By David Monti, @d9monti
(c) 2022 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved; used with permission
NEW YORK (02-Jun) — New York Road Runners will celebrate the 50th running of the Mastercard New York Mini 10-K in style on Saturday, June 11, when a dozen Olympians will lead the field of the world’s first-ever road race for women, founded in 1972.
Using a new course with the start on Central Park West at 90th Street, the elite field of 36 women will battle the hills of Central Park and compete for a $45,000 prize money purse, with $10,000 going to the overall winner and $5,000 to the top American.
The race winner will join one of the most prestigious winners’ lists in all of road running which includes all-time greats like Tegla Loroupe and Mary Keitany of Kenya, Liz McColgan and Paula Radcliffe of Great Britain, Lornah Kiplagat of The Netherlands, Grete Waitz of Norway, and Deena Kastor of the United States.
“I have heard about the Mini and how it is a wonderful celebration of women and running,” said reigning Boston, Olympic and New York City Marathon champion Peres Jepchirchir who will be running the Mini for the first time.
“It is very important to me that I use my success to inspire young women and girls coming after me. It is very special to be able to return to New York City after my marathon victories in New York and Boston to be a part of the 50th anniversary of this race.”
Five other Kenyan women –Sheila Chepkirui, Viola Cheptoo, Edna Kiplagat, Sharon Lokedi and Caroline Rotich– will also be in the field. Kiplagat, 42, who won the Mini 10 years ago and has run the race six times, said the event is one of her favorite races, and one of the most meaningful.
“Winning the New York City Marathon 12 years ago changed my life, and now, ten years after also winning the Mini 10-K, I still enjoy my racing and am happy to still be competing at a high level,” said Kiplagat who finished fourth in April’s Boston Marathon in 2:21:40, smashing that event’s masters course record.
“NYRR always invites the highest quality fields, so I always like lining up in New York with the best in the world. There are so many inspiring women who have participated in this race over the years who set a positive example for everyone –-both runners and non-runners-– and I’m lucky to be part of such a prestigious group.”
Ethiopia’s Senbere Teferi, the winner of the recent United Airlines NYC Half, would also like to add the Mini title to her résumé. The 27-year-old athlete, who holds the pending world record for 5-kilometers in a women-only road race (14:29), was sixth in the Tokyo Olympic 5000m last August and would love to win her second 10-K in New York City; she also won the discontinued Healthy Kidney 10-K in April, 2019.
Twenty-three American women have been recruited for the elite field including five Olympians: Emily Sisson, Diane Nukuri, Aliphine Tuliamuk, Molly Seidel, and Rachel (Schneider) Smith. Sisson and Tuliamuk are reigning Olympic Trials champions (Sisson in the 10,000m and Tuliamuk in the marathon), and Seidel was the bronze medalist in the Tokyo Olympic Marathon.
Also, two of the three-fastest USA marathoners of all time, Keira D’Amato (2:19:12) and Sara Hall (2:20:32), are entered. Hall won the race in both 2019 (when the event hosted the USATF Championships) and 2021.
Sisson, 30, who is the national half-marathon record-holder, is particularly excited to compete. Her training partner Molly Huddle won the race in 2014, and Sisson has always wanted to run it.
“After breaking the American record in the half-marathon, I’m excited to step down in distance and compete in the Mastercard New York Mini 10-K for the first time,” Sisson said. “It will be a privilege to take part in such a powerful event that has paved the way for so many women over the last 50 years.”
The race will also have a separate professional wheelchair division led by two-time Paralympic medalist and three-time Mini defending champion Susannah Scaroni.
Scaroni is now fully recovered after being hospitalized last September after she was struck by a car while training in her racing chair near her home in Champaign, Ill. She suffered a burst fracture of her T8 vertebrae and had to endure complete upper body restriction for a month.
“The Mastercard New York Mini 10-K is a special one to me for so many reasons, and I’m excited at the chance to race on what will be a milestone day for women’s running in Central Park,” Scaroni said.
“Not only is the Mini 10-K the world’s original women-only road race, but it is also one of the only women-only wheelchair races at the present time, which will hopefully pave the way for future generations of women’s wheelchair racers in the next 50 years.”
Over 200,000 women have finished the Mini since Jacki Dixon became the first winner in 1972. Only 72 women finished the first year, and the race reached its peak of 8,885 finishers in 2019, the last pre-pandemic edition of the event.
PHOTO: Sara Hall and Susannah Scaroni are the reigning Mastercard New York Mini 10-K champions (2021 photo by Jane Monti for Race Results Weekly)
ATTACHMENT: The 2021 Mastercard New York Mini 10-K elite field (courtesy of New York Road Runners)