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2011 NYC Half Marathon. *Updated recap and results

The 2011 New York City Half Marathon is my most anticipated distance running event of the year so far. The field of professional runners is absolutely insane. Everyone is going to be there! My two favorite male runners (Galen Rupp and Ryan Hall) and my favorite female runner (Kara Goucher) will all be toeing the line on Central Park’s East Drive. Rupp is a ‘born and bred’ Oregonian like myself and I raced against him in high school. Well, ‘raced against’ is a strong term…more like, was in the same race. I used to camp out in front of Galen’s apartment at U of Oregon and follow him to classes, trying to catch on to that “ness” that made him so great. Ok, no, I’m not that creepy but I would see him all the time on campus, super cool guy, and incredible runner.  Ryan Hall has just been a great inspiration for me. He is someone who cares about the world outside of distance running. Check out his charity organization here: http://thestepsfoundation.org/.

Ryan Hall

I’m most anxious to see these two guys go head to head. The new guy (Galen’s debut half) vs. American Record holder and veteran Ryan Hall. Keep in mind though that there are a handful of guys that could take this race; Meb, Abdi, Mo Forah, Marilson Gomes dos Santos, last years champ Peter Kamais, or Gebre Gebremariam are all in contention.

The tier two guys like Jason Lehmkule, Shawn Forrest, Alistar Cragg, and Patrick Smythe are all capable of making a big splash as well. (Full Men’s Bios Here)

On the women’s side Kara Goucher will be running in her second major race since coming back from having her first child. One of my favorite distance running moments of all time is still the finish of Kara’s 2009 Boston Marathon where she pushed the pace hard, but didn’t have a kick to win the race. It was her grit and fight and then ultimately her reaction post race that really made me respect her as a runner. It doesn’t hurt that she’s beautiful too.

Check out the video of the post race conference. You can just feel how bad she wanted it. Hopefully tomorrow she walks away a little happier!

Kara’s 2009 Boston Marathon Post Race Conference

Kara will have her hands full as she will be racing against a large contingent of sub-70 minute ‘halfers’. Hopefully these last two months have been good to her after a mediocre (for Kara) race at the PF Changs Rock N Roll Arizona half marathon earlier this year.

The hands down favorite on the women’s side is Edna Kiplagat who won both the 2010 LA Marathon AND the 2010 NYC Marathon; she will be tough to beat! (Check out full Women’s Bios Here)

In summary, tomorrow’s race is going to be insane. I’m going to be all sorts of fired up, on the edge of my seat at 4:30 am ready to watch this show down. I can’t believe that Galen is going to be running side by side Ryan Hall. I am so accustomed to Galen on the track, it will be great to see him hit the streets, we’ll see if he can hang!

The race will be LIVE on Sunday, March 20th at 7:30am EST at www.nyrr.org. It will be an early morning for us west-coasters but I wouldn’t miss it for the world!

I will post results and recap here…so check back to get my take on the race!

*Updated Recap and Race Results

My. Oh. My. This race was everything I wanted it to be. It had ALL the drama of a great road race. Here are the highlights:

Men’s Recap
-Meb, Abdi, and Hall were sadly nowhere to be seen after the first few miles. I was most surprised that American record holder in the half marathon, Ryan Hall, didn’t hang around longer. It’s possible that he is locked into marathon training pace. He just couldn’t hang with these track and field guys.

-Rupp held tough all the way through despite a fall around mile 8 where he got tripped up with last year’s victor Peter Kamais. Rupp executed a nice little ninja roll to accompany an interesting face mask he was wearing to battle the frigid New York air.

-The race came down to 2010 NYC Marathon Champ Gebre Gebremariam, American 10k Olympian Galen Rupp, and British phenom Mo Farah. Gebre went by Rupp with 400 meters to go, Rupp started to fade, Farah went with Gebre then had another gear in the final 200 meters to win. Mo Farah seems unbeatable!

-The question now is whether or not Mo Farah should run the marathon distance at the 2012 London Olympics. He’s great on the track but wow, what can this guy do in the marathon? We’ll have to wait and see!

2011 NYC Half Marathon Champ Mo Farah

The men’s race was definitely the highlight. The pace was crazy the final three miles, world class runners dropping like flies, and there was Rupp and Farah running with the best of the best on road. Their coach Alberto Salazar is definitely doing some right up there in Portland, OR.

Full Men’s Results will be posted here.

Women’s Recap
-All the contenders were there through about 9 miles. As the runners hit Times Square the leaders started to stretch out.

-Race came down to 2010 NYC Marathon champ Edna Kiplagat, Kenyan Caroline Rotich, and USA fan favorite Kara Goucher.

-Rotich broke away with a mile to go and never looked back. Her great big smile on her face while accelerating away will be what people remember most. She was feeling good!

2011 NYC Half Marathon Champ Caroline Rotich

-Kara Goucher said in her post race interview that her legs started to feel the big miles she has been putting in but that she felt GREAT in the last mile.

-Kara closed gap on Edna but didn’t quite catch her as she finished strong with a 3rd place finish.
Full Women’s Results will be posted Here.

Great finish for the USA! Two podiums (Rupp and Goucher) in a hugely stacked field. American distance running is definitely coming back! Boston marathon is the next major road race coming in April. That will be another early morning but you can’t beat the electricity of these races. I almost had to shut off the computer when the men reached a mile to go! The suspense was killing me; it was truly amazing.

So there you have it, the 2011 NYC Half Marathon lived up to the hype! With over 10,000 runners it was not only a great professional race but also a great event for the people of New York City.

If that doesn’t make you want to get out the door and run, I don’t know what will!


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