© Courtesy of NYRR
World 10km record-holder Leonard Komon from Kenya headlines the 2014 UAE Healthy Kidney 10k in New York on Saturday (10), while in-form compatriot Joyce Chepkirui spearheads the field in the inaugural elite women's race.
“We are thrilled to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the UAE Healthy Kidney 10K, which is highlighted by the race’s first-ever women’s professional field,” said New York Road Runners president and CEO Mary Wittenberg.
“This is always a special race, as many of the world’s top long-distance athletes join thousands of runners of all abilities to support the National Kidney Foundation. It’s an inspiring day for everyone.”
Komon will be aiming for his third title in New York after winning last year in 27:58, and in 2011 in a course record time of 27:35. The Kenyan is in good form, as he ran the fastest ever half-marathon debut of 59:14 in Berlin earlier this year, and he's looking forward to returning to New York.
“I'm happy to come back to my favourite city in the U.S. and to make a hat trick in a new course record at the UAE Healthy Kidney 10K,” said Komon. “Let’s cross fingers for a great day!”
Komon, who also holds the world 15km record, will face a field including team-mates Stephen Sambu and Sam Chelanga; 2012 winner Daniele Meucci from Italy; and Collis Birmingham from Australia.
Like Komon, Chepkirui has been in fine half-marathon form and comes to the inaugural elite women's race as the standout contender.
“Some races are run out of preparation and in full training, and some for fun,” said Chepkirui, who recently won the Prague Half-Marathon in 66:19.
“Some races are run for excellence, and it is an honour to compete in a city that runs and jogs so well. With the 10th edition of the UAE Healthy Kidney 10K and the first-ever invited women’s field, I couldn't be happier to take part and do my best.”
Chepkirui, who is ranked sixth on the world all-time rankings for 10km at 30:37, is joined in New York by team-mate Mercy Wacera, who won the prestigious World's Best 10km in San Juan in 32:06, before winning the silver medal at the World Half-Marathon Championships in Copenhagen.
Also watch out for Gelete Burka from Ethiopia, who continues her transition from the middle-distances to the roads, and team-mate Mamitu Daska.
Big prize money is up for grabs, as well. The first-place finishers will earn $25,000 each, and a $30,000 bonus is on offer for course record times.
With assistance from the NYRR