Clitheroe and Steel set for road race in New York

Helen Clitheroe and Gemma Steel to run women-only Oakley New York Mini 10k on Saturday

Mini start (Credit: Courtesy of NYRR)

Gemma Steel will race in America for the first time while Helen Clitheroe will make her New York City debut on Saturday when the pair form part of a women-only field for the Oakley New York Mini 10k.

The John Nuttall-coached athletes head to Central Park fresh from Great Manchester Run action where Steel admitted she was slightly disappointed with her 33:02 for fourth, while 2011 winner Clitheroe was satisfied with 33:14 for sixth after a few niggles in recent weeks.

Olympic marathoner Desiree Davila will lead the American contingent at the ‘Mini’, while 2009 World 10,000m champion Linet Masai will also be in action.

The Kenyan, who went on to claim bronze at the 2011 Worlds in Daegu, is a two-time Mini champion, having won in 2010 and 2011, her only previous appearances at the event.

Clitheroe, who was forced to postpone her marathon debut when injury ruled her out of the London Marathon in April, seemed to be enjoying her time in New York ahead of the race, as she tweeted on Thursday. ”Just been running in Central Park #surreal loved it, so many people keeping fit,” wrote the 2011 European Indoor Championships gold medallist.

Steel, who has also struggled with injury, missing the first half of the cross-country season with a bout of tendinopathy, further proved she is well over her injury woes by winning the Bristol 10k in 32:15 at the beginning of May ahead of her fourth-place finish in Manchester.

Speaking of the field in action on Saturday, New York Road Runners president and CEO Mary Wittenberg said: “We are lucky to have such a fantastic field of powerful and inspiring women from the U.S. and around the world in the race this year.

“The Mini has always represented the strides our female athletes have made—not only in running, but in every sport—and the challenges they have overcome to be who they are today.”

The world’s first road race exclusively for women, the Mini was founded by NYRR in 1972 and got its name when race founder Fred Lebow convinced the first sponsor to support a six-mile “mini” marathon — named for the miniskirt, which was then in fashion — rather than a full marathon.

Around 5,000 women are expected to take part in the 41st running of the race, with a $10,000 prize up for grabs. As well as Masai, past winners also include Grete Waitz, Ingrid Kristiansen, Liz McColgan, Paula Radcliffe, Tegla Loroupe and Lornah Kiplagat.

Leave a Reply