NEW YORK (02-May) -- A quartet of top Africans, led by multiple world record holder Leonard Patrick Komon, will chase the biggest 10-K prize in all of American road running at the 9th annual UAE Healthy Kidney 10-K here on Saturday, May 11.
Komon, the IAAF and ARRS-recognized world record holder for both 10-K (26:44) and 15-K (41:13) on the road, will try to break his own event record of 27:35, a mark he set in winning the 2011 edition of the event. Should he do that, and also win the race, he'll take home a payday of $55,000, including $25,000 for first prize and a special $30,000 bonus for breaking the event record.
But Komon, 25, the silver medalist at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships in 2008, will have to beat back the collective challenge of three other top Africans: Kenya's Edwin Soi, Ethiopia's Abera Kuma, and Uganda's Moses Kipsiro. Soi, 27, was the 2008 Olympic bronze medalist at 5000m and is the reigning African champion at the same distance. Kuma, 22, was the African junior champion at 5000m in 2009. Kipsiro, 26, has won three world championships medals, two at cross country (silver in 2009 and bronze in 2010), and one at 5000m (2007). Former NCAA stars Stephen Sambu and Leonard Korir, also of Kenya, have committed to the race, too.
"We are thrilled to collectively host one of the strongest 10-K professional fields ever assembled and thousands of eager runners of all ranks at the UAE Healthy Kidney 10-K,” said race director Mary Wittenberg, the president and CEO of New York Road Runners, the not-for-profit organization which is staging the race. "Whether runners are coming out to beat the course record or their own personal record, an incredible cause and camaraderie between runners will inspire all."
Also entered are Olympic silver medalist Meb Keflezighi, 37, of Mammoth Lakes, Calif., who will run his first road race of 2013 after being forced to withdraw from both the NYC Half in March and Boston Marathon in April with a calf injury. He'll be joined by fellow Americans Bobby Mack, 28, of Raleigh, N.C., the 2012 USA cross country champion, and Jon Grey, 25, of Edina, Minn., the 2011 USA clubs cross country champion.
Australia's three best distance runners --Collis Birmingham, Ben St. Lawrence and Brett Robinson-- will also be take part. Both Birmingham and St. Lawrence are Olympians, with sub-27:30 10,000m personal bests. Robinson recently notched a top-30 finish at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships.
Founded in 2006, the race is sponsored by the embassy of the United Arab Emirates and raises funds and awareness for fighting kidney disease. The race was inspired by life-saving treatment received by the late UAE president Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan who received a kidney transplant in the United States in 2000. The $30,000 course record bonus is named for Sheikh Zayed.
PHOTO: Leonard Patrick Komon of Kenya after winning the 2011 UAE Healthy Kidney 10-K in a course record 27:35 (photo by Jane Monti for Race Results Weekly)
NOTE: Race Results Weekly provides professional athletes consulting for the New York Road Runners and the Healthy Kidney 10-K --Ed.