ING New York City Marathon champion Marilson Gomes dos Santos of Brazil, three-time U.S. Olympian Abdi Abdirahman of Tucson, AZ, and two-time U.S. Olympian Anthony Famiglietti of Knoxville, TN.

Earlier this year, Makau, 24, ran the second-fastest half-marathon ever (58:52) at the Ras Al Khaimah Half-Marathon and made his marathon debut at the Fortis Rotterdam Marathon, finishing fourth in a time of 2 hours, 6 minutes and 14 seconds. He will return to New York for the first time since placing a close second to Tadese Tola of Ethiopia in the NYC Half-Marathon last July.

"Last year, Patrick blasted through the first 5K and hung on to win, humbled by the hills of Central Park," said Wittenberg. "With Tadese, who outsprinted him in the NYC Half-Marathon last July, Abdi, Anthony and ING New York City Marathon champion Marilson headlining the field of contenders, Patrick will need a great day, gun to tape, to defend his title."

Making his New York debut in 2008, Makau clocked the fourth fastest 10K time ever in Central Park - 28:19 - to win the 6.2-mile event. The two-time IAAF World Half-Marathon silver medalist will take aim at the Central Park record of 28:08 set at this event in 2007 by U.S. Olympian Dathan Ritzenhein.

Gomes, 31, finished second in last year's Healthy Kidney by only 12 seconds in 28:31, but found success in New York later in the year when he captured his second ING New York City Marathon title, in 2:08:43. In 2006, Gomes was the first South American in race history to win the ING New York City Marathon with his 2:09:58 finishing time.

Abdirahman, 32, born in Somalia, made his third appearance at the ING New York City Marathon last November and finished in sixth place (2:14:17). A four-time USA champion at 10,000 meters, he qualified for his third Olympic team by winning the 10,000 meters at the 2008 Olympic Trials and finished 15th in the event (27:52.53) at the Beijing Olympic Games.

Famiglietti, 30, won the USA 15K Championships in March in Jacksonville, FL, outsprinting Tim Nelson of Portland, OR, by one second. In 2008, Famiglietti won his second national 3000 meter steeplechase title at the 2008 Olympic Trials and went on to finish 13th at the Olympic Games in Beijing.

The Healthy Kidney 10K is an open race led by a select field of professional male runners and offers $20,000 prize money to the top eight male finishers, with $7500 for the winner.

The race is sponsored by the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates to benefit the National Kidney Foundation, in appreciation of American excellence in the field of kidney transplantation. The late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the founding father and first President of the UAE, witnessed firsthand the perils of kidney disease. He was treated in the United States, where he benefited from the expertise, knowledge and research of U.S. institutions and doctors.

For more race information, visit: NYRR.org.


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