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Posted: October 11, 2012  :

(RWire) Athletics: Stellar Field Expected at NYRR Dash to the Finish Line 5K

Defending champion Chris Thompson and 2012 U.S. Olympians Shalane Flanagan, Kara Goucher, Matt Tegenkamp, Molly Huddle, Evan Jager, Lopez Lomong and Lisa Uhl and more; 5K road race, part of ING New York City Marathon weekend, starts near the United Nations and ends at the famed Marathon finish line in Central Park

NEW YORK - (October 10, 2012) - Olympic medalist Shalane Flanagan, the top American in the 2012 London Olympic Marathon; her London teammate and two-time Olympian Kara Goucher; and 13 other 2012 Olympians including Matt Tegenkamp and defending champion Chris Thompson will run the second NYRR Dash to the Finish Line 5K on Saturday, November 3, during ING New York City Marathon weekend.

The professional field also includes U.S. 5000 meter record holder Molly Huddle, 2012 UAE Healthy Kidney 10K winner Daniele Meucci, two-time U.S. Olympian Lopez Lomong, and U.S. steeplechase record holder Evan Jager. The strength of the field is unparalleled by any other 5K in the world this year, with 17 Olympians (15 from 2012), eight women with personal bests under 15:20, and 11 men with personal bests under 13:20.

The course gives runners a high-speed tour of several of Manhattan's most celebrated landmarks and roadways, starting near the United Nations, crossing midtown's renowned 42nd Street, with a grand-finale tour of Central Park that leads runners along the famed finishing stretch of the ING New York City Marathon. The event, open to all runners including marathoners and their friends and families, allows everyone to be a part of the infectious Marathon excitement. You'll even see famous faces "dashing" through the city: American actor and producer Billy Baldwin and professional women's basketball player and Team USA 2008 Olympic gold medalist Kara Lawson will both toe the line.

"The Dash to the Finish Line 5K is a phenomenal way to experience the joy of Marathon weekend with runners, friends, family, and supporters from around the world," said Mary Wittenberg, New York Road Runners president and CEO. "This will be one of the most competitive and fun 5K's this year, with nearly 20 Olympians joining more than 5,000 others in a dash through NYC that ends in an unforgettable way - crossing the iconic Marathon finish line in Central Park."

Flanagan, 31, of Portland, OR, won the 2012 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials in a time of 2 hours, 25 minutes, 38 seconds and went on to finish 10th in the London Olympic Marathon. She is the U.S. record holder at 3000 and 5000 meters indoors and 10,000 meters outdoors; she set the 10,000m mark of 30:22.22 when she took the bronze medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. She also took bronze at the 2011 IAAF World Cross Country Championships, and she was runner-up at the 2010 ING New York City Marathon in her debut at the distance.

Goucher, 34, of Portland OR, was third at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials in a time of 2:26:06 and finished 11th in the Olympic Marathon. A native of Queens, she has run the NYC Half twice, finishing third both times. At the 2011 Boston Marathon, she finished fifth in a personal-best time of 2:24:26. Goucher made her mark on the ING New York City Marathon in 2008, when she ran the fastest-ever debut marathon by an American woman (2:25:53) and finished third. The time is also the fastest ever by an American woman at the race. At the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Trials, Goucher achieved the rare feat of qualifying for Team USA in two events, winning the 5000 meters and placing second in the 10,000 meters.

"I'm really looking forward to coming back to New York for the Dash to the Finish Line 5K," said Goucher. "I always love racing in the Big Apple, and I especially like the idea of experiencing all the fun and excitement of the ING New York City Marathon weekend without having to run the full 26.2."

Tegenkamp, 30, of Portland, OR, holds the U.S. 2 mile record at 8:07.07, which he ran in 2007 at the Prefontaine Classic. His time of 12:58.56 for 5000 meters makes him the fifth-fastest American in history at that distance. At the U.S. Olympic Trials earlier this year, Tegenkamp finished second in the 10,000 meters with a time of 27:33.94 to make his second Olympic team. He finished seventh at last year's NYRR Dash to the Finish Line 5K.

Thompson, 30, of Great Britain, won the 2011 NYRR Dash to the Finish Line with a big kick, passing two men in the final 100 meters. In his most recent NYC appearance, he took seventh at the 2012 NYC Half in 1:01:23. Thompson was the 2010 European Championships silver medalist at 10,000 meters, and he competed in that event at the 2012 London Olympic Games.

"New York has always been a great place to run, but last year, experiencing Marathon weekend was something else," said Thompson. "To have been able to take part in, and win, the first-ever 5K race that weekend was not only a great achievement for me, but so much fun to be a part of. This having been an Olympic year makes this sort of race a real treat you've earned."

Meucci, 27, of Italy, set his 10,000m personal best of 27:32.86 in Palo Alto, CA, and qualified for the 2012 Italian Olympic team. A month later, he won the 2012 UAE Healthy Kidney 10K in Central Park. Meucci competed in both the 5000 meters and 10,000 meters in London.

Huddle, 28, of Providence, RI, set the U.S. 5000m record of 14:44.76 at the 2010 Memorial Van Damme Diamond League meet in Brussels. In 2011, she was runner-up at the USA Cross Country Championships, earning a spot on Team USA for the IAAF World Cross Country Championships. Huddle also made the U.S. Olympic team for London, where she finished 11th in the 5000 meters.

Jager, 23, of Portland, OR, set an American record of 8:06.81 for the 3000 meter steeplechase this year and finished sixth in the event at the London Olympic Games. On August 17th, he ran a new personal best of 7:35 in the 3000 meters at the Stockholm Diamond League meet, finishing fifth. He finished 10th at last year's NYRR Dash to the Finish Line 5K.

Lomong, 27, ran in his second Olympic Games this summer, finishing 10th in the 5000 meters. The three-time NCAA champion for Northern Arizona University finished eighth at last year's NYRR Dash to the Finish 5K.

Other top contenders:

Lisa Uhl, 25, of Ames, IA, is a four-time NCAA Division I champion. Earlier this year, she qualified for her first Olympic Games, where she finished 13th in the 10,000 meters in a PR 31:12.80. She finished eighth at last year's NYRR Dash to the Finish Line 5K.

Chris Solinsky, 27, of Portland, OR, is the former U.S. 10,000m record holder with a time of 26:59.60 (first American sub-27 minutes). While at the University of Wisconsin, he won five NCAA titles. He finished 12th in the 5000 meters at the 2009 World Championships in Berlin.

Ben True, 26, of Hanover, NH, is the two-time defending USA 5K champion and the two-time defending champion at the B.A.A. 5K on Boston Marathon weekend. Last Sunday, he finished second at the USA 10 Mile Championship in Minnesota. He finished sixth at last year's NYRR Dash to the Finish Line 5K.

The NYRR Dash to the Finish Line 5K brings together runners from around the world. Heightening the international flair of the event is first-year race sponsor Wonderful Indonesia, who will be celebrating and supporting the diversity of NYC and the Marathon by providing finisher food bags to all race participants.

The race will begin at 8:30am on Saturday, November 3, at Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, near the United Nations. For more race details, visit:

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