Seen live on ABC7 and tv.nyrr.orgat noon, the half-hour show was broadcast mere steps from the renowned marathon course and hosted by ABC7 lead sports anchor Rob Powers and Olympian Carrie Tollefson. The annual event featured a highly anticipated special drawing of entrants for the race, along with exciting prizes and giveaways to the live audience of several hundred. Special guests included former Giants wide receiver and finisher of the 2010 ING New York City Marathon Amani Toomer, U.S. professional tennis player James Blake, film and television actress Amy Yasbeck, and internet sensation Zeddie Little, recently dubbed the “Ridiculously Photogenic Guy.”
NYRR officials anticipate more than 140,000 applicants, with 90,000 in the non-guaranteed entry drawing for about 47,500 finishing spots. At the end of the show, entrants will learn of their acceptance status on the tv.nyrr.orgwebsite.
“Marathon Opening Day has become our annual launch to marathon season in New York—a real ‘starting line’ celebration for the most global marathon,” said Wittenberg. “As the people’s Olympics, it’s fitting that we have Olympic stars Ryan and Kim here—our first pro athletes in the race—to join us in today’s festivities.”
Hall, 29, of Big Bear Lake, CA, will be running the ING New York City Marathon for the second time, after finishing fourth in 2009 in 2:10:36. In January, he qualified for his second Olympic Games at the marathon Trials. He won the 2008 Trials in New York City in November 2007 and went on to finish 10th in the 2008 Beijing Games. At the 2011 Boston Marathon, Hall took fourth place in a time of 2:04:58, the fastest ever run by an American. In 2007, he became the only American to have broken the one-hour barrier in the half-marathon when he ran 59:43 to win the Aramco Houston Half-Marathon. In addition to the Olympic Trials, Hall found success in New York when he won the 2006 USA Cross Country Championships 12K, and also in his first appearance in the NYC Half in 2009, when he finished third.
“I couldn’t be more excited to return to the ING New York City Marathon,” said Hall. “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. I’m also excited to be a part of Marathon Opening Day to announce the first round of runners who will join me on the streets of New York. What makes the marathon such an incredible event is being one of 50,000 people who all have the same goal of conquering 26.2 challenging miles with the reward of the same finish line that awaits us all.”
Smith, 30, a native of Auckland who now lives in Providence, RI, will be making her fourth appearance at the ING New York City Marathon: After dropping out because of illness in 2008, she placed fifth in both 2010 and 2011. Smith recently finished second in the NYC Half 2012 in a time 1:08:43, after leading eventual winner Firehiwot Dado nearly the entire race. She broke her own record for the fastest-ever half-marathon by a woman on U.S. soil when she won the 2011 Rock ’n’ Roll Philadelphia Half-Marathon in 1:07:11. Smith holds 12 New Zealand records at distances from the mile to the marathon.
“I’m really looking forward to being part of the ING New York City Marathon again this year,” said Smith. “I feel like a regular now at NYRR events, and coming back to race in New York is always an amazing experience. I’m excited about being at Marathon Opening Day this year for the 2012 ING New York City Marathon. To be part of the start of all the excitement, anticipation, and hype of the marathon is inspiring.”
Also announced at ING New York City Marathon Opening Day Presented by ASICS, was the NY Giants Run of Champions 5K Presented by Walgreens. This inaugural event will take place on Sunday, June 24 at MetLife Stadium and will feature a 5K race, kids’ races and activities, and more. For more information on all activities and to sign up for the race, visit nyrr.org.
New York Road Runners was founded in 1958 when a small group of passionate runners vowed to bring running to the people. Over the past 54 years, NYRR has grown from a local running club to the world’s premier community running organization. NYRR’s mission is to empower everyone, of all ages and abilities—beginners and competitive athletes, the young and the elderly, adult professionals and underserved schoolchildren—to improve their health and well-being through the power of running and fitness.
NYRR’s races, community events, instruction and training resources, and youth programs give hundreds of thousands of people each year the motivation, know-how, and opportunity to start running and keep running for life. NYRR’s premier event, the famed ING New York City Marathon, attracts the world’s top pro runners and committed amateurs alike while also raising millions of dollars annually for charity and driving economic impact for the City. But NYRR is equally committed to the runners of tomorrow, passionately providing youth fitness programs that educate and inspire more than 100,000 kids in underserved communities in New York City, all 50 states, and around the world.
Headquartered in New York City, NYRR implements a unique nonprofit model that teams contributed and earned income to make all its efforts possible. To learn more, please visit www.nyrr.org.
About the ING New York City Marathon
NYRR’s premier event, the ING New York City Marathon is the most loved and most inclusive marathon in the world, attracting elite athletes and recreational runners alike for the challenge and thrill of a lifetime. The race has grown tremendously since it began in 1970 with just 127 runners racing four laps of Central Park. Now, almost 50,000 participants from all over the globe flock to New York City every November for an adrenaline-filled road tour of all five boroughs, starting on Staten Island at the foot of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge and ending in Central Park. Some run for prize money or bragging rights, others for charity or their personal best. All are cheered on by more than two million live spectators and a TV audience of 330 million.