Goucher, Abdirahman Highlight Field Set for USA Half Marathon Championships
National titles, World Championship spots at stake; $82,000 prize purse with $12,000 for each national champion in Minnesota
Posted Wednesday, 13 June, 2012
From Ryan Lamppa, Running USA
DULUTH, Minn. - (June 11, 2012) - A pair of multi-Olympians - Kara Goucher and Abdi Abdirahman (left, PhotoRun) - bound for the 2012 Olympic Games in London head the list of athletes set to race in Saturday's USA Half Marathon Championships in Duluth. The men's national championship goes off at 6:15am and the women's title tilt at 6:25am.
Along with the coveted national titles, there is a U.S. prize purse of $82,000 with $12,000 for each national champion. Also at stake, USA Track & Field has announced that two women and two men finishing in the top five in this year's national championships will be eligible to represent Team USA in the IAAF World Half Marathon Championships in Kavarna, Bulgaria on Saturday, October 6.
Duluth native Goucher, 33, has a personal best half-marathon time of 1 hour, 6 minutes, 57 seconds and Abdirahman, 35, has a half-marathon PB of 1:00:29, both from 2007. The duo earned spots on the 2012 Team USA Olympic Marathon squad by placing in the top three at the Olympic Marathon Trials Jan. 14 in Houston. Both placed third - Goucher in 2:26:06, while Abdirahman in 2:09:47, his fastest marathon since a 2006 personal record of 2:08:56.
The USA Half Marathon Championships field with PRs also includes:
Nick Arciniaga (1:03:22), Andrew Carlson (1:02:21), Matt Gabrielson (1:03:44), Brett Gotcher (1:02:29), Jimmy Grabow (1:03:37), Jason Hartmann (1:03:07), Josh Moen (1:02:53), Stephan Shay (1:02:26) and Patrick Smyth (1:02:01)
Michelle Frey (1:12:46), Clara Grandt (1:13:13), Melissa Johnson-White (1:12:40), Maegan Krifchin (1:11:04), Dot McMahan (1:12:57), Kathy Newberry (1:13:07), Stephanie Pezzullo (1:13:14), Lindsey Scherf (1:11:45), Wendy Thomas (1:13:46) and Heidi Westover (1:11:35)
Duluth's history of hosting national championship road racing events includes the 2003 and 2004 USA Women's Half Marathon Championships. The 2003 race was won by Colleen De Reuck in a course record 1 hour, 10 minutes - a mark that remains the fastest women's time on the Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon course.
The city also hosted the 1987, 1990 and 1994 USA Women's Marathon Championships as part of Grandma's Marathon, which is currently the country's 13th largest marathon.
Visit grandmasmarathon.com for more information.