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New York to honour Tergat, Loroupe

Retired distance running star, Major Paul Kibii Tergat, during the launch of the 2015 SOYA Awards on October 22, 2015. PHOTO/Raymond Makhaya
Retired distance running star, Major Paul Kibii Tergat, during the launch of the 2015 SOYA Awards on October 22, 2015. PHOTO/Raymond Makhaya

NAIROBI, October 22- Retired former world record holders and Kenyan distance running legends; Paul Tergat and Tegla Loroupe, will be inducted to the New York Road Running (NYRR) Hall of Fame next week in a return to one of the scenes of their famous triumphs.

Also to be entered into that roll of honour are fellow record holders, Ethiopian emperor, Haile Gebresellasie who will also receive the Abebe Bikila award and Britain’s current women’s standard bearer over the marathon, Paula Radcliffe.

“Public ceremony to honour inductees and award winners will take place at the TCS New York City Marathon Pavilion in Central Park on October 29 at 3:00pm (New York time),” runblogrun reported.

“New York Road Runners and those involved in the sport of distance running are incredibly fortunate to have witnessed the stellar performances and contributions of Paula, Tegla, Paul, and Haile throughout their careers,” Peter Ciaccia, president of events for NYRR and race director of the TCS New York City Marathon that will run on November 1 where Kenyans Wilson Kipsang and Mary Keitany will be defending the men and women titles said.

“Their record-setting and medal-winning runs raised the sport to new heights, and they have selflessly used their leadership in the sport as a positive platform for change and inspiring people of all ages and abilities to improve their lives through running.”

Tergat who launched the 12th annual Sports Personality of the Year Awards (SOYA) he founded on Wednesday with a strong anti-doping message will return to the Big Apple where he won the 2005 New York City Marathon by the smallest margin of victory in race history–one second.

The two-time Olympics 10,000m silver medallist became the first person in history to run under 2:05:00 when he set the then world record of 2:04:55 at the 2003 Berlin Marathon and is one of the most decorated men’s cross country runners in history, winning five consecutive IAAF World Cross Country Championship titles from 1995 to 1999.

Loroupe is a two-time New York City Marathon champion (1994, 1995) and the former world record-holder in the marathon.

Her victory in New York in 1994 was the first major marathon victory by an African woman. She has also won marathons at Rotterdam (1997, 1999), Berlin (1999), and London (2000) and won three consecutive IAAF World Half Marathon Championships from 1997 to 1999.

Radcliffe is a three-time New York City Marathon champion (2004, 2007, and 2008), four-time Olympian and the world record-holder in the marathon with a time of 2:15:25.

For his outstanding contributions to the sport of distance running, both on and off the race course, Gebrselassie will also be the 2015 recipient of the Abebe Bikila Award.

Gebrselassie has established himself as a successful businessman and a mentor to young runners via the G4S 4teen program, which brings together young athletes from all over the world to work toward the goal of winning a gold medal at the Olympic Games.

The award is named for the legendary 1960 and 1964 Olympic marathon champion from Ethiopia and has been presented annually by New York Road Runners since 1978.

Past recipients include Grete Waitz, Fred Lebow, Bill Rodgers, Allan Steinfeld, Tergat, Germán Silva, and the 2014 recipient, Dr. Norbert Sander.