Test of Radcliffe's fitness before the World Championships Marathon in Berlin on August 23; live streaming of the race at NYRR.org
NEW YORK - (August 12, 2009) - Making her first start of the year after being sidelined with a foot injury and looking to test her fitness, marathon world record holder Paula Radcliffe of Great Britain will run in the fourth NYC Half-Marathon on Sunday, August 16, it was announced today by New York Road Runners president and CEO Mary Wittenberg. Radcliffe last competed nearly 10 months ago when she won her third ING New York City Marathon. She had bunion surgery on her right foot in March. The NYC Half-Marathon will be her first-ever half-marathon in the United States.
"Recently, my training has started to go very well. I'm definitely ready to run a half-marathon, and the NYC Half-Marathon will give me important feedback about where I am," said Radcliffe. "After the race in New York, I will consult with my coaching and medical teams and we will make the final determination as to whether I am ready to run the marathon in Berlin. It is certainly my hope to compete there."
Radcliffe is on the Great Britain team for the IAAF World Championships in Athletics, which starts in Berlin on Saturday, August 15; she is entered in the women's marathon scheduled for Sunday, August 23.
Radcliffe is a late entry to the NYC Half-Marathon field that features top Americans including 2004 Olympic bronze medalist Deena Kastor, Olympic marathoner Ryan Hall and three-time 10,000 meter Olympian Abdi Abdirahman. Also in the field are defending champion Tadese Tola of Ethiopia, defending champion and two-time Olympic medalist Catherine Ndereba of Kenya and ING New York City Marathon 2004 winner Hendrick Ramaala of South Africa.
"Paula's late entry adds more suspense, glamour, and intrigue to an already exciting race," said Wittenberg. "Winning the NYC Half-Marathon women's crown has now just gotten that much harder."
Free of charge, fans will be able to watch the race live at www.NYRR.org from 7:00 to 8:30am EDT.
Radcliffe, 35, is only the second woman to win the New York City Marathon three times, claiming her most recent victory last year in 2:23:56. Radcliffe captured her first crown in 2004 in dramatic fashion when she out-dueled Kenyan Susan Chepkemei by three seconds in the closest women's finish in race history.
Also accomplished at the 13.1-mile half-marathon distance, Radcliffe has a career best of 1:05:40, which she ran at the Great North Run in 2003, the fastest ever by a woman, and she won the world half-marathon title in 2000 and 2001. However, Radcliffe has not run a half-marathon since her runner-up finish at the Great North Run in 2007.
Radcliffe owns the women's marathon world record of 2:15:25, which she set in 2003 at the London Marathon. She also holds four of the five fastest women's marathon times in history.
Jaouad Gharib of Morocco, the 2008 Olympic marathon silver medalist and two-time world marathon champion, withdrew from the NYC Half-Marathon at the insistence of his national federation that he attend the World Championships.
"Although Jaouad is not able to compete at his normal level at the marathon distance, he has been called up, not only by his federation, but by the general public in Morocco, to represent his country and to keep the team's morale high," said Eric Lilot, a member of Gharib's management team.
Athletes in the NYC Half-Marathon will be vying for a prize purse of more than $70,000, with the men's and women's winners each receiving $10,000.
The NYC Half-Marathon continues to attract the world's leading professional athletes, in addition to a sold-out field of more than 10,000 recreational runners from around the world. Runners were admitted on a first-come, first-served basis, a change from the lottery entry process that was used in previous years. On a course designed to celebrate New York City, the NYC Half-Marathon will take runners on a loop through Central Park, down Seventh Avenue through Times Square, across 42nd Street, and along the expansive West Side Highway to Battery Park in the heart of the city's financial district, finishing with a view of the Statue of Liberty.
For more race information, go to: NYRR.org.