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New York Mini 10K to be “Mini Olympic Marathon” Preview

Desiree Linden among 18 Olympians competing before Rio.

(c) 2016 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved. Used with permission. 

NEW YORK— The 45th edition of the NYRR New York Mini 10K, scheduled for Saturday, June 11, will feature 18 women from 17 countries who will run the Olympic Marathon in Rio, New York Road Runners announced today.  This “Mini Olympic Marathon” preview will likely be the largest gathering of Olympic Marathon women at a privately organized race before the Women’s Olympic Marathon on Sunday, August 14.

Leading the field will be the USA’s Des Linden, who clinched her second Olympic Marathon team berth at the USA Olympic Trials Marathon last February in Los Angeles.  It will be her fourth appearance at the Mini.

“With 18 athletes from 17 different countries on the ‘Road to Rio’ for the marathon, this could be the most recognized field in the 45-year history of the New York Mini 10-K,” observed Peter Ciaccia, NYRR president of events and the race director of the TCS New York City Marathon.  Through a statement he continued: “With Des leading the way, we’ll also have a top field of Americans in a race that has historically brought together women of all ages and abilities, and an event that has become a model for women’s road races around the world.”

Olympic-bound athletes from Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Burundi, Colombia, Denmark, Great Britain, Hungary, Ireland, Japan, Kenya, Lithuania, Mexico, Peru, Puerto Rico, and South Africa, will line up for the race’s iconic start on Central Park West, said Ciaccia.  Eight of the Olympic Marathon women have broken 33:00 on the road for 10K, while 12 women in the entire field have broken the 33-minute mark for 10 kilometers, either on the road or track.

In addition to Linden, several women have medal hopes in Rio, including Kenya’s Jemima Sumgong, the 2016 Virgin Money London Marathon champion; Diane Nukuri of Burundi, the 2013 Francophone Games 10,000m champion; and Tomomi Tanaka of Japan, the top Japanese finisher at the 2016 Nagoya Marathon.  Linden knows that facing tough competitors like these will help immensely with her Rio preparations.

“I’m excited to officially be on the road to Rio,” Linden said in a statement provided by New York Road Runners. “I feel like I need one more opportunity to compete and test my fitness and the NYRR New York Mini 10K is the perfect fit. NYRR will put on a top-notch event with a world-class field that will serve as a preview of the Olympic Marathon competition this summer. I look forward to participating in the 45th edition of this historic race that has played such an important role in women’s running.”

Indeed, the establishment of the Mini in 1972, the first-ever road race in the world for women, was an important step in getting the marathon added to the Olympic program for women in 1984 when Joan Benoit ran away from a stellar field in Los Angeles to claim gold.  Now women make up about half of all road race finishers in the United States, according to industry organization, Running USA.

To add a special element to this annual celebration of women’s running, New York Road Runners also announced that a new 1.7-mile Girls’ Run will be added to the program this year.  Organizers expect about 500 girls to take part, from ages seven to 18.

“Since 1972, the New York Mini has been an inspirational event for women and a shining example for the world of running,” said Michael Capiraso, president and CEO of New York Road Runners through a statement. “The first-ever Girls’ Run at the NYRR New York Mini 10K is the next step in the evolution of this iconic race, allowing women of all ages to come together and help and inspire each other through running.”

The race, which will be broadcast LIVE on, offers a total prize money purse of $35,000, including $10,000 for the race winner and $5,000 for the top American.