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Hall, Smith To Run ING New York City Marathon - RRW

Published by
RunnerSpace.com/RoadRacing   on Apr 25 2012, 10:01 PM

HALL, SMITH TO RUN ING NEW YORK CITY MARATHON
By David Monti
(c) 2012 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved. Used with permission.

NEW YORK (25-Apr) -- On a live television broadcast here on WABC-TV, the New York Road Runners announced that Ryan Hall of Redding, Calif., and Kim Smith of New Zealand, would run the 2012 ING New York City Marathon on Sunday, November 4.  Hall and Smith, both Olympians and the half-marathon record holders for their respective nations, are the first professional athletes announced for the 43rd edition of the world's largest marathon.

The announcement came as part of the marathon's Opening Day celebration, an outdoor pep rally where the first citizen runners were selected for the race via massive drawing.  Hall and Smith took part in the selection process, turning a metal drum on stage filled with pieces of paper bearing the names of marathon hopefuls.

"Marathon Opening Day has become our annual launch to marathon season – a real 'starting line' celebration for the most loved marathon in the world," said New York Road Runners president and CEO Mary Wittenberg in a statement.  "We are thrilled to welcome world-class professionals like Ryan and Kim and runners from around the globe who gained coveted spots in the 2012 ING New York City Marathon."

Both Hall, 29, and Smith, 30, have run the ING New York City Marathon before.  Hall, who is sponsored by Asics, has run the race once in 2009 when he finished fourth in 2:10:36.  Hall, the 2008 USA Olympic Marathon Trials champion who has a personal best time of 2:04:58, will be running the Olympic Marathon this summer in London.

"I couldn't be more excited to return to the ING New York City Marathon," said Hall through a prepared statement.  "Having raced the 2009 edition, I have fond memories of the excitement of racing through the five boroughs with the best marathoners in the world. I've always said that racing in New York is performing on the big stage."

Smith, who runs for Reebok, attempted her first marathon in New York in 2008, but was forced to drop out at 30-K because of a sore throat.  She came back again in 2010 to finish fifth, despite having to make a toilet stop near the 25-K mark on the Queensborough Bridge.  She also finished fifth here last year in 2:25:46.  Smith, who like Hall will also run the Olympic Marathon, is the New Zealand record holder with a 2:25:21 personal best.  She was recently second at the NYC Half here on March 18.

"I’m really looking forward to being part of the ING New York City Marathon again this year,” said Smith in prepared remarks.  "I feel like a regular now at NYRR events and coming back to race in New York is always an amazing experience."

With 48,300 finishers in all categories, the ING New York City Marathon is the world's largest marathon.  The event is one of the five commercial marathons of the World Marathon Majors, and is also an IAAF Gold Label road race. 

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