NEW YORK - Led by Olympic medalists Meb Keflezighi (San Diego, Calif.) and Deena Kastor (Mammoth Lakes, Calif.), a strong U.S. contingent will once again take to the streets of New York City for this weekend's ING New York City Marathon with hopes of scoring a U.S. victory in the Big Apple.
The open fields for this year's race will be one of the strongest to appear in New York and will include both the men's and women's defending champions, Paul Tergat (Kenya) and Jelena Prokopchuka (Latvia). This year's race will also be distinguished by the appearance of 13 Olympians and five Olympic medalists.
Making his third appearance in New York, Keflezighi the 2004 Olympic Marathon Silver medalist hopes to capture the title that has eluded him the past two years, finishing as runner-up in 2004 and third in 2005. "This year has been good, I had a great showing in Boston and I feel confident in my training coming into this race," said Keflezighi. "Hopefully this will be a special year."
Joining Keflezighi will be 2004 Olympic Trials Marathon champion Alan Culpepper (Lafayette, Colo.) and Peter Gilmore (San Mateo, Calif.), who finished seventh at this year's Boston Marathon. Making his much-anticipated marathon debut will be 2005 USA Men's 10 km Champion Dathan Ritzenhein (Boulder, Colo.).
The women's field will be led by 2004 Olympic Marathon Silver medalist Deena Kastor, who will attempt to become the first American woman in nearly three decades to win the ING New York City Marathon. Kastor will set the pace for a field that includes 2006 USA Women's 10 km champion Katie McGregor (Minneapolis, Minn.), who will be making her debut at the marathon distance.
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