Mary Wittenberg Named President and CEO of New York Road Runners and Race Director of ING New York City Marathon

Allan Steinfeld to Assume the New Role of Vice Chairman of NYRR and Executive Director of ING New York City Marathon

For Immediate Release

New York Road Runners
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Richard Finn 212.423.2229
Maeve Mullally 212.423.2294
Media Relations Department
New York Road Runners

New York, March 8, 2005 — New York Road Runners today announced that Mary Wittenberg will become the race director of the ING New York City Marathon and the president and CEO of New York Road Runners, succeeding Allan Steinfeld. The changes are effective April 1. 

Wittenberg follows the late Fred Lebow and Steinfeld at the helm of the most celebrated marathon and the premier road running organization in the world. In addition to its crown jewel, the ING New York City Marathon, NYRR produces more than 55 annual races, including its Professional Racing Series; offers classes and lectures in running and fitness; maintains four Web sites; publishes New York Runner magazine; and supports its foundation bringing running to over 5,000 children a week in New York City public schools and communities.

The 35th running of the ING New York City Marathon last November was won by world record-holder Paula Radcliffe of England in a thrilling duel against Susan Chepkemei of Kenya. The race featured 36,562 finishers, making it the world’s largest marathon ever. Title sponsor ING recently extended its agreement through the 2007 race.

“It is with great pride and humility that I take over the leadership of the world’s greatest marathon and road running organization to lead us into the future,” said Wittenberg, 42, who became associate race director of the marathon in 2004 in addition to her duties as executive vice president and chief operating officer of NYRR, a position she has held since 2000.

“Fred and Allan have been pioneers and leaders in our sport for the last three decades, and I will strive to carry on our organization’s goals of staging the world’s greatest marathon, providing top-quality events, providing high-quality servicing to our business partners, and making a positive difference in our sport and our community of New York City,” said Wittenberg, who won the 1987 Marine Corps Marathon and competed in the 1988 U.S. Olympic Team Trials-Women’s Marathon.

Steinfeld hired Wittenberg in October 1998 and has worked with her since then on all aspects of the organization and marathon. Wittenberg is the first female president and CEO of NYRR and the first woman to lead one of the world’s major marathons. Prior to coming to NYRR she was a partner at the law firm Hunton & Williams in Richmond, Va., and New York City. 

“As I begin to step back from the organization that I have called home for the last 27 years, I couldn’t be happier to know that I have left its future in Mary’s hands,” said Steinfeld, 58, who joined the staff of NYRR in 1978, became president in 1993, and became CEO and marathon race director in 1994. “She has all the passion for running and the vision for the future needed to make sure that NYRR and the marathon continue to lead our sport. I will remain actively engaged in the activities of NYRR, in full support of Mary, as we move forward.”

Wittenberg and her husband, Derek Wittenberg, have two sons, Alex (age 3) and Cary (age 2), and live just a quick run from Central Park, in Manhattan.

About New York Road Runners
Founded in 1958 with a membership of 47, New York Road Runners is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to promoting the sport of running and walking for health, recreation, and competition, and provides full professional services related to all aspects of racing. The organization has a full-time staff of more than 60 employees and serves 40,000 members from every state and more than 100 countries. For more information, see

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