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Olympian Bernard Lagat to run NYC Half

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Bernard "Kip" Lagat after finishing second at the NYRR 5th Avenue Mile in 2012. (Photo by Arun Kristian Das) Bernard "Kip" Lagat after finishing second at the NYRR 5th Avenue Mile in 2012. (Photo by Arun Kristian Das)
NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -

Four-time Olympian Bernard "Kip" Lagat will run farther than he's ever run in a race when he laces up for the NYC Half on March 17, 2013, the New York Road Runners announced.

Lagat represented his native Kenya at the 2000 and 2004 Olympic Games and the United States at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics.

"I'm excited to be running a half-marathon," Lagat said in a statement. "It's a big step up in distance, but I think I'll be well prepared. Of course, there's a bit of uncertainty, but that makes it exciting; the challenge is what really appeals to me."

Lagat, 38, has had a lot of success in New York City. He won the 2011 Fifth Avenue Mile and several Wanamaker Miles, and just last weekend reclaimed the American indoor record for a two-mile track race at the Millrose Games with a time of 8:09.49.

"We are simply thrilled to host Bernard Lagat, one of the greatest runners our sport has ever seen, in his debut at the half-marathon distance," NYRR CEO Mary Wittenberg said in a statement. "Bernard already has a storied history in New York City; he's inspired us with his dominance at the Wanamaker Mile and his perseverance at the Fifth Avenue Mile, racing year after year until he finally captured the crown.

Lagat has two Olympic medals in the 1,500-meter race: bronze at the Sydney Games in 2000 and silver in Athens in 2004. At the 2012 London Olympics, Lagat finished fourth in the 5,000-meter race.

At the 2012 5th Avenue Mile, Lagat, the defending champion, came in second to Matt Centrowitz.

The NYC Half is the Road Runners' flagship half-marathon. The race begins with one full loop of Central Park, heads south into Times Square, then shoots down the West Side Highway, and ends in Lower Manhattan.

"I'm really looking forward to the half-marathon next month," Lagat said. "I've been planning for it during all my training this season."

www.nyrr.org

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