10,000 Runners for NYC Half-Marathon
(New York - WABC, August 5, 2007) (WABC) -- Haile Gebrselassie won the New York City Half Marathon in 59 minutes, 24 seconds August 5, cruising away from elite competitors two-thirds of the way through the race to win his eighth half marathon in eight attempts.
Gebrselassie, a two-time Olympic gold medalist for Ethiopia, pulled away from Abdi Abdirahman of the United States shortly after they emerged from Central Park along with two-time Boston Marathon champion Robert Cheruiyot of Kenya.
Hilda Kibet of Kenya won the women's race in 1:10:32, outkicking defending champion Catherine Ndereba by 1.15 seconds. Nina Rillstone of New Zealand, a surprise leader until the final quarter-mile when the two Kenyans passed her, was 3.75 back in third.
Near the eight-mile mark, the Somalia-born Abdirahman surged ahead to leave Cheruiyot behind, and then Gebrselassie left Abdirahman behind for the final five miles of the 13.1-mile race.
Gebrselassie appeared comfortable as he ran alone down the West Side highway. One fan near the finish at Battery Park on New York Harbor waved an Ethiopian flag in honor of Gebrselassie.
The temperature in Central Park was 70 degrees (21 Celsius) after a week of oppressive heat and humidity in New York.
Gebrselassie, who has won three marathons in the past two years, won gold in the 10,000 meters in Atlanta in 1996 and Sydney in 2000. His time was the second-fastest half marathon run in the United States, second only to his own 58:55 in Tempe, Ariz., last year.
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