Portuguese Stars Augusto and Félix Added to NYCM Field
On her first-ever trip to Portugal, New York Road Runners president and CEO Mary Wittenberg picked up more than just a few souvenirs. She confirmed at a press conference in Lisbon that Portuguese stars Jéssica Augusto and Ana Dulce Félix would both be running the ING New York City Marathon on Sunday, Nov. 6.
"Jéssica and Ana are continuing the rich tradition of Portuguese marathon runners like Olympic champions Rosa Mota and Carlos Lopes," Wittenberg said in remarks she prepared before her departure from New York. "Jéssica and Ana possess the strength, speed, and determination that make a marathon champion."
Both Augusto, 29, and Félix, 28, have only completed one marathon, but both were excellent performances which nearly guarantee them selection for the Portuguese Olympic Team next year. Augusto made her marathon debut at the Virgin London Marathon last April, clocking 2:24:33 to take 8th place. One week earlier in Vienna, Félix ran 2:26:30 in her second marathon (she failed to finish in her debut in New York last November), finishing second.
Both women have excellent half-marathon speed (69:08 for Augusto and 68:33 for Félix), and at 10,000m (31:19.15 and 31:30.90, respectively). Both women competed at the recent IAAF World Championships in Daegu, Korea, in the 10,000m where Félix finished 8th and Augusto was 10th. Close friends, but who train under separate coaches, Augusto convinced Félix to give up her 400 euro per month job in a shoe factory to take up running full-time.
"It's an honor to be invited to the mythical ING New York City Marathon," said Augusto who was smitten by the Big Apple at the NYC Half-Marathon last March where she finished seventh. "It's a race that should be part of every athlete's career. It's a dream come true."
No Portuguese athlete, male or female, has won the ING New York City Marathon in it's 41-year history.
By David Monti (c) 2011 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved; Used with permission