American Half Marathon Record Holder, Ryan Hall, will take on Philadelphia Distance Run
Posted Sep 17 2009 10:01pm
Philadelphia, PA. – September 17, 2009 – As the site of five World and three American records, the ING Philadelphia Distance Run is positioned for another historic performance in 2009. U.S. Olympian and American Half Marathon Record Holder, Ryan Hall, will lead the world-class field at the historic half-marathon on Sunday, September 20. The race will feature a live webcast on Competitor.com, beginning at 7:45 a.m. est.
“The ING Philadelphia Distance Run course record has stood a lot longer than we ever thought it would, since 1997,” said TV commentator Toni Reavis. “This year with the field Ryan Hall will have to contend with, and the ING New York City Marathon awaiting him on November 1st, he is in perfect position to supplant Khalid Khannouchi’s long-standing 60:27 time.”
The professional women’s field will glitter just as brightly, featuring the 2008 Olympic Marathon Gold and Silver Medalists Constantina Dita of Romania, and Kenya’s Catherine “The Great” Ndereba. Dita, who has a half marathon PR of 1:08:07, won the marathon in Beijing using a courageous mid-race surge to pull away from the field. Taking silver behind her was Kenya’s Ndereba, a six-time champion in Philadelphia who will be looking for her seventh title on Sunday.
“It' s been more than two years since my last half-marathon, but the half-marathon has always been one of my favorite race distances,” said Dita, who won the AIMS/ASICS World Athlete of the Year Award for 2008. “I' m looking forward to my first visit to Philadelphia. Other athletes have often told me what a beautiful course it is, and also that it is a very fast course. Competitor Group has put together a very strong women' s field, and I' m looking forward again to racing with my friend, Catherine Ndereba, and the other women."
The Beijing medalists will face strong competition from another Olympic champion, Ethiopian Derartu Tulu. Tulu became Africa’s first Olympic women’s champion ever when she captured the gold medal in the 10,000 meters in Barcelona in 1992. After a disappointing 4th place finish in Atlanta in 1996, Derartu repeated her gold medal win in Sydney in 2000.