Mizuki Noguchi, the 2004 Olympic Marathon gold medallist from Athens and winner of the 32nd real,- BERLIN MARATHON 2005, who is one of only six women to have run a marathon in sub 2:20, was honoured with the Abebe Bikila Award 2005 previously to the Continental Airlines International Friendship Run at the United Nations on Saturday, one day before the New York City Marathon. Since 1978 the New York Road Runners Club annually honours people who have made an outstanding contribution to distance running, particularly through a spirit of deep commitment to the sport. Noguchi joins prominent winners of the Abebe Bikila Award, including Lasse Viren, Grete Waitz, Alberto Salazar, Bill Rodgers, Tegla Loroupe and Rudolph Giuliani, the Mayor of New York City. Mizuki Noguchi is the first Japanese honoured.
New Asian record as well as two world records at 25 k and 30 k in Berlin
Furthermore the 27 year-old, who set a new Asian record with 2:19:12 hours as well as two world records at 25 k and 30 k in Berlin, hold the finishing tape in the thrilling men’s race in New York. She was almost knocked down by Hendrick Ramaala, as he unsuccessfully tried to throw himself to victory at the finish.
Over 15,000 participants ran the breakfast run one day ahead of the New York City Marathon last Saturday. Among them were also Race Director Mary Wittenberg and Mizuki Noguchi. They started at the United Nations on 1st Avenue and then ran through Manhattan to Central Park. The race ended at the original finish of the marathon, next to the legendary restaurant "Tavern-on-the-Green" and the statue of the founder of the New York City Marathon, Fred Lebow.
Legendary Ethiopian distance runner Abebe Bikila
The award is named after the legendary Ethiopian distance runner Abebe Bikila, who is one of only two people ever to win two Olympic marathon gold medals: in Rome 1960 and Tokyo 1964. Only five years after his second Olympic victory in Rome, Abebe Bikila had a serious car accident that left him paralyzed from the waist down. Until his death in 1973, Bikila remained close to the marathon and helped to develop the marathon internationally.