Dobriskey, Soos, Olinger to Celebrate the Countdown to 2009 at the 31st Emerald Nuts Midnight Run in Central Park on December 31

12/30/2008 - 09:39

December 30, 2008 from Running USA wire (NEW YORK NY) British Olympians Lisa Dobriskey and Ricky Soos and NCAA All-American Brian Olinger lead a competitive field and more than 5,000 participants that will ring in the new year at the 31st Emerald Nuts Midnight Run on Wednesday, December 31 in Central Park.

For the second year, more than 300 military personal stationed in Camp Al Taqaddum, Iraq, will start their own Midnight Run at the stroke of midnight-eight time zones ahead of New York. Lieutenant Tiffany Perng of Fort Lee, NJ, was inspired to organize the race, having been a New York Road Runners member before being stationed at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, CA, in 2005. Perng's parents, who live in New Jersey, plan to participate in this year's Midnight Run in Central Park.

Since its founding in 1978, the Emerald Nuts Midnight Run continues to be a unique and cost-efficient New York New Year's event. Runners and spectators looking for a fun, healthy way to celebrate the holiday without fighting the crowds in Times Square can look no further than Central Park.

"Over the past 30 years the Emerald Nuts Midnight Run has become the biggest New Year's Eve party in New York City," Wittenberg said. "Runners and non-runners alike look forward to all of the festivities that this event has to offer."

The event kicks off with a dance party and costume contest at 10:00pm and a parade beginning at 11:00pm. At the stroke of midnight, the runners will begin their non-scored four mile run through Central Park, dazzled by a 17-minute fireworks show. A non-alcoholic champagne station near mile two will be available for runners who want to toast the new year.

Lisa Dobriskey found success on the roads of New York City this year with a victory in the famed Continental Airlines Fifth Avenue Mile in September; her time of 4:18.6 was the second-fastest in the event's history. The 24-year-old narrowly missed the podium in the 1500 meters at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, finishing fourth. On the men's side, Ricky Soos, who competed in the 800 meters at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games, will challenge 2004 Big Ten 5000 meter champion Brian Olinger of Columbus, OH.

New York Road Runners will offer a prize purse of $2000, including $500 apiece to the male and female winners.

"Here at New York Road Runners, we encourage people year-round to stay physically fit through running and exercise," Wittenberg said. "There is no better time or way to start the new year than by participating in this fun-filled and cost-efficient, family event."

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