11 OCT 2012 General News New York, USA

Strong 5Km field set for Marathon prelude in New York

Kara Goucher a of the United States competes during the Women's Marathon on Day 9 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at The Mall on August 5, 2012 (Getty Images)Kara Goucher a of the United States competes during the Women's Marathon on Day 9 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at The Mall on August 5, 2012 (Getty Images) © Copyright
As a prelude to the ING New York City Marathon, a high-powered line-up will lead the NYRR Dash to the Finish Line 5K on Saturday 3 November, the day prior to the classic 26.2 mile race.

The field includes 2008 Olympic medallist Shalane Flanagan, the top American in the 2012 London Olympic Marathon; her London teammate and two-time Olympian Kara Goucher; and 13 other 2012 Olympians including Matt Tegenkamp and defending champion Chris Thompson.

The professional field also includes U.S. 5000m record-holder Molly Huddle, 2012 UAE Healthy Kidney 10K winner Daniele Meucci, two-time USA Olympian Lopez Lomong, and U.S. Steeplechase record-holder Evan Jager. The strength of the field is unparalleled by any other 5K in the world this year, with 17 Olympians (15 from 2012), eight women with personal bests under 15:20, and 11 men with personal bests under 13:20.

The course gives runners a high-speed tour of several of Manhattan’s most celebrated landmarks and roadways, starting near the United Nations, crossing midtown’s renowned 42nd Street, with a grand finale tour of Central Park that leads runners along the famed finishing stretch of the New York City Marathon. The event, open to all runners including marathoners and their friends and families, allows everyone to be a part of the infectious Marathon excitement. You’ll even see famous faces "dashing" through the city: American actor and producer Billy Baldwin and professional women’s basketball player and Team USA 2008 Olympic gold medallist Kara Lawson will both toe the line.

"The Dash to the Finish Line 5K is a phenomenal way to experience the joy of Marathon weekend with runners, friends, family, and supporters from around the world," said New York Road Runners president and CEO Mary Wittenberg. "This will be one of the most competitive and fun 5K’s this year, with nearly 20 Olympians joining more than 5000 others in a dash through New York City that ends in an unforgettable way — crossing the iconic Marathon finish line in Central Park."

Flanagan, 31, of Portland, OR, won the 2012 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials in a time of 2:25:38 and went on to finish 10th in the Olympic Marathon. She is the American record-holder at 3000 and 5000m indoors and 10,000m outdoors; she set the 10,000m mark of 30:22:22 when she took the bronze medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. She also took bronze at the 2011 IAAF World Cross Country Championships, and she took second at the 2010 ING New York City Marathon in her debut at the distance.

Goucher, 34, of Portland OR, was third at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials in a time of 2:26:06 and finished 11th in the London Olympic Marathon. A native of Queens, she has run the NYC Half twice, finishing third both times. At the 2011 Boston Marathon, she finished fifth in a personal-best time of 2:24:26. Goucher made her mark on the ING New York City Marathon in 2008, when she ran the fastest-ever debut marathon by an American woman—2:25:53—and finished third. The time is also the fastest ever by an American woman at the race. At the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Trials, Goucher achieved the rare feat of qualifying for Team USA in two events, winning the 5000 meters and placing second in the 10,000m.

"I'm really looking forward to coming back to New York for the Dash to the Finish Line 5K," said Goucher. "I always love racing in the Big Apple, and I especially like the idea of experiencing all the fun and excitement of the ING New York City Marathon weekend without having to run the full 26.2!"

Tegenkamp, 30, of Portland, OR, holds the American two-mile record at 8:07:07, which he ran in 2007 at the Prefontaine Classic. His time of 12:58.56 for 5000m makes him the fifth-fastest American in history at that distance. At the U.S. Olympic Trials earlier this year, Tegenkamp finished second in the 10,000m with a time of 27:33.94 to make his second Olympic team. He finished seventh at last year’s NYRR Dash to the Finish Line 5K.

Thompson, 30, of Great Britain, won the 2011 NYRR Dash to the Finish Line with a big kick, passing two men in the final 100 metres. In his most recent NYC appearance, he took seventh at the 2012 NYC Half in a time of 1:01:23. Thompson was the 2010 European Championships silver medalist at 10,000m, and he competed in that event at the 2012 London Olympic Games.

"New York has always been a great place to run, but last year, experiencing Marathon weekend was something else," said Thompson. "To have been able to take part in, and win, the first-ever 5K race that weekend was not only a great achievement for me, but so much fun to be a part of. This having been an Olympic year makes this sort of race a real treat you’ve earned."

Meucci, 27, of Italy, set his 10,000m personal best of 27:32.86 in Palo Alto, CA, and qualified for the 2012 Italian Olympic team. A month later, he won the 2012 UAE Healthy Kidney 10K in Central Park. Meucci competed in both the 5000m and 10,000m in London.

Huddle, 28, of Providence, RI, set the American 5000-meter record of 14:44.76 in 2010 at the Memorial Van Damme Diamond League meet in Brussels. In 2011, she was runner-up at the USA Cross Country Championships, earning a spot on Team USA for the IAAF World Cross Country Championships. Huddle also made the U.S. Olympic team for London, where she finished 11th in the 5000m.

Jager, 23, of Portland, OR, set an American record of 8:06.81 for the 3000m Steeplechase this year and finished sixth in the event at the London Olympic Games. On August 17th, he ran a new personal best of 7:35 in the 3000m at the Stockholm Diamond League meet, finishing fifth. He finished 10th at last year’s NYRR Dash to the Finish Line 5K.

Lomong, 27, ran in his second Olympic Games this summer, finishing 10th in the 5000m. The three-time NCAA champion for Northern Arizona University finished eighth at last year’s NYRR Dash to the Finish 5K.

Organisers for the IAAF