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Women's Mini-Marathon Celebrates 40 Years Saturday

By Test Reporter | June 9, 2011 6:51pm
These women were at the front of the pack in Mile 17 of the 2010 New York City Marathon.
These women were at the front of the pack in Mile 17 of the 2010 New York City Marathon.
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Wikimedia Commons/Tom Thai

By Andrea Swalec

DNAinfo Reporter/Producer

UPPER WEST SIDE — Make way! Some of the world's fastest female runners will fly through Central Park on Saturday for the 40th annual New York Mini 10K.

Competitors in the all-female race will loop clockwise through the park, beginning at Central Park West and West 61st Street and crossing the finish line at West 67th Street and West Drive.

The world's first road race for women began June 3, 1972 and was known as the Crazylegs Mini Marathon, named in honor of the mini-skirt, the New York Road Runners' website says.

Top contenders in the race are defending champion Linet Masai of Kenya, the American 2004 Olympic bronze medalist Deena Kastor and Reigning World Marathon Majors champion Liliya Shobukhova of Russia.

This year's race is dedicated to Norwegian nine-time New York City Marathon winner Grete Waitz, who died April 19 at age 57 after a six-year battle with cancer.

"The Mini is so perfect to celebrate Grete," Road Runners president Mary Wittenberg told The New York Times. "She inspired not only a generation of great professional athletes and great track runners but so many other women who grew up watching Grete in the marathon and the 10K."

There will be no parking on Central Park West between West 59th Street and West 90th Street, according to the New York Road Runners.