The 2013-2016 IAAF Strategic Plan has six Core Values: universality, leadership, unity, excellence, integrity and solidarity, and a Vision Statement: “To lead, govern and develop the sport of athletics in all its forms worldwide, uniting the Athletics Family in a spirit of excellence, integrity and solidarity.”
New York, USAFor the second year in a row, an accomplished Ethiopian runner debuting at the UAE Healthy Kidney 10K smashed the course record. Gebregziabher Gebremariam, 25, cut six seconds off Tadese Tola’s 2009 record, running 27:42 - the fastest-ever lap of Central Park.
The race, in its sixth running, had a field of a depth rarely seen on one starting line: 10 entrants had 10K personal-best times faster than 28 minutes, and two athletes were able to produce that kind of speed again, even on Central Park’s hills.
Gebremariam and Peter Kamais of Kenya broke from the pack within the first two miles and set the pace at the front for the rest of the race. Great Britain’s Chris Thompson and Kenya’s Julius Kogo ran their own race for second and third, never coming within striking distance of the leaders.
With 800 metres to go, Gebremariam and Kamais were still shoulder-to-shoulder, as they’d been all morning. But Gebremariam was able to take it up a notch, and he pulled away to win by seven seconds. Kamais’ countryman, Kogo, kept Thompson at bay to finish third in 28:19.
“I noticed at mile 5 that I was on pace to win, and I wanted to break the course record,” said Gebremariam. “I felt I controlled the race.” The record performance added the $20,000 Zayed Bonus to his winnings, which totaled $27,500.
Kamais, 33, coming off a recent win at the NYC Half-Marathon in March, added a second-place finish to his résumé. He wasn’t prepared for Gerbremariam’s final surge; he looks forward to longer races, such as a marathon this fall.
Abdi Abdirahman of Tucson, AZ, was the first American finisher in sixth place. Former Marathon world record-holder Khalid Khannouchi, returning to racing after foot surgery last year, had a pain-free 21st-place finish. “I am so excited to be back running in Central Park—my own backyard,” he said. “I’ll train solidly for the next four to five weeks before I race again in July.”
Buzunesh Deba of West Side Runners broke the tape in 33:09 and bested the women’s event record by 23 seconds. Frances Koons of Bryn Mawr, PA, took second and donated her winnings to the National Kidney Foundation, which sponsored this race along with the United Arab Emirates. Koons, who suffered from a form of kidney cancer in 2007, has made a full recovery.