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NEW YORK CITY, NY (14 May 2011) – Leonard Patrick Komon of Kenya set a new Central Park course record at the 7th UAE Healthy Kidney 10K Race. The race, held annually in New York City, is sponsored by the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates in Washington, DC to benefit the National Kidney Foundation, and held in Honor of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan al Nahyan, first President of the United Arab Emirates and kidney transplant recipient.
15,000 runners registered to run in this year’s UAE Healthy Kidney 10K race. Among those were two of the fastest 10K runners in the world. This year's race also held the record for the largest prize purse for a 10K run. Komon crossed the finish line in a record time of 27 minutes and 35 seconds, earning him the $25,000 prize for crossing the finish line first. He was also awarded an additional $20,000 bonus for breaking the Central Park 10K record.
At an event organized by the UAE Embassy, His Excellency Omar Al Shamsi, Deputy Chief of Mission and Lt. General Mohammed Al Kaabi, Chairman of the UAE Sports Committee, recognized race organizers, sponsors and athletes.
“Kidney disease affects people all over the world, including citizens of the UAE and the United States. We are grateful to all our sponsors and benefactors for this chance to unite in the common cause to fight this disease,” said Mr. Al Shamsi. “We look forward to continued and future collaboration between UAE and US medical research institutions to find advanced treatment methods for this disease."
A team of runners from the UAE Sports Committee also participated in the race this year. Additionally, UAE students studying in the United States came from various universities around the US to run, including several with physical disabilities.
The UAE General Women's Union participated in the day's events by showcasing traditional Emirati crafts and cultural artifacts in a Bedouin-style tent set up near the race’s finish line. In the tent, the Women's Union welcomed guests to experience the UAE's heritage and applied Henna art designs to participant's hands.
Last year's UAE Healthy Kidney 10K Run winner and record breaker was Gebre Gebremariam of Ethiopia, who finished with a time of 27 minutes, 42 seconds. Lt. General Al Kaabi announced that the course record bonus for 2012 will be $30,000 to any runner who can beat Leonard Patrick Komon's new record time of 27 minutes, 35 seconds.
Sheikh Zayed benefited from American expertise, knowledge, and research when he received a kidney transplant in 2000. Among his many honors and accomplishments, he was most proud of being a kidney transplant survivor, and he left behind a legacy to continue encouraging research and advancement in the treatment of kidney disease.