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Posted: September 11, 2009  : Add to Mixx! Subscribe to stories like this

(RWire) Athletics: Olympians Dobriskey, Lagat, Rowbury Headline Continental Airlines Fifth Avenue Mile

Wurth-Thomas, Tegenkamp, Lomong also have entered the famed mile road race on September 26; 15 Olympians to challenge for titles

NEW YORK - (September 10, 2009) - Defending champion Lisa Dobriskey of Great Britain and American Olympic 1500 meter stars Bernard Lagat and Shannon Rowbury, both of whom finished second in last year's event, will close out their 2009 seasons on the world's most famous street in the Continental Airlines® Fifth Avenue Mile on Saturday, September 26, it was announced by New York Road Runners president and CEO Mary Wittenberg.

The race's 29th running will include a deep professional field of 15 Olympians, including Americans Christin Wurth-Thomas, Matt Tegenkamp and Lopez Lomong.

"Speed will rule and stars will shine on Fifth Avenue on September 26," said Wittenberg. "We look forward to the stars of the summer battling for the right to run the final victory lap on the streets of New York"

Dobriskey, 24, recently captured the 1500 meter silver medal at the IAAF World Championships in Berlin. After a fourth place finish in the 1500 meters at the 2008 Olympic Games, Dobriskey made her New York debut at the Continental Airlines Fifth Avenue Mile and finished just ahead of Rowbury to win in 4:18.6, the second-fastest time in the history of the race. She became the first British women's champion at the event since Paula Radcliffe won in 1997.

Rowbury, 25 of San Francisco, CA, has had an impressive season, taking the bronze medal in the 1500 meters at the World Championships after capturing the USA Outdoor Championships 1500 meter title for the second year in a row. In 2008, Rowbury had a breakout season, running 4:20.34 to become America's second-fastest female miler ever, behind Mary Decker Slaney's 4:16.71.

Lagat, 34, of Tucson, AZ, has a distinguished career that includes two Olympic medals, seven World Championship titles and seven wins in New York's renowned Wanamaker Mile. Lagat will aim to become only the second man in history to win both the Fifth Avenue and Wanamaker miles in the same year; Isaac Viciosa of Spain captured both titles in 1997. A five-time USA champion in the 1500 and 5000 meter distances, Lagat has a personal best time of 3:47.28 for the mile.

Wurth-Thomas, 29, of Fayetteville, AR, recently clocked a 3:59.98 in the 1500 meters at the Golden Gala in Rome to become only the fourth American woman to run a sub-4:00 time in the event. The 2008 USA indoor 1500 meter champion, Wurth-Thomas recently won the 1500 meters at the Stockholm Grand Prix and finished fifth in the same event at the World Championships.

Tegenkamp, 27, of Portland, OR, became the third-fastest American in history at 5000 meters when he ran 12:58.56 earlier this month at the Golden League meet in Brussels. A two-time USA indoor 3000 meter champion, Tegenkamp won the 5000 meters at the 2009 USA Outdoor Championships.

Lomong, 24, of Colorado Springs, CO, was the U.S. flag bearer during the opening ceremonies at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. He became a U.S. citizen in 2007 through the Lost Boys of Sudan program, which rescued nearly 3,800 children from Kenya. Lomong won his first career USA Outdoor title earlier this year in the men's 1500 meters. His personal best time in the mile is 3:53.97.

The Continental Airlines Fifth Avenue Mile begins near East 80th Street and finishes at East 60th Street. The wheelchair and handcycle race will kick off the event at 9:00am. After that, entrants will run in heats according to age and gender. The professional women's race is scheduled to start at 12:45pm, followed by the professional men's race at 1:05pm. A total prize purse of $30,000 for the men's and women's professional races will be offered with the top men's and women's professional finishers each receiving $5000.

For more race information, visit: NYRR.org.


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