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Articles tagged #Bix 7
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Kenyans Leonard Barsoton and Joyciline Jepkosgei won Bix 7 on saturday

You can count Leonard Barsoton among those who was surprised at the way the Quad-City Times Bix 7 unfolded Saturday.

Barsoton came into the race with fairly modest expectations, hoping that maybe he could somehow sneak into the top three finishers. The 24-year-old native of Kenya didn’t really expect to leave all the other runners in his wake in the final two miles to win the 45th annual race through the streets of Davenport fairly easily.

But that’s what he did.

The race is over and the winners of the 2019 Quad City Times Bix 7 Road Race have been crowned.

"I’m so excited to be able to do this," Barsoton said. "If you can win Bix, you can win anywhere."

Thousands of runners hit the Davenport streets in the morning of Saturday, July 27th, but only a few could take home the victory in the 7-mile race.

In the men's race, Kenyan runner Leonard Barsoton broke a tight race and soared ahead to win with a time of 32:34. "This has shown me I can do more," Barsoton said. "To win Bix is a big accomplishment. This is a tough course." 

The women's race saw Joyciline Jepkosgei, also from Kenya, break a close two-person competition late in the game to take the gold in just over 36 minutes.

(07/29/2019) ⚡AMP
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Bix 7 miler

Bix 7 miler

This race attracts the greatest long distance runners in the world competing to win thousands of dollars in prize money. It is said to be the highest purse of any non-marathon race. Tremendous spectator support, entertainment and post party. Come and try to conquer this challenging course along with over 15,000 other participants, as you "Run With The Best." In...

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Everything you need to know about the 2019 Bix 7 men's field

Last year, for the first time ever, a male runner from Ethiopia won the Quad-City Times Bix 7, overcoming the legion of Kenyan runners who always populate the field.

This year it might be time for a break-through from another African nation: Tanzania.

Gabriel Geay, a 22-year-old runner from the country directly to the south of Kenya, must be regarded as one of the favorites to prevail in the annual 7-mile jaunt through the streets of Davenport.

He already has had a phenomenal year on the U.S. road racing scene, winning the Lilac Bloomsday 12k and Bay to Breakers 12k in May and crossing the finish line first in the Utica Boilermaker 15k little more than a week ago. He also had top-five finishes in perhaps the two biggest 10ks around: The Peachtree Road Race and Bolder Boulder.

Geay first came to U.S. as a 19-year-old in 2016 attempting to run Olympic qualifying times for 10,000 meters and 5,000 meters. He narrowly missed in both but decided to stick around and run a few road races, and claimed his first big victory at Peachtree. He came back the following year to win Bolder Boulder and Lilac Bloomsday.

With the withdrawal of three-time Bix 7 champion Silas Kipruto from the field, there now is only one runner entered in the men’s field who has competed in the Davenport race as an elite invitee.

Kenya’s Kenneth Kosgei placed 12th in his only visit here a year ago.

Kipruto was seeking to break the Bix 7 record for most top-five finishes by a men’s runner — he has done it six times — but he informed race officials last week that he would not run because of a lack of fitness.

The Bix 7 men’s championship has been won seven times by a runner named Korir.

John Korir won a record five times (in 1998, 1999, 2001, 2003 and 2004) and Leonard Korir did it twice (2013 and 2015).

This year’s race will include Kenya’s Dominic Korir. Korir (no relation to the previous Bix champs), who may be better suited to the hilly course than almost anyone.

Dominic Korir trains at high altitude in Colorado Springs and in April he won the Horsetooth Half-marathon, a race that begins with a grueling 1.8-mile climb up something called Monster Mountain.

It sounds even more imposing than the Brady Street Hill.

Jarius Birech will be among the most experienced Kenyans in this year’s Bix 7 field.

He’s just not that experienced in races in which he isn’t required to leap over hurdles and bound across small pools of water. Birech, 26, was the top 3,000-meter steeplechase runner in the world in 2014, winning the African championships and taking the silver medal in the Commonwealth Games that year. He twice has run the steeplechase under eight minutes, a feat that’s only been accomplished 38 times in history.

But he just now is starting to become more involved in events other than the steeplechase.

He has shown promise, however. Birech won a major cross country race in Italy earlier this year and also won the Crescent City Classic 10k on a very flat course in New Orleans.

(07/26/2019) ⚡AMP
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Bix 7 miler

Bix 7 miler

This race attracts the greatest long distance runners in the world competing to win thousands of dollars in prize money. It is said to be the highest purse of any non-marathon race. Tremendous spectator support, entertainment and post party. Come and try to conquer this challenging course along with over 15,000 other participants, as you "Run With The Best." In...

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Three-time Bix 7 men’s champion Silas Kipruto is coming back to the Quad-City Times Bix 7 in hopes of making a little more history

The three-time Bix 7 men’s champion will be joined in the 45th annual race through the streets of Davenport by a deep women’s field that includes two former champions, the second fastest female runner in the race’s history and a world record-holder in two events.

Kipruto already is among the most successful runners in the history of the race, which is scheduled this year for July 27. The 34-year-old native of Kenya not only won the Bix 7 in 2011, 2012 and 2016, but he has finished in the top five on three other occasions.

His half dozen top-five finishes equal the most ever by a male runner in the race, tying Meb Keflezighi, Bill Rodgers, John Korir and Lazarus Nyakeraka.

Kipruto is one of 17 African runners in the preliminary men’s elite field assembled by elite athlete coordinator John Tope — 13 from Kenya and two each from Eritrea and Tanzania.

Besides Kipruto, male runners to watch include Tanzania’s Gabriel Geay, who won both the Lilac Bloomsday 12k and the Bay to Breakers 12k in May; Kenya’s Edwin Mokua, a top-three finisher at both Bloomsday and Bay to Breakers; Kenya’s Leonard Barsoton, who was first in the African Cross Country championships in 2014 and second in the African Games 10,000 meters in 2015; and Emmanuel Kiprono, Kenya’s 10,000-meter champ in 2013.

(07/24/2019) ⚡AMP
by Kevin E. Schmidt
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Bix 7 miler

Bix 7 miler

This race attracts the greatest long distance runners in the world competing to win thousands of dollars in prize money. It is said to be the highest purse of any non-marathon race. Tremendous spectator support, entertainment and post party. Come and try to conquer this challenging course along with over 15,000 other participants, as you "Run With The Best." In...

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Kris Carroll and her family have unforgettable memories at the Bix 7 Miler race

My father was born and raised in Davenport. His brother and his family have lived there all of their lives. My dad started running in his 40's, and the Bix has always been his favorite. I think this year is his 30th year running the Bix. I have only run it six or so times, but each time I have run it with him, and I have the best memories.

Seeing my family, running the hilly course in the usually oppressive heat, and staying the rest of the day to enjoy a well-earned Bloody Mary and a few beers while listening to my dad and my uncle reminisce about their days in high school, attending St. Ambrose, their car clubs, and stories about my grandparents.

This past March my Dad was diagnosed with a rare form of lung cancer. Despite being hospitalized twice in the last couple weeks, he's still training! He knows he can't run the 7-mile course, but he is doing the Quick Bix.

My brother lives in Utah and I live in Massachusetts. We are both coming in and will be proudly walking with him, and who knows, maybe even racing a bit.

He taught us to be runners. He was the 27th U.S. person to run marathons on all seven continents. He took my brother to Antarctica for his first marathon, and took me to Spain for my first. As a family trip, he took us to Madagascar for the most unique and beautiful marathon--which I ended up winning for the women's!

My dad is the most amazing person, and the strongest person I know. A couple weeks ago, he was very weak due to the immunotherapy treatments. It's the first time he's ever been negative. He said that my brother Keith and I would have to push him in a wheelchair in order for him to "run" the Bix.

Today he proudly walked two miles. I'm grateful to run another Bix with him, and that this race is giving him the motivation to keep going and fight to overcome cancer! 

(07/16/2019) ⚡AMP
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Bix 7 miler

Bix 7 miler

This race attracts the greatest long distance runners in the world competing to win thousands of dollars in prize money. It is said to be the highest purse of any non-marathon race. Tremendous spectator support, entertainment and post party. Come and try to conquer this challenging course along with over 15,000 other participants, as you "Run With The Best." In...

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91-year-old Doris Wiebler is preparing to run her 40th Bix 7 race

91-year-old Doris Wiebler is preparing to participate in the Bix 7 race once again. The lifelong Quad Cities resident has taken part in 39 Bix races, and is looking forward to next month's seven-mile race, "The good lord willing and the creek don't rise, this will be my 40th year."

Doris, also known to her 36 great grandchildren as 'GG,' says the trick to her training is walking at least a few miles each day.

When the weather doesn't allow for outdoor walking, she says she'll go to the mall and get her exercise by walking around there.

As she prepares to take on the difficult course, she reflects on nearly 40 years ago when she first decided to register for the race, "My children were running the Bix from the time it started and I've always liked to walk. One night at dinner I just said, 'Hey I'm gonna do the Bix this year.' They said, 'Mom, this is a run, not a walk.' I said, 'you do your thing, I'm gonna do mine.'"

She held to her word.

For year 40, Doris says she will have extra special motivation and support by her side.

Her granddaughter Stephanie, a mom of three who's currently fighting cancer, is planning to also participate in another Bix race.

Doris says each year she looks for Stephanie at the top of the hill on Brady Street and hopes this year will be the same, "She's one beautiful person and she's so strong. Gonna get by this. That's for sure."

In addition to support for each other, there is no lack of support from the rest of the family.

Doris says much of her family travels to Davenport for the race each year from across the country, and she looks forward to this year being no exception.

She says what makes the race all the better is the excitement and, "the amount of my kids that have decided to walk with me, which has been a big help. It's not as much fun doing it by yourself."

Bix day holds a special place in Doris' heart.

Three of her children married on Bix day.

While Doris says only one of those weddings took place on a day where she participated in the race, she was thrilled she was able to do both. The was in the morning; the wedding, at night.

While her medal collection and family have continued to grow, there's one thing she says has never changed about the Bix, "The music, the spectators, the volunteers, everybody is just so into it and just so happy for you. You know, it's just the cheers, everything. It's awesome. It really is."

That encouragement, Doris says, is why she loves the race so much, "Once you start, it's everything going on that keeps you going."

Doris has one suggestion for people who, like her, might be considering walking in the race. She says everyone should train at least a little bit.

(06/21/2019) ⚡AMP
by Courtney Spinelli
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Bix 7 miler

Bix 7 miler

This race attracts the greatest long distance runners in the world competing to win thousands of dollars in prize money. It is said to be the highest purse of any non-marathon race. Tremendous spectator support, entertainment and post party. Come and try to conquer this challenging course along with over 15,000 other participants, as you "Run With The Best." In...

more...
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Belay Tilahun wins the Bix 7, the first time an Ethiopian has won this race

Belay Tilahun of Ethiopia wins the Quad-City Times Bix 7. Tilahun finished second in 2016. Margaret Muriuki of Kenya captured the 2018 women's Quad-City Times Bix 7 on Saturday.  Belay Tilahun pulled away in the final mile to claim the victory, In a winning time of 32:37, Tilahun became the first runner from Ethiopia to win the Bix 7. “I’m very happy,” Tilahun told KWQC after beating NCAA 10K champion Ben Flanagan and 2016 U.S. Olympian Leonard Korir down the final stretch. Kipruto finished fifth and Mekonen crossed the line a few seconds later in sixth-place. Tilahun became the first Ethiopian man ever to win the Bix 7 after several near-misses in the past. Reigning NCAA 10,000-meter champion Ben Flanagan recorded the highest finish ever by a Canadian in the race, crossing the line in second place. Andrew Colley of Blowing Rock, North Carolina, took fourth, the highest an American has placed in an international field at Bix since Meb Keflezighi was third in 2013. It’s the highest a native-born American has finished since Ken Martin won the race in 1991. Colley was one of four Americans in the top 10. It’s the first time that has happened since that same 1991 race. But all of them were mere footnotes to Tilahun, who showed interviewers with hand gestures how he navigated the incessant hills of the course and was able to convey the fact that it helped him to have run Bix once before. Ethiopians have been very close to winning the Bix 7 in the past. Tilahun was second behind three-time winner Silas Kipruto in 2016 and Solomon Deksisa took second the year before that. In one of the strangest episodes in Bix history, Ethiopia’s Maregu Zewdie was leading coming down 4th Street in the 2008 Bix but stopped after crossing under the skywalk at the Davenport RiverCenter, thinking that was the finish line. Kenya’s Edward Muge zoomed past him to win. He had a small lead on Flanagan and the rest of the pack coming down Kirkwood in the fifth mile of the race when he decided to just take control. In what seemed little more than a blink of the eye, he opened about a 7-second margin over Flanagan. Stream TypeLIVE Loaded: 0% Progress: 0% 0:00 Fullscreen   00:00 Mute“I don’t know if surprised is the word but I was impressed,’’ said Flanagan, who just completed his college career at the University of Michigan last month. “I knew coming in here there was a lot of really experienced runners who knew the course well. That was very evident by that move. (07/30/2018) ⚡AMP
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Two years ago Silas Kipruto was leading the Bix 7 when suddenly he whirled around and took a swipe at Mekonen, now they are friends

When it happened along Kirkwood Boulevard two years ago, it became national news in the running world. Silas Kipruto was loping along, leading the Quad-City Times Bix 7 as he has so often through the years, when he suddenly whirled around and took a right-handed swipe at young Teshome Mekonen, who was running directly behind him. It’s just not the sort of thing you see in road racing. No one could recall seeing anything like it. Not in the Bix 7. Not in any race. Mekonen filed a post-race protest that was denied because the incident did not have an impact on the outcome. Kipruto did not even make contact with his swing. Here’s the happy news: Kipruto and Mekonen have become friends, buddies pals. "Brothers," Kipruto said as he stood outside one of the townhouses on the St. Ambrose University campus Thursday afternoon. "We were friends before," he added. "But I came to him after the race, and now we are friends like brothers, really good friends." Chances are, they shared a plate or two of ugali in the kitchen area at St. Ambrose on Thursday night. They may run the Bix course together today in preparation for Saturday’s 44th annual race. Kipruto, who is 11 years older at 33 and much more familiar with the Davenport race, may even give his pal a few pointers on how to navigate the hills of Bix. "We hang around together," Mekonen said. "We have a good time." It’s somewhat unusual because Kipruto is from Kenya and Mekonen is from Ethiopia. Runners from the two neighboring east African countries have a history of being less than friendly as they battle for supremacy in races across the U.S. (07/27/2018) ⚡AMP
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NCAA champ Ben Flanagan may be the underdog at the Bix 7 but don't count him out

Ben Flanagan will be a decided underdog when he steps to the starting line in Saturday’s 44th annual Quad-City Times Bix 7. After all, the 23-year-old Canadian hasn’t run a road race of any distance since he was in the ninth grade. He certainly hasn’t run a race full of steep hills in the sometimes suffocating heat of late July against a field filled with battle-hardened Kenyans and Ethiopians, many of whom are very familiar with a course he’s never even seen before. But you get the feeling Flanagan kind of likes being the underdog. And he often responds positively when placed in that role. You needn’t look any further than the 10,000-meter race at the NCAA Division I track and field meet about seven weeks ago. Flanagan, a fifth-year senior at the University of Michigan, was seeded 19th in the race. He hadn’t even qualified for the NCAA meet the previous year because of a litany of injuries. He ran in the wake of Alabama star Vincent Kiprop the entire way but on the 25th and final lap, he found the strength to surge past Kiprop and spring one of the biggest upsets in recent NCAA history. He admitted he probably even surprised himself that day. (07/26/2018) ⚡AMP
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A strong women's elite field is set for the Bix 7 this weekend

Three of the elite runners in the women’s field are from Illinois. The best known of them is Chelsea Blaase, who is from the small town of St. Joseph near Champaign and had a great career at the University of Tennessee. She was fifth in the NCAA 10,000 meters in 2016 and seventh in 2017 as well as placing fifth in the Bix 7 last year. Kelly McShea, from Lisle, ran collegiately at Illinois State and Kristen Heckert, who lives in Bolingbrook and teaches algebra at Plainfield South High School, competed at Illinois-Chicago. The women’s runner who has had the most past success in the Bix is Kenya’s Caroline Rotich, who won the race in 2011 and has placed in the top three on three occasions since then. She is not the only woman in the field who has run well on the streets of Davenport, however. Margaret Muriuki won the race the only previous time she ran it (in 2012), Ethiopia’s Buzunesh Deba was second in 2013 and Monicah Ngige has a pair of top-10 Bix finishes on her resume.Sydney Devore had a highly successful high school cross country career in Lakeland, Florida, but gave up running after suffering an injury as a freshman at the University of Florida. She resumed her career in 2015 and at the age of 26, is now an up and coming competitor on the U.S. scene. She attempted a marathon for the first time earlier this year and won, turning in the fastest time in four years at the Pittsburgh Marathon. (07/25/2018) ⚡AMP
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Meb Keflezighi is running the Quad-City Times Bix 7 for the ninth time

The Keflezighi family, including Meb and nine siblings, fled to Milan, Italy, and eventually settled in San Diego. He took up competitive distance running in high school, became a star at UCLA and became an American hero when he won the silver medal in the 2004 Olympic marathon and won the 2009 New York City Marathon. Meb Keflezigh became a superhero in 2014 when he became the first American citizen in 31 years to win the Boston Marathon. It was the year after a bomb exploded at the race, taking the lives of three people. He ran that race with the names of the victims written on his race bib. Along the way, Keflezighi also has developed an affectionate relationship with the Quad-City Times Bix 7. He won the Bix 7 in 2002 and 2009, when it served as the U.S. championship race for seven miles, and he has placed in the top 10 on six other occasions. At the age of 43, he has retired from competitive running but still participates in several races a year, often doing so in support of some sort of charitable cause. He is scheduled to run the 44th annual Bix 7 on July 28. (07/24/2018) ⚡AMP
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Bill Rodgers never misses the Bix 7 even with lingering achilles tendinitis

In another year at another time, Bill Rodgers might have been looking at running the Quad-City Times Bix 7 in 51 minutes. The most revered marathoner in U.S. distance running history turned 70 in December, and that’s the Bix 7 course record for runners 70 and over — 51 flat by Warren Bystedt back in 2000. Rodgers already holds the course record for runners in the 45-49 and 50-54 age groups, but this time he figures he’ll be lucky just to get up and down the grueling, undulating hills of the Bix in one piece. "I’m running, but I’m not running very fast," Rodgers said. "Hopefully, I can keep myself together for the Bix." Rodgers admits that running an estimated 200,000 miles over the past seven decades has taken its toll. He hasn’t approached the 51-minute mark in the Bix 7 since 2009, and he’s been in the 55-56-minute range each of the past five years. This year, he has been plagued by an Achilles injury that has limited him to just a handful of races. But he wouldn’t miss the Bix 7. In 1984, he had such a serious case of the flu that doctors advised him not to even get on an airplane. He came and ran the Bix anyway. In 2010, he was battling prostate cancer. He still came to the Bix. He will be running the race for the 39th consecutive year, by far the most he has done any race. But he cautioned that what he will be doing may not qualify as running, at least not by the standards of a man who has won 22 marathons and hundreds of road races. Early in the year, Rodgers was doing most of his running in swimming pools just to limit the wear and tear on his legs. "That’s the interesting challenge for us older runners …," he said. "You have to adapt and do more cross training, like swimming or cycling. The other runners do it, too, but for older runners it’s really a prerequisite. (07/16/2018) ⚡AMP
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