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American Women Offer Most Intriguing Storyline of 2021 Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run

Jenny Simpson is the course record holder (4:16.1) and eight-time winner of the Fifth Avenue Mile — the farthest she’s ever raced on the roads. Jenny is also a three-time Olympian (2008, 2012 and 2016 bronze medalist) and three-time World Championship medalist (gold in 2011, silver in 2013 and 2017). Sara  Hall, on the other hand, has run the second fastest marathon ever (2:20:32) for an American woman, and has won 11 USATF National Championships on the roads since 2006, including 10 mile titles in 2018 and 2019. Hall was 2nd American (52:54) when the USATF 10 Mile Championships were last hosted by the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile (CUCB) in 2014.

But Simpson and Hall aren’t the only two American women entered in the 2021 USATF 10 Mile Championships Presented by Toyota. They just define the two extremes of road racing experience represented in what is sure to be an interesting and exciting race for the title of America’s best over 10 miles in 2021.

When Hall and Simpson line up for the women’s-only start at 7:18 a.m. this coming Sunday morning, September 12, they will be joined by Americans Diane Nukuri, Annie Frisbie, Natosha Rogers, Susanna Sullivan, and Bethany Sachtleben, among others. But no runner comes into the race with the same momentum Hall has as winner of three road races this summer, while setting a personal best for 10K on the roads (31:33) at the Mastercard New York Mini. Nukuri may have raced more frequently, with six top-10 road race performances over the last six months, but it was her 5th place result at CUCB 2018 (53:56) that best argues for her inclusion in the conversation about pre-race favorites.

Hall is 38 years old, Simpson is 35 and Nukuri is 36, but this won’t just be a race among veterans if Annie Frisbie has her way. In fact, the 24 year-old Frisbie prevailed over Nukuri at two races this summer, and boasts a 54:00 personal best for 10 miles from the 2019 USATF 10 Mile Championships, when she placed 5th. Another sub-54 minute performer (53:45), Natosha Rogers (30), placed second at the 2017 USATF 10 Mile Championships and returns to the roads after a spring and summer of racing on the track in quest of an Olympic team slot in the 10,000m.

Top DC-area runners Susanna Sullivan (31) and Bethany Sachtleben (29) have proven themselves to be worthy competitors over the years, with Sachtleben placing 3rd among Americans at CUCB 2018 and 2nd among Americans in 2019. Sullivan was 4th American at CUCB in 2014, 5th in 2015 and 3rd in 2017.

American runners will be competing for a total of $26,000 in U.S.-only prize money, from $5,000 for 1st place to $500 for 10th place, paid equally to men and women.

Of course, there’s an international component to the 2021 Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile as well. And Kenyans Iveen  Chepkemoi (24) and Caroline Rotich (38) will lead the women’s chase for an international prize pool of $20,000, with $5,000 for 1st place down to $150 for 10th place, again paid equally to men and women. American runners placing in the top-10 overall are able to “double-dip” and claim the appropriate payment from both international and U.S.-only prize pools.

Chepkemoi boasts the fastest 10-mile personal best among all the women (51:43), while Rotich won CUCB in 2013 (52:46).

So, who will prevail? The rookie Simpson? One of the 38 year-old veterans, Hall or Rotich? Or one of the 24 year-old up-and-comers, Frisbie or Chepkemoi? There’s an all-out 10-mile race between here and the answer.

A stellar field of American and international men will take to the same 10-mile course at 7:30 a.m. this Sunday, in pursuit of the same titles, prize money and bonuses as the women. Bonuses on offer include $10,000 for a World Record (44:23 men/51:23 women), another $10,000 for an American Record (45:54 men/51:23 women) — either of which will be split evenly among any men and women record breakers — as well as time bonuses of $1,000 and $750 for the first two runners to break 46:00 for men or 52:00 for women. Finally, there is a special prize pool of $1500/$1000/$500 for both men and women who have taken part in the Road Runners Club of America (RRCA) RunPro Camp or Roads Scholar programs.

Chris Derrick (30) comes into the USATF 10 Mile Championships with the fastest personal best among the American men (46:53), which he ran at CUCB 2018, placing 5th. He, like many of the other men and women in the race, however, has his sights set on one of the many fall marathons this year, and may be racing on tired legs.

Abbabiya Simbassa (30) will also be racing on tired legs, having run the 2021 USATF 20K Championships on Labor Day in New Haven, CT, where he placed 2nd, just one-second shy of the title. Add that to the 2nd places he ran at the 2021 USATF 15K Championships in March, and the recent Asics Falmouth Road Race, and you can imagine how Simbassa’s legs feel going into CUCB 2021. Simbassa was also 2nd American at CUCB 2018 and 2nd at the 2019 USATF 10 Mile Championships (46:57).

A cluster of other American men with 10-mile personal bests that should be competitive include Kiya Dandena (46:58), Augustus Maiyo (47:05), Elkaneh Kibet (47:15), Willie Milam (47:18), Noah Droddy (47:28), and Louis Serafini (47:35). Dandena (32) set his personal best at CUCB 2017, when he was 3rd American; he was also 5th American in 2019 and 7th in 2018. Maiyo (38) set his personal best at the 2019 USATF 10 Mile Championships, while placing 5th. Kibet (38) placed 3rd at the 2017 EQT Pittsburgh 10 Miler. Milam (29) ran his best time at CUCB 2019. Serafini (29) was the 6th American at CUCB 2019, and set his personal best at the 2019 USATF 10 Mile Championships, while Droddy (30) ran his best at the 2016 USATF 10 Mile Championships, placing 2nd.

Despite the presence of so many competitive American men, Kenyan runners typically dominate the overall race up front. Stephen Sambu (33) comes into the race with a personal best of 45:29 from his first CUCB victory in 2014. Sambu clearly has the most experience on DC roads of anyone in the field, with wins in 2014 and 2015, a 4th place finish in 2013, and a 5th in 2019.

Two other Kenyans, Dominic Korir (28) and Edwin Kimutai (28), are also very worthy of mention. Dominic Korir was 6th overall in CUCB 2017 in a time of 46:45. Kimutai ran 2:08:15 for 4th place at the Harmony Geneva marathon for UNICEF last May. Sadly, Kimutai’s wife passed away on August 23rd — he’ll be running in her memory, and for a young daughter suddenly left without a mother.

The top American man and woman will each earn a spot on Team USA for the 2022 World Athletics Half Marathon Championships, to be held in Yangzhou, China, on March 20, 2022. Should the winning American man or woman decline their Team USA slot, the second place finisher will be offered the slot; there will be no “rolling down” beyond second place.

(09/09/2021) Views: 701 ⚡AMP
by Running USA
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Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run

Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run

The Credit Union Cherry Blossom is known as "The Runner's Rite of Spring" in the Nation's Capital. The staging area for the event is on the Washington Monument Grounds, and the course passes in sight of all of the major Washington, DC Memorials. The event serves as a fundraiser for the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals, a consortium of 170 premier...

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48th Edition of Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run to Feature Strong Men’s and Women’s Fields

It has been a long time coming — too long — and America’s finest distance runners are eager to toe the starting line at the 2021 Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile (CUCB), to be held in our Nation’s Capital on Sunday, September 12. With $26,000 in U.S. championship prize money on offer as well as a $10,000 bonus for an American Record (the bonus will be split if both the male and female break the American records), road racing fans can look forward to hotly contested races among both the men and women.

“It has been nearly two years since the last time the U.S. Ten Mile Championships for men and women were held,” said event director Phil Stewart. “I know a host of talented Americans are eager to take an important middle-distance test as most of them prepare for fall marathons, of which there are plenty, with all six World Marathon Majors events taking place over a six-week period between September 26 and November 7.”

This will be the third time one or more of the USATF 10 Mile Championships have been hosted by CUCB alongside the traditional international competition: the women’s championships were part of the 2013 Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile, with Janet Bawcom winning the title in 53:28 while placing fourth overall. A year later in 2014, race organizers hosted both the men’s and women’s championships. Christo Landry (46:41) was the first American to cross the finish line—in sixth place overall—while Bawcom repeated as the U.S. women’s champion by placing second overall in 52:12. Both of Bawcom’s times established American records at the time.

Keira D’Amato broke Bawcom’s American Record last fall at the Up Dawg Ten Mile, running 51:23 in a small invitational race organized by the Cherry Blossom Race Committee specifically for her to chase Bawcom’s record. D’Amato’s effort was recently verified as a women’s only World Record by the Association of Road Racing Statisticians as well. (ARRS is the only organization keeping world records at the 10-mile distance.)

D’Amato will be joined on the starting line by two American women who have broken 53 minutes for 10 miles: Jordan Hasay (52:49) and Emma Bates (52:51). Three other Americans have run 54:00 or faster: Natosha Rogers (53:45), Diane Nukuri (53:56), and Annie Frisbie (54:00).

On the men’s side, Futsum Zienasellassie will be defending the USATF 10 Mile Championship he won in Minneapolis in 2019 (the last time American runners competed for this title, thanks to Covid-19). His winning time of 46:55 is one of four sub-47:00 marks among the American men entered in the race. Chris Derrick boasts the fastest personal best (46:53), which he ran at CUCB in 2018 when he was top American and fifth overall. Abbabiya Simbassa ran 46:57 to place second behind Zienasellassie in Minneapolis in 2019, and Kiya Dandena ran 46:58 in 2017 at CUCB. The current pending men’s American record is 45:54 set by Galen Rupp last fall. Rupp’s time bettered Greg Meyer’s time of 46:13 from the 1983 Cherry Blossom Ten Mile.

Here’s a complete listing of elite American athletes who have confirmed their entry into the 2021 Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile, with personal bests noted in parentheses:

Women:

Keira D’Amato (51:23)

Jordan Hasay (52:49)

Emma Bates (52:51)

Natosha Rogers (53:45)

Diane Nukuri (53:56)

Annie Frisbie (54:00)

Bria Wetsch (54:14)

Susanna Sullivan (54:22)

Bethany Sachtleben (54:42)

Grayson Murphy (54:51)

Carrie Verdon (56:57)

Danielle Shanahan (31:22.9 10K)

Amy Davis (32:13 10K)

Abbie McNulty (33:07 10K)

Stephanie Bruce (1:09:55 half marathon)

Nell Rojas (1:10:45 half marathon)

Men:

Chris Derrick (46:53)

Futsum Zienasellassie (46:55)

Abbabiya Simbassa (46:57)

Kiya Dandena (46:58)

Augustus Maiyo (47:05)

Elkanah Kibet (47:15)

Girma Mecheso (47:22)

Noah Droddy (47:28)

Louis Serafini. (47:35)

Emmanuel Bor (47:39)

Reed Fischer (47:50)

Shadrack Biwott (47:53)

John Raneri (47:53)

Tyler McAndless (47:56)

Dhruvil. Patel (48:37)

Frank Lara (48:37)

Joel Reichow (48:41)

Alex Monroe (48:57)

Willie Milam (49:10)

Robert Brandt (27:39.2 10K)

Brendan Gregg (44:25 15K)

Reid Buchanan (44:40 15K)

Emmanuel Roudolff (1:04:08 half marathon).

(08/20/2021) Views: 579 ⚡AMP
by Running USA
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Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run

Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run

The Credit Union Cherry Blossom is known as "The Runner's Rite of Spring" in the Nation's Capital. The staging area for the event is on the Washington Monument Grounds, and the course passes in sight of all of the major Washington, DC Memorials. The event serves as a fundraiser for the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals, a consortium of 170 premier...

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Galen Rupp and Jared Ward, who placed first and third at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Marathon lead the way Saturday, headlining a deep and talented men’s field that brings together the best of the best

The U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Marathon are the second stop on the 2020 USATF Running Circuit. The top three finishers Saturday will represent the United States as the Olympic Games in Tokyo this summer. Fans can tune-in for the live broadcast beginning at 12:00pm ET on NBC or NBC Sports Gold, with the men’s race beginning at 12:08pm ET and the women’s race starting at 12:20pm ET. 

While Rupp had to drop out of the Bank of America Chicago Marathon in October, he still enters Saturday’s race as the prohibitive favorite. Rupp ran the top qualifying mark at the Prague Marathon in 2018, finishing in 2:06:07, while earning fifth at the Bank of America Chicago Marathon that fall in 2:06:21. In addition to earning bronze in the marathon at the Olympic Games in Rio, finishing second at the Boston Marathon in 2017 and winning in Chicago in 2017, Rupp has unmatched big-race experience against the field.

The Portland-based runner recently ran a tune-up half marathon in Arizona, finishing in 1:01:19, proving he’s in excellent shape. Not to be outdone, Ward also has some impressive finishes to his name after finishing third in Los Angeles four years ago.

The Utah-based standout placed sixth at the Olympic Games in Rio and has consistently shown his ability to finish well up the results at major events. 

Ward ran to an eighth-place effort at the Boston Marathon last spring, finishing in 2:09:25, while earning top American status at the TCS New York City Marathon in November with a sixth-place effort. Recently running 1:01:36 at the Aramco Houston Half Marathon and finishing as the top American gives Ward plenty of momentum heading into Atlanta. On paper, Leonard Korir is the next top challenger.

While Korir has only run one marathon, it was a great performance. At the Amsterdam Marathon last fall, Korir ran the second fastest qualifying mark of Saturday’s field, placing 11th overall in 2:07:56, making him the top American performer over the distance in 2019. Along with his success on the USATF Running Circuit, as well as on the track, Korir certainly has the ability to push for the win. Next up is Scott Fauble.

The HOKA ONE ONE Northern Arizona Elite star has proven himself time and time again the past two years, quickly rising the ranks of American marathoning. Fauble placed seventh at the TCS New York City Marathon in 2018, finishing only four seconds behind Ward, while placing as the top American at the Boston Marathon in 2019 in 2:09:08, while beating Ward. 

The trio of Jacob Riley, Jerrell Mock and Parker Stinson are also prime to put themselves in contention over the final miles, pushing for a spot on the Olympic team. The trio finished ninth, tenth and eleventh at the 2019 Bank of America Chicago Marathon. Riley has the most experience of the group and his 2:10:53 effort in Chicago rank him as one of the top five fastest in the field Saturday.

Two other notable top contenders are Elkanah Kibet and Shadrack Biwott. Kibet has quietly become one of America’s best marathoners, having placed 11th at the Boston Marathon in 2019 and eighth at the 2018 Boston Marathon. Owning a personal best of 2:11:51, he ranks well in Saturday’s field.

The trio of Matt Llano, Andrew Bumbalough and Chris Derrick are also looking to make an Olympic-sized result Saturday. Bumbalough enters with a 2:10:56 best coming at the 2019 Bank of America Chicago Marathon.

Another trio of incredibly experienced veterans are also entered and will be looking to make one more push for an Olympic berth. Bernard Lagat, Abdi Abdirahman and Dathan Ritzenhein are all American distance running legends. Each has qualified for at least three Olympics and represented the United States extremely well on the world stage.

(02/26/2020) Views: 1,163 ⚡AMP
by Scott Bush
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2020 US Olympic Trials Marathon

2020 US Olympic Trials Marathon

The 2020 US Olympic Trials for both men and women took place in Atlanta, Ga on Sunday Feb 29. Runners had to qualify by running certain standards beforehand. The trials are hosted by the Atlanta Track club. The course runs through the heart of Atlanta and past monuments from the 1996 Olympic Games Most countries around the world use a...

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Nico Young will begin his final high school track and field season and will be going after the 3000m indoor record

The Newbury Park (CA) High School senior and Northern Arizona University signee will go after the American U20 indoor 3,000 meter record of 7:56.31, which was last set by Chris Derrick -- while he was with Stanford in 2009 -- at the Millrose Games on February 8 in New York City. 

If accomplished, Young, 17, would also surpass Drew Hunter's national high school 3K record of 7:59.33 for the distance. Hunter accomplished that feat in 2016, becoming the only high school athlete to ever go under 8 minutes indoors -- only two athletes have done it across both seasons; German Fernandez owns the outdoor 3K record in 7:59.83. 

But here's the twist. 

Young, running unattached, will be entered in the professional field. As per National Federation of High School State Associations (NFHS) rules, Young will be able to race against pros and collegians -- and not lose his remaining CIF eligibility -- based upon the fact that Millrose does not offer a high school race at the distance. 

A year ago, all but one runner in the 12-person field broke 8-minutes, with Stanford's Grant Fisher leaning past Wisconsin's Morgan McDonald at the line to win in 7:42.62. 

Young has raced once since cross country, putting down a 1,500m performance (outdoors) of 3:52.39 at the Arcadia Winter Championships qualifier on Jan. 25. 

And he's still relatively fresh since coming off a record performance at Nike Cross Nationals, where he broke the 5K meet record at Glendoveer and ran a winning time of 14:52.30. 

While Young has just one indoor performances overall -- he was eighth in the boys mile at the New Balance Grand Prix in 2019 -- those around him remain confident he will excel in the field. Young's head coach, Sean Brosnan, said Young will not seek out a fast mile in 2020, with focus instead placed on 3,000 and 5,000 meter races. 

Meaning: While Young could run fast 1,600 meter and mile races in 2020, his objective will not be on going under 4 minutes for the distance as a high school senior. 

In recent years, there have been five sub-8:10 efforts since 2010, including performances from Hunter, Edward Cheserek (2x) and Lukas Verzbicas (2x) -- national cross country champions in high school.

Young ran 8:13.31 for 3K in February of last year at the Rossi Relays. He remains in fitness and has been eyeing several records attempts to begin 2020. 

(01/29/2020) Views: 1,148 ⚡AMP
by Cory Mull
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NYRR Millrose Games

NYRR Millrose Games

The NYRR Millrose Games,which began in 1908 as a small event sponsored by a local track club, has grown to become the most prestigious indoor track and field event in the United States. The NYRR Millrose Games meet is held in Manhattan’s Washington Heights at the New Balance Track & Field Center at the Armony, which boasts a state-of-the-art six-lane,...

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Dathan Ritzenhein is Withdrawing from 2019 Chicago Marathon

Dathan Ritzenhein‘s injury woes continue. On Monday, Ritzenhein, the fourth-fastest US marathoner ever, announced that he is withdrawing from next month’s Bank of America Chicago Marathon due to chronic foot problems that “flared up some other areas.”

Ritzenhein’s Chicago preparations appeared to be going well. He ran 64:27 to win the Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicago Half Marathon on July 21, and ran 47:19 at the Crim 10-Miler in Michigan on August 24, his fastest performance over that distance since 2015. But after that race, Ritzenhein said, a nagging arthritis problem in his foot flared up and caused him to miss a few weeks of running. Fellow American Chris Derrick also withdrew from Chicago after suffering an ankle fracture at Crim.

“I’m feeling better now,” Ritzenhein told LetsRun.com, “but missed a few weeks of running and need a few more rebuilding.”

Ritzenhein said he still plans on being in Chicago on October 13 supporting fellow pro Parker Stinson, whom Ritzenhein has been coaching since last fall.

After making three consecutive Olympic teams in 2004, 2008, and 2012, injuries have consistently derailed the 36-year-old Ritzenhein in recent years. He was forced to drop out of the 2016 Olympic Trials and 2016 New York City Marathon and withdrew from the 2018 Boston Marathon just days before the race with a sacroiliac joint injury.

He has finished just one marathon in the last four years, placing 19th in Boston in April in 2:16:19 after attempting an abbreviated eight-week buildup in order to stay healthy.

While Ritzenhein officially broke the news of his withdrawal on social media on Monday, a poster on the LetsRun messageboard — who claimed to be the same person who correctly predicted that both Amy Cragg and Jordan Hasay would withdraw from Chicago last year — started a thread on Sunday predicting that Ritzenhein would withdraw from the race.

(09/17/2019) Views: 1,241 ⚡AMP
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Bank of America Chicago

Bank of America Chicago

Running the Bank of America Chicago Marathon is the pinnacle of achievement for elite athletes and everyday runners alike. On race day, runners from all 50 states and more than 100 countries will set out to accomplish a personal dream by reaching the finish line in Grant Park. The Bank of America Chicago Marathon is known for its flat and...

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British runner Andy Vernon is set for his debut marathon in New York

Andy Vernon is amongst a top elite field announced this week for the 2019 TCS New York City Marathon.

After having to withdraw from this year’s London Marathon due to a hamstring injury the AFD man will look to lay down his 26.2 credentials on the stress of New York.

Vernon could be well suited to the hard undulating course and there will keen interest amongst British distance fans to see how the popular athlete runs in his debut marathon. We know his pedigree at cross country and at 10,000m where his has won a European silver medal and has a PB of 27:42 but he remains an unknown quantity at the marathon.

With the IAAF standard now set at 2:11:30 for men and 2:29:30 for women the most Brits will have their eyes on courses that offer the best chance for quick times for Tokyo next year.

However the dual qualification system also recognises a top 10 finish in a World Marathon Major event (which includes NYC Marathon). 10th placed finisher Chris Derrick ran 2:13:08 in 2018 and in 2017 the 10th place finisher ran 2:14:57. Despite the profile of the course these times are well within Vernon’s ability but regardless of times the race clearly affords the opportunity to build critical experience before London 2020.

History shows this can be a happy hunting ground for British Athletes. Steve Jones’ winning time of 2:08:20 in 1988 and Paula Radcliffe’s wins in 2004, 2007 and 2008 are testiment to that along with victories for priscilla Welch in 1987 and Liz McColgan in 1991.

In 2018 eight British men went inside 2:30 with Jonny Mellor leading the way in 2:16:09 for 15th place. Three British women ran inside three hours with St Albans Strider Gillian Pease (2:55:14) the fastest.

(08/07/2019) Views: 1,346 ⚡AMP
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TCS  New York City Marathon

TCS New York City Marathon

The first New York City Marathon, organized in 1970 by Fred Lebow and Vince Chiappetta, was held entirely in Central Park. Of 127 entrants, only 55 men finished; the sole female entrant dropped out due to illness. Winners were given inexpensive wristwatches and recycled baseball and bowling trophies. The entry fee was $1 and the total event budget...

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Strong field of American runners will join previously announced superstars Galen Rupp and Jordan Hasay at the Chicago Marathon on October 13

“This year’s elite field highlights an exciting resurgence we are seeing in American distance running right now,” said Bank of America Chicago Marathon Executive Race Director Carey Pinkowski. “We have a deep pool of American runners who are coming to Chicago to run fast, and we cannot wait to welcome them in the fall. We could see new American records and a lot of personal bests in October.”

With a PR of 2:20:57, Jordan Hasay leads this year’s women’s field as the second-fastest American woman in history and the fastest to ever run the Bank of America Chicago Marathon. Hasay hopes to put Deena Kastor’s long-standing American record, 2:19:36, in jeopardy.

But Hasay’s primary competitor won’t be the clock alone – Amy Cragg, Emma Bates, Stephanie Bruce, Lindsay Flanagan and Taylor Ward represent a strong contingent of U.S. women all vying for podium finishes. The last time three American women finished in the top five in Chicago was 1994, and the last time U.S. women claimed the top two spots was 1992. Chicago’s history could be rewritten this fall.

Cragg, a member of Nike’s Bowerman Track Club since 2015 and the winner of the 2016 U.S. Olympic Marathon trials, enters this year’s field as the fifth-fastest American woman in history with a personal best of 2:21:42. Cragg stunned the world at the 2017 IAAF World Championships Marathon when she ended a 34-year medal drought by taking home the bronze. While she hasn’t raced much in 2019, she won the one-time Road to Gold eight-mile road race in Atlanta in March.

Galen Rupp, a two-time Olympic medalist in the marathon (bronze) and 10,000m (silver) and the current holder of four American records, stands out in the men’s field as the 2017 Bank of America Chicago Marathon champion and as one of the fastest runners in U.S. history with a PR of 2:06:07. While it will be difficult to match the foot speed of someone like Rupp, several American men have the potential to run significant personal bests and place inside of the top ten.

Brogan Austin, Chris Derrick, Scott Smith, Diego Estrada, Dathan Ritzenhein, Noah Droddy and Brendan Gregg are among some of the top Americans in this year’s field. Austin closed out 2018 with a career-boosting win, a national title and a huge personal best, 2:12:38, at the California International Marathon. Prior to that breakthrough performance, he broke the course record at the Indiana Monumental Half Marathon, clocking 1:02:39. He built on his 2018 momentum by winning the Road to Gold eight-mile road race in March.

The Chicago Marathon will be Austin’s third go at the marathon. Derrick, a native of Naperville, Illinois and the 2013-2015 U.S. Cross Country champion, made his highly anticipated marathon debut in Chicago in 2017, running 2:12:50 to finish ninth. He followed up his debut performance with a ninth-place finish in 2:13:08 at the 2018 New York City Marathon.

Derrick, one of the elite pacers for Nike’s Breaking2 project in 2017, is one of the most versatile runners in the field with PRs of 13:08 in the 5,000m, 27:31 in the 10,000m, and 1:01:12 in the half marathon. 

Smith, a 4:01-miler, experienced a huge breakthrough in the marathon in 2017 when he posted a 2:12:21 in Frankfurt, and then he hung on to finish sixth overall at the 2018 Boston Marathon (the now infamous year where runners endured whipping winds and freezing rain). He trains with Northern Arizona Elite, and he has represented the U.S. internally in both the half marathon and marathon at the IAAF World Championships. Smith’s strongest performance came in May when he finished second at the USATF 25K national championships. 

Estrada has been a favorite among Chicagoans, ever since his 2016 breakout performance in Chicago and his second-place finish at the 2017 Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle. After slipping on a bottle at the 10K mark during his Chicago debut and badly twisting his ankle, Estrada rallied to finish eighth overall (first American) in his still-standing personal best, 2:13:56. He finished 16th in 2017 and he did not race a marathon in 2018. Estrada hasn’t raced much on the roads in 2019, but his half marathon speed (1:00:51) and 2:13 PR indicate that he has the talent to be a top marathon runner heading into 2020.

Ritzenhein (“Ritz”), a three-time Olympian and the fifth-fastest American in history, enters Chicago with one of the most impressive resumes. He has broken 13 minutes in the 5,000m, run 27:22 in the 10,000m, collected four national titles, and earned a bronze medal at the 2009 IAAF World Championships Half Marathon. He set his marathon PR seven years ago in Chicago, 2:07:47. At 36 and now racing with the Hansons-Brooks Distance Project, Ritzenhein is a veteran, but his 1:01:24 half marathon earlier this year still makes him a top contender. 

Droddy and Gregg both bring massive potential to this year’s field. Droddy, always a crowd favorite, ran his personal best, 2:16:26, in Chicago in 2017, but his half marathon best, 1:01:48, suggests that there is room to demolish his PR this fall. Gregg made his debut in Chicago in 2014 in 2:18:30, and he experienced his best performance in 2018 at the California International Marathon, running 2:13:27. 

This year’s field also includes 25K American record-holder, Parker Stinson, and exciting debuts from Reed Fischer and Justin Gallegos. In 2018, Gallegos became the first professional athlete with cerebral palsy to sign a contract with Nike.

(07/12/2019) Views: 1,572 ⚡AMP
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Bank of America Chicago

Bank of America Chicago

Running the Bank of America Chicago Marathon is the pinnacle of achievement for elite athletes and everyday runners alike. On race day, runners from all 50 states and more than 100 countries will set out to accomplish a personal dream by reaching the finish line in Grant Park. The Bank of America Chicago Marathon is known for its flat and...

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Ethiopia’s Tirunesh Dibaba has withdrawn from the 2019 Virgin Money London Marathon for personal reasons

The three-time Olympic champion and current 5,000m world record holder was second in the 2017 Virgin Money London Marathon when she set a personal best (PB) of 2:17:56, making her the fifth fastest female marathon runner in history.

Dibaba, 33, is one of a handful of notable changes to the fields for the elite men and elite women races since they were first released at the end of January.

USA’s Allie Kiefer, who was seventh at last November’s TCS New York City Marathon, has withdrawn as has Denmark’s Anna Holm Jorgensen – the daughter of Henrik Jorgensen, the 1988 London Marathon champion who died earlier this year.

Swiss pair Maude Mathys and Martina Strahl have both also pulled out, as has Ireland’s Emma Mitchell and the British duo Eleanor Davis and Laura Graham.

In the elite men’s race, North American pair Chris Derrick (USA) and Cam Levins (CAN) are the biggest name withdrawals while Mikael Ekvall (SWE) and Matt Sharp (GBR) are both also no longer running.

(04/17/2019) Views: 1,661 ⚡AMP
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TCS London Marathon

TCS London Marathon

The London Marathon was first run on March 29, 1981 and has been held in the spring of every year since 2010. It is sponsored by Virgin Money and was founded by the former Olympic champion and journalist Chris Brasher and Welsh athlete John Disley. It is organized by Hugh Brasher (son of Chris) as Race Director and Nick Bitel...

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America's Lopez Lomong 10,000m track champion says it would be amazing to win Peachtree 10K too

Fresh off his national title in the 10,000m on the track one week ago, Lopez Lomong (Portland, OR) will compete for a 10 km title on the road for the first time as the AJC Peachtree Road Race will be Lomong’s 10K road debut. At the USATF Outdoor Track and Field Championships last month, Lomong unleashed a furious kick on the final lap to become the only man in history to win U.S. titles in the 1,500m and the 10,000m on the track. “The Peachtree is one of America’s most amazing events,” said Lomong. “It is my honor to come and run the streets of Atlanta. It’s a U.S. championship so it would be amazing to win it, but even to be a participant is massive.” Lomong, the torch-bearer for the United States at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, will join previously announced contenders like U.S. Half Marathon Champion Chris Derrick (Portland, OR), his teammate in the Portland-based Bowerman Track Club and Bernard Lagat (Tucson, AZ), a five-time Olympian who smashed the AJC Peachtree Road Race masters course record (28:42) in 2017. Also in the men’s field are the top two American men from the rain-soaked and raw 2018 Boston Marathon: Shadrack Biwott (Folsom, CA), and Tyler Pennel (Blowing Rock, NC). Reigning USATF 25 km champion Sam Chelanga (Colorado Springs, CO) and 2016 Olympic marathoner Jared Ward (Kaysville, UT) will also compete. Last year’s Peachtree runner-up Shadrack Kipchirchir has withdrawn from the race, as has Abdi Abdirahman. “We are excited to welcome athletes who have won American titles, set American records and represented the United States around the world to Atlanta’s celebration of running and country on July 4,” said Rich Kenah, Executive Director of Atlanta Track Club and Race Director of the AJC Peachtree Road Race. “The AJC Peachtree Road Race has a rich history of crowning the legends of road racing and that history will continue in the race’s 49th running.” (07/02/2018) Views: 1,532 ⚡AMP
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For six miles there were 20 Runners in the Lead Pack at the Cherry Blossom Ten Miler

As the elite men’s racers took off in the Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run, the large pack that typically separates into smaller groups of runners at different paces didn’t budge. Instead, for the first half of the 46th annual race, which has a course that features views of the city’s monuments amid the newly bloomed cherry blossom trees, the men stayed together. Until about the sixth mile, there were about 20 runners in the lead group, proving the deep talent pool this year’s competition offered. But in the last stretches of the course, a few pulled ahead and as Ethiopia’s Jemal Yimer, 21, reached the nine-mile marker, he made his move to the front of the lead group. Yimer, who had never been to the United States before entering this race and is excited to go sightseeing, used the burst to win the elite men’s division in 46 minutes and 17 seconds. Aweke Ayalew Yimer finished five seconds behind as runner-up in 46:22, while Philip Langat (46:25), James Kibet (46:36) and Chris Derrick (46:53) rounded out the top five. In the women’s race Buze Diriba, 24, representing Ethiopia, won in 53 minutes and 45 seconds. Diriba had been second in the previous two Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Runs and avenged last year’s runner-up finish by 15 seconds to Hiwot Gebrekidan. Gebrekidan, last year’s winner, crossed the line three seconds after Diriba at 53:48. Hiwott Yemer (53:51), Alemitu Hawi (53:53), Diane Nukuri (53:56) and Vicoty Chepngeno (53:59) completed the top six. (04/08/2018) Views: 1,743 ⚡AMP
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