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Posted: May 29, 2009  : Add to Mixx! Subscribe to stories like this

(RWire) Athletics: Olympic Medalists Kastor, Ndereba Headline 38th NYRR New York Mini 10K

Americans Lewy Boulet, Rudolph and Slattery and Japan's Kano to also compete in the original women-only road race

NEW YORK - (May 27, 2009) - Olympic medalists Deena Kastor and Catherine Ndereba will return to the hills of Central Park in search of a victory at the NYRR New York Mini 10K on Sunday, June 7, it was announced by New York Road Runners president and CEO Mary Wittenberg.

An experienced field of American and international stars headline the 38th running of the world's original women-only road race, which also features a solid supporting cast in Americans Magdalena Lewy Boulet, Amy Rudolph and Sara Slattery and Japan's Yuri Kano. Five Olympians are in the field: Kastor, Ndereba, Lewy Boulet, Rudolph and South Africa's René Kalmer.

"For more than three decades the Mini has been the world's premier all-women race, and this year's competitive line-up continues this grand tradition," Wittenberg said. "With Deena being the only former champion in the field, a victory in this year's race could be an exclamation point on somebody's career."

Kastor, 36, of Mammoth Lakes, CA, is the race favorite, having already gotten off to a hot start in 2009 with victories at the Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8K in March and the BUPA Great Edinburgh 10K in May. A three-time Olympian, Kastor was forced to drop out of the 2008 Olympic Marathon at 5K with a broken foot. She took time off in the fall to heal, and now will be seeking her second NYRR New York Mini 10K title; she first won the race in 2004.

"I am so excited to be returning to New York for what is one of my favorite road races of the season," Kastor said. "The Mini always attracts a great field of elite athletes as well as an empowered field of women ready to take on this challenging Central Park course. As usual, New York Road Runners has put together an impressive field so I'll have my work cut out for me."

Ndereba, 36, who represents Kenya and lives in Nairobi, is a two-time Olympic marathon silver medalist and a two-time world champion in the marathon. One of the most celebrated female international road racers of all time, Ndereba returns to the hills of Central Park with an advantage as the two-time champion in the NYC Half-Marathon. Earlier this year, she finished seventh at the Flora London Marathon.

Lewy Boulet, 35, of Oakland, CA, will be competing in her fifth New York Mini, having narrowly missed the podium in 2008 with a fourth place finish. The 2008 Olympian in the marathon returns to New York just over a month after her victory in the More Magazine | Fitness Magazine Half-Marathon in April. In January, Lewy Boulet won the USA Half-Marathon Championships, her first national title. A native of Poland, Lewy Boulet balances her professional running career while serving as a full-time assistant coach at the University of California at Berkeley and raising her 4-year-old son, Owen, with husband Richie Boulet, a former world class miler.

Rudolph, 35, of Providence, RI, is a two-time Olympian in the 5000 meters. Slattery, 27, of Phoenix, AZ, was the 2007 Pan American Games 10,000m gold medalist. Kano, 30, of Tokyo, is one of Japan's top marathoners and road racers. Kalmer, 28, of Johannesburg, represented South Africa in the 1500 meters at the 2008 Olympic Games. Also entered is Kelly Jaske, 32, of Portland, OR, a Harvard-educated lawyer who just started running competitively; she was the runner-up to Lewy Boulet in the U.S. half-marathon championships.

Four-time race champion Lornah Kiplagat of the Netherlands was expected to vie for her record-tying fifth Mini title, but a previous injury to her right knee flared up after competing in the World's Best 10K in Puerto Rico in March.

The top female runners will be vying for a prize purse of $35,000 - with the winner taking home $10,000 - in addition to $10,000 in money earmarked for Americans. Founded by NYRR in 1972, the Mini got its name when race founder Fred Lebow convinced the first sponsor to support a six-mile "mini" marathon-named for the miniskirt, which was then in fashion-rather than a full marathon. The first race featured 78 participants; the Mini has been on the NYRR calendar ever since.

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