Saturday, October 2, 2010

Derartu Tulu to defend title, Haile Gebrselassie to make first appearance

By Rahel Samuel

Defending champion and double Olympic gold medalist Derartu Tulu will attempt a repeat, and world record holder Haile Gebrselassie will make his first career appearance when the ING New York City Marathon will kick off on Sunday, November 7, 2010.

The men’s event will feature elite athletes like three-time London and two-time ING New York City Marathon champion Martin Lel (Kenya), Marilson Gomes dos Santos (Brazil), four-time Boston Marathon champion Robert Kipkoech Cheruiyot (Kenya), two-time NYC runner-up Abderrahim Goumri (Morocco) and defending champion Meb Keflezighi (Eritrea/USA).

On the women’s side, 2000 New York City Marathon winner Ludmila Petrova will race against Derartu, as well as American Olympic medalist Shalane Flanagan in her marathon debut, Mara Yamauchi of Great Britain, and reigning World Half Marathon Champion Mary Keitany of Kenya.

Any repeat winner of the ING New York City Marathon earns a $200,000 first-place prize, the largest first-place road racing prize within the United States or the World Marathon Majors.

Tesfaye Jifar of Ethiopia holds the course record (2:07.43) , which he sets in his victory here in 2001.