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Posted: December 21, 2009  :

(RRW) Athletics: Olympians Dobson, Donohue To Kick-Off 2010 Seasons At Emerald Nuts Midnight Run

From David Monti
© 2009 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved

NEW YORK (21-Dec) -- Olympians Ian Dobson and Erin Donohue will kick-off their 2010 seasons with the Emerald Nuts Midnight Run here at the stroke of midnight on New Years Eve, the New York Road Runners announced today. It will be the 31st edition of the popular four-mile road race, costume party and fireworks display held annually in Central Park to ring in the New Year.

"The Emerald Nuts Midnight Run has become a New Year's Eve destination for thousands of runners and spectators," said New York Road Runners president and CEO Mary Wittenberg in a statement. "It has a dedicated crowd that gathers each year for one of the most active New Year's Eve parties in New York City."

The event also has a growing professional athlete component. Athletes have traditionally used the event as a "rust-buster" to get ready for the upcoming indoor season. In addition to Dobson and Donohue, who represented the United States in the Beijing Olympics in the 5000m and 1500m, respectively, a strong group of national and local challengers will compete for a $2000 prize money purse ($500 for the winners):

MEN - 
Ian Dobson (Portland, OR): 2008 Olympian, 5000m
Abiyot Endale (Bronx, NY/ETH): Third, 2008 Emerald Nuts Midnight Run
Patrick Smyth (Minneapolis, MN): Third, 2009 USA 10-mile Championships
Bado Worku Merdessa (Bronx, NY/ETH): 2009 NYRR Club Team Champion
Derese Deniboba (Bronx, NY/ETH): Seventh, 2008 Emerald Nuts Midnight Run
Nick Polk (Blowing Rock, NC): Fourth, 2008 NCAA D-II 10,000m
Harbert Okuti (New Rochelle, NY/UGA): Seventh, 2008 NYRR Club Team Championships
Sean Brosnan (Lafayette, CA): 18th, 2009 Fifth Avenue Mile
Genna Tufa (Bronx, NY/ETH): 2008 Salt Lake City Marathon champion
Derek Scott (Bloomington, IN): 2007 NAIA 1500m champion
Antonio Liuzzo (Scicli, Italy): First Italian, 2009 ING New York City Marathon 
Dustin Emrani (Kings Point, NY): 2009 Maccabiah Games 800m champion
Aziza Aliyu (Bronx, NY/ETH): Two-time Emerald Nuts Midnight Run champion (2006, 2008)
Erin Donohue (Haddonfield, NJ): 2008 Olympian, 1500m
Hirut Mandefro (Silver Spring, MD/ETH): Third, 2009 NYRR New York Mini 10K
Julia Lucas (Portland, OR): 2005-06 ACC 5000m champion
Alissa McKaig (Blowing Rock, NC): 2008 NAIA 5K & 10K champion
Zeferjahn Tanya (Charlotte, NC): 2009 NCAA D-II 10K champion
Lesley Higgins (New York, NY): Second, 2001 NCAA indoor mile
Kim Duclos (Worcester, MA): 16th, 2009 Boston Marathon
Susie Rivard (Indianapolis, IN): Sixth, 2007 NCAA D-II indoor mile

The race gets its name from ING New York City sponsor Emerald Nuts, a product of Diamond Foods. "We're proud to be the title sponsor of the Emerald Nuts Midnight Run," said Jeff Ngo, Diamond Foods' marketing director. "We're excited to help people start the year off right with a source of natural energy. This is part of our commitment to promoting active and healthy lifestyles."

The moderately hilly Central Park course is challenging, and the weather is often very cold. Nonetheless, fast times are possible. The men's event record is 18:12, set by Andrew Carlson in 2007. Canadian Carmen Douma-Hussar holds the women's event record of 20:54, also set in 2007. Last year's champions were Sean Quigley (Philadelphia, PA) in 18:45 and Aziza Aliyu (Bronx, NY/ETH) in 21:21 (Aliyu also won the race in 2006).

For more race information, or to sign-up (entries are capped at 5000), visit

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