On perhaps the busiest day of the fall season for half-marathons in the United States, more than a dozen professional athletes will be competing in major tune-ups for the ING New York City Marathon on November 4.
In Minneapolis–St. Paul, four-time U.S. Olympian Abdi Abdirahman of Tucson, AZ, headlines the field for the Medtronic TC 10 Mile, which serves as the U.S. 10-Mile Championships. Zach Hine of Lakewood, CO, and local favorite Andrew Carlson, a member of Team USA Minnesota, are also on the start list.
Janet Bawcom of Flagstaff, AZ, and Julie Culley of Annandale, NJ, lead the NYC-bound women’s contingent. Both are 2012 Olympians, Bawcom at 10,000 meters and Culley at 5000 meters. Joining them in the field are Molly Pritz of Boulder, CO, who finished as the top American woman at the 2011 ING New York City Marathon; Alisha Williams of Colorado Springs, CO; Katie DiCamillo of Providence, RI; and Wendy Thomas of Windsor, CO.
In addition to chasing the $12,000 first-place prize, top U.S. men and women will also be vying for a $10,000 equalizer bonus to the first U.S. champion, male or female, who crosses the finish line. The men will be chasing the women, who will start the race first.
On the West Coast, Scott Bauhs—who will be making his marathon debut at the ING New York City Marathon—brings at least two advantages with him to the San Jose Rock ’n’ Roll Half Marathon: the fastest half-marathon personal best in the field (1:01:30), and the fact that he grew up in nearby Danville, CA. Sergio Reyes of Palmdale, CA, and Canada's Simon Bairu are also expected.
On the women’s side, NYC-bound Eri Okubo of Japan leads the field. Okubo finished fourth in the Tokyo Marathon earlier this year in a personal-best 2:26:08.
And in Boston, Kim Smith will going after not only the victory in the B.A.A. Half Marathon, but also the $100,000 prize for winning the inaugural B.A.A. Distance Medley. Going into the half-marathon, Smith’s specialty, the New Zealander who lives and trains in nearby Providence, RI, leads the
Smith, a three-time Olympian, finished fifth in the 2010 and 2011 ING New York City Marathons.
In addition, Michelle Frey of Minneapolis, MN, and Adriana Nelson of Fort Collins, CO, will be representing the United States at the IAAF World Half Marathon Championships in Kvarna, Bulgaria.
“Our races are to our sport what Wimbledon and the Australian, U.S., and French Opens are to tennis, and what the Masters, U.S., and British Opens and PGA Championship are to golf. Each race has the history, the tradition, the honor roll of legendary champions, and a special place in the eyes of all to make them stand apart from the other events.” Mary Wittenberg