NYRR report - Rising American stars Bobby Curtis, Patrick Smyth, and Mo Trafeh will join three-time Olympian Abdi Abdirahman and four-time Chicago Marathon winner Khalid Khannouchi, who is looking to make his running comeback, at the UAE Healthy Kidney 10K on Saturday, May 15, in Central Park.
The top Americans will face a tough international contingent, which includes 2010 NYC Half-Marathon champion Peter Kamais of Kenya, Australian 10,000-meter record-holder (27:29.73) Collis Birmingham, and seven-time NCAA Champion Alistair Cragg of Ireland. Also toeing the line on May 15 will be 2009 World Cross Country Champion Gebre Gebremariam of Ethiopia, who boasts the fastest 10,000-meter time in the field (26:52.73).
Khannouchi, 38, of Ossining, NY, will return to New York City for the first time since he finished fourth at the 2008 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials. His last competitive race was in 2008 at the Steamboat Classic 4-mile in Peoria, IL, where he finished ninth. Khannouchi became the American marathon record-holder in 2002 at the London Marathon, where he finished in 2:05:38.
“I am very happy to be back running the Healthy Kidney 10K and am excited that I am going to be racing very soon, especially in my backyard—Central Park,” said Khannouchi. “After a painful and slow recovery from foot surgery last year, I decided Central Park is the best place for a new beginning in my running career.”
Abdirahman, 33, of Tucson, AZ, will make his second appearance at the UAE Healthy Kidney 10K in 2010, after an 11th-place finish last year. Abdirahman won the 2009 U.S. 10K road championship in 28:11.
Curtis, 25, of Ardmore, PA, is a two-time member of the U.S. team at the World Cross Country Championships. He became the second-fastest 5000-meter runner in Villanova University history when he won the 2009 NCAA championship at that distance in 13:33.93.
Smyth, 23, of Minneapolis, MN, is off to a fast start in 2010. The Team USA Minnesota member won his first race of the year at the Emerald Nuts Midnight Run 4-mile in Central Park in 18:35 and finished second at the USA Half-Marathon Championships in January.
Trafeh, 24, of Duarte, CA, is looking to improve upon his finish at the 2010 NYC Half Marathon on March 21. After a duel for second with Kenya’s Moses Kigen Kipkosgei, Trafeh finished third, one second behind Kigen, in 1:00:39. He won the USA 15K Championships in Jacksonville, FL, on March 13 in 42:58.
“Our American men are on a roll in New York City and we can’t wait to have them back,” said Wittenberg. “With Khalid making his racing comeback, and Abdi, Bobby, Patrick, Mo, and others racing tough, we know red, white, and blue will be in the mix for an exciting race.”
The athletes will be taking aim at the course record of 27 minutes, 48 seconds, set in 2009 by Tadese Tola. Tola broke the previous record, set by Dathan Ritzenheim at the UAE Healthy Kidney 10K in 2007, by 20 seconds and earned a $20,000 bonus for running the fastest-ever 10K in Central Park.
The Healthy Kidney 10K is an open race led by a select field of professional male runners and offers $25,000 in prize money to the top finishers, with $7,500 for the male winner.
The race is sponsored by the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates to benefit the National Kidney Foundation, in appreciation of American medical excellence in the kidney transplant field. The late UAE president Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al-Nahyan benefited from American expertise, knowledge, and research when he received a kidney transplant in 2000. Among his many honors and accomplishments, he was most proud of being a kidney transplant survivor.