Local stars Joey Keillor and Amy Lyons will each wear bib #1 tomorrow at the 30th annual Get in Gear 10K. The race will make its traditional loop of the Mississippi River between the Ford and Lake Street Bridges starting at 9:30 a.m.
As is also traditional at Get in Gear, some strong imported talent will vie for the $1000 winners' prize checks, although neither Henry Kipchirchir or Jemima Jelagat, last year's winners, both from Kenya, return in 2007.
"Local runner Joey Keillor placed 4th last year and he is wearing number 1 this year," race director Paulette Odenthal told DtB, "so it is nice to have a local runner wearing number 1. We also have a couple of runners signed up that have very good resume' Daniel Cheruiyot and Richard Kimeli have both run under 30:00."
Cheruiyot and Kimeli both hail from Kenya.
Odenthal hopes for a good local/international battle on the women's side as well.
"Amy Lyons who placed 3rd last year has a good chance of winning but we also have Ketema Atalelech, 2005 female overall winner back this year as well as a few more new to the Get in Gear that have impressive credentials," she said.
Atalelech is from Ethiopia.
Fittingly, Kenyan Jonah Koech has the event's men's record of 28:45 set in 1994; local Olympian Janis Klecker ran 32:52 for the women's best in 1992.
Get in Gear is also the second leg of the USATF-Minnesota Team Circuit and is the USATF-Minnesota 10K State Championship race.
Update: GEAR's Pete Gilman tells DtB that Joey Keillor will not be running Get in Gear after all. Keillor and a number of other GEAR athletes are nursing injuries, according to Gilman. GEAR currently leads the open men's division of the USATF - Minnesota Team Circuit after the first event.