Local Runners Take On The Top Professional Runners In The World #UNITEDAIRLINESNYCHALFMARATHON

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NEW YORK (WABC) —

The best local runners in the New York metropolitan area will take on the top professional runners in the world at the 2015 United Airlines NYC Half on Sunday.

Top-tier New York residents include 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials qualifier Brendan Martin of Smithtown, 2014 Hartford Half-Marathon champion Megan Hogan of Manhattan, and 2012 Hartford Marathon champion Abiyot Endale of the Bronx.

“The tremendous talent and experience of our top local elites has created one of the most competitive road-racing circuits in the country,” said New York Road Runners president and CEO Mary Wittenberg. “Brendan, Megan, Abiyot, and all of our runners from the five boroughs and surrounding area are the pride of NYRR. Their passion for training and competing on the streets and in the parks of New York is unmatched, and we look forward to seeing them compete against a world-class field on their home turf at the 2015 United Airlines NYC Half”

Many of these runners are from local New York City running clubs, including the New York Athletic Club, the Westchester Track Club, West Side Runners, and Central Park Track Club – New Balance. These clubs’ runners participate in many NYRR races throughout the year and are a significant asset to the local running community.

The New York Athletic Club’s Martin, 25, qualified for the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials this past December, finishing sixth at the 2014 California International Marathon with a time of 2:16:28. Last year, he placed seventh at the Great Cow Harbor 10K and won the Hamptons Half-Marathon, setting the course-record. Before moving to the metropolitan area, Martin was a member of the Brooks-Hansons Distance Project in Michigan. He finished 13th at the 2012 Boston Marathon and 18th at the 2013 Fukuoka Marathon. The former Columbia Lion set his personal-best half-marathon time of 1:04:38 at the 2013 Grandma’s Half-Marathon, which served as the USA Half-Marathon Championships.

“I’m excited to compete against many of the world’s best runners right here in New York and in Central Park,” said Martin. “I grew up on Long Island and went to school in the city, so I’ve always identified myself as a New York guy. During my four years at Columbia, I ran a lot of miles in Central Park and it’s still one of my favorite places to run. Wearing the NYAC singlet in front of a home crowd will be a lot of fun.”

On the women’s side, also running with the New York Athletic Club, Hogan, 27, is the fastest local half-marathon runner in the field, having qualified for the U.S. Olympic Trials in a personal-best time of 1:12:12 to win the 2014 Hartford Half-Marathon. A former member of Team USA Minnesota, she finished third at the 2011 USA 15K Championships. The 2011 George Washington University graduate won the 2009 and 2010 Atlantic 10 Cross Country Championships and finished eighth place at the 2010 NCAA Cross Country Championships, her second consecutive All-American performance and third-straight appearance at the event. She was the first George Washington athlete to qualify for the national meet.

NYC Half Marathon Banner

“I moved to New York City in the fall, and the United Airlines NYC Half will not only be my debut race as a member of NYRR, but also in New York City,” said Hogan. “I have heard how great the support from the community is here and I am so excited to experience it this weekend.”

Westchester Track Club’s Endale, 28, has won 10 NYRR race titles and has finished in the top five at NYRR races in an astounding 34 out of 43 attempts. In 2009, he won the NYRR Runner of the Year for the 20 to 24 year old age category. The 2012 Hartford Marathon champion and course record-holder earned a silver medal as a member of the Ethiopian team at the 2003 IAAF World Cross Country Championships and won the 2014 Carlsbad Marathon. His NYRR race highlights include victories at the 2010 and 2014 Percy Sutton Harlem 5K and the 2007 NYRR Men’s Team Championships, where he and his teammates captured the team title by sweeping the top-seven spots.

The 2015 United Airlines NYC Half will air live in New York on ABC7 and WatchABC from 7:00 to 9:00 a.m. EDT and on 7online from 7:00-10:30 a.m. Outside of the New York area, coverage will also be available on ESPN3 via WatchESPN from 7:00-10:30 a.m. on computers, tablets, smartphones, Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick, Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku, Xbox 360 and Xbox One for those who have video or internet subscriptions from affiliated providers. International viewers can watch the broadcast from 7:00 to 9:00 a.m. EDT via a variety of global broadcast partners (international viewers should check local listings).

New this year at the United Airlines NYC Half is the NYRR Times Square Kids’ Run-a 1500-meter out-and-back road race on Seventh Avenue for children ages 7 to 18 that starts and ends in Times Square. An expected 1,000 kids, including 700 of NYRR’s Young Runners, will compete in the high school, middle school, and elementary school divisions alongside the runners in the United Airlines NYC Half.

A total of 20,828 runners crossed the finish line of the 2014 NYC Half, making it the largest NYC Half yet. Runners from more than 65 countries and all 50 states participated. Geoffrey Mutai of Kenya won the men’s race with a time of 1:00:50, and Sally Kipyego won the women’s race with an event-record time of 1:08:31.

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