MANHATTAN — Olympian and U.S. medalist Ryan Hall is one of thousands of excited runners who are getting pumped to begin training for the annual 26.2-mile New York City Marathon.
Hall and New Zealand athlete Kim Smith were the first two professional runners named Wednesday at the marathon's opening day ceremony in Columbus Circle, where WABC/Channel 7 lead sports anchor Rob Powers and 2004 Olympian Carrie Tollefson announced the participants of the massive citywide race, set for November.
Throngs of runners packed into the event to hear if they were lucky enough to strut their stuff all the way to the finish line.
"The ING New York City Marathon, with all its pageantry and spectacle, would be nothing without the thousands of dedicated runners who take part each and every year," a spokesman for ING said in a video for the marathon's website.
More than 47,000 runners finished the race in 2011. This year, there were more than 140,000 applicants who vied for a chance to participate in the Nov. 4 marathon, which charts a course through the five boroughs and offers up over $600,000 in prize money.
Last November, Ethiopian runner Gebre Gebremariam, 26, amazed ING New York City Marathon watchers by winning the first marathon he's ever run.
As he crossed the line in 2:08:14, he became the first rookie marathoner to win the event in 27 years.
In the 2011 women's race, Kenyan Edna Kiplagat crossed the line in two hours, 28 minutes and 20 seconds.
Liz Kim, 34, a lawyer from the Upper West Side, attested to the thrill of hitting the pavement last year.
"I think every New Yorker should do this once," she said. "It's such a unifying experience, all these strangers cheering for you. It makes you think the world could become a better place."
Runners that didn't attend Wednesday's event can find out if they made the cut by going to the marathon's website.