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Meb Keflezighi and other Olympians to run NYC Half

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U.S. runner Meb Keflezighi crosses the finish line in the men's marathon at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Aug. 12, 2012. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno) U.S. runner Meb Keflezighi crosses the finish line in the men's marathon at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Aug. 12, 2012. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
Meb Keflezighi speaks at a race expo in Las Vegas, December 2012. (Photo by Arun Kristian Das) Meb Keflezighi speaks at a race expo in Las Vegas, December 2012. (Photo by Arun Kristian Das)
NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -

U.S. Olympian and former ING New York City Marathon champion Meb Keflezighi will run the NYC Half on March 17, 2013, the New York Road Runners announced.

"I am honored to be a part of the great field NYRR has assembled for this year's NYC Half," Keflezighi said in a statement. "This race will serve as a great tune-up as I prepare for the Boston Marathon. I'm looking forward to racing in front of my New York City fans and friends."

Several other 2012 U.S. Olympians have also signed on for the race: Abdi Abdirahman, Dathan Ritzenhein, Janet Bawcom, and previously announced Bernard Lagat, who will be racing his first half-marathon.

"We are positively thrilled to welcome Meb, Dathan, and Abdi--three of America's finest and favorite long distance runners--back to NYC as we celebrate the spirit of NYC," NYRR CEO Mary Wittenberg said in a statement. "This NYC Half is more than a run. It's about the spirit of our runners of all types, and especially this year, it's about the spirit of Lower Manhattan and all of NYC. Meb, Dathan, and Abdi each have comeback stories of their own to add to the inspiration of the day."

Keflezighi, 37, of California, finished fourth in the Olympic Marathon in London -- the only American man to finish the race; teammates Abdirahman and Ryan Hall dropped out due to injury.

Keflezighi won silver at the 2004 Athens Olympic Marathon and won the 2009 ING New York City Marathon -- the first American to do so in 27 years. He has run the NYC Half three times.

Abdirahman, 36, of Arizona, finished second in the NYC Half in 2007 and third in the U.S. Marathon Trials in 2012.

Ritzenhein, 31, of Oregon, ran the 10,000-meter race at the 2012 London Games. He has raced the NYC Half twice before, in 2008 and 2012. He was the first U.S. finisher at the 2012 Bank of America Chicago Marathon.

Bawcom, 34, of Arizona, finished 12th in the 10,000 meters at the London Games. She has run the NYC Half in 2011 and 2012. She is the reigning U.S. 10-mile, 15-kilometer, and 25-kilometer champion.

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.

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