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Posted: October 19, 2009  : Add to Mixx! Subscribe to stories like this

(RWire) Athletics: Boston Champions Cheruiyot, Kosgei Are Late Additions to ING New York City Marathon 2009

Past ING New York City Marathon champions Tergat, Prokopcuka have withdrawn; slight modifications to marathon course for the 40th running

NEW YORK - (October 14, 2009) - Four-time Boston Marathon champion Robert Kipkoech Cheruiyot and 2009 Boston Marathon champion Salina Kosgei, both of Kenya, have entered the ING New York City Marathon 2009 on Sunday, November 1, it was announced by New York Road Runners president and CEO and race director Mary Wittenberg.

"Like all Boston Marathon winners, Robert and Salina are proven champions," said Wittenberg. "They'll both be looking to join the elite few who've become champions of both races."

The ING New York City Marathon 2005 champion, Paul Tergat of Kenya, two-time ING New York City Marathon champion (2005-06) Jelena Prokopcuka of Latvia and Irish Olympian Martin Fagan have withdrawn from this year's event. Tergat continues to suffer from a leg injury that forced him to withdraw from the Lisbon Half-Marathon earlier this month. Prokopcuka, a three-time Olympian, withdrew due to pregnancy.

Fagan's manager, Ray Flynn, offered this statement: "Martin Fagan has decided to withdraw from the race because of fears that a slightly injured Achilles tendon may not hold up for the full marathon distance."

Recent permanent road reconfiguration required slight modifications of this year's race course. The course has been modified in Brooklyn at the Brooklyn Academy of Music at mile 8 and at McCarren Park at mile 12, in Queens coming off the Pulaski Bridge near mile 14, and in the Bronx just past mile 20. No changes have been made from mile 21 to the finish in Central Park.

Cheruiyot, 31, last competed in the ING New York City Marathon in 2005, finishing fourth in 2 hours, 11 minutes, 1 second. A four-time Boston Marathon champion (2003, '06-08), Cheruiyot is the Boston course-record holder (2:07:14, his personal best). Earlier this year, he dropped out of the Boston race after 35K due to back pain; he ran the IAAF World Championships Marathon in August in Berlin, finishing fifth (2:10:46). Cheruiyot has five World Marathon Majors (WMM) race victories, having won the Chicago Marathon in 2006, and was the inaugural WMM series champion (2006-07).

Kosgei, 32, will make her second appearance at the ING New York City Marathon; she finished fourth (2:25:30) in 2005. In April, Kosgei won the closest women's race in the history of the Boston Marathon, crossing the finish line one second ahead of defending champion Dire Tune to win in 2:32:16. In 2008, Kosgei finished fourth at the London Marathon and was 10th in the Olympic marathon in Beijing.

Athletes will be vying for a total guaranteed prize purse of $800,000, the largest in race history. In celebration of the 40th running of the New York City Marathon, a new champion's bonus of $70,000 will be awarded to any past champion who wins this year, bringing a former champion's first-place prize this year to $200,000. The race also is hosting the 85th USA Men's Marathon Championship with U.S. Olympians Meb Keflezighi, Ryan Hall and Brian Sell.

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