Olympians Abdi Abdirahman, the reigning USA 10,000 meter champion, and Dan Browne, victor of the 2002 Twin Cities Marathon, headline the elite field for the Medtronic TC 10 Mile which will serve as the 2007 USA 10 Mile Championship.
TCM officials announced the USA Championship field at a finish-line press conference today in St. Paul. Abdirahman, a two-time U.S. Olympian at 10,000 meters, and Browne, who ran both the 10,000 and the marathon at the 2004 Athens Games, will battle one-another and a strong field for the events’ $10,000 winner's prize. The USA Championship race has a $25,000 prize purse.
Also expected on the starting line for the October 7 race are Ryan Shay, the 2003 USA Marathon champion, two-time defending Twin Cities Marathon champion Mbarak Hussein, and 2006 TCM runner-up Simon Sawe.
The local favorites in the event are strong as well. Team USA Minnesota's Andrew Carlson, the 2006 USA 10 Mile Championship runner-up (to Abdirahman), and teammate Jason Lehmkuhle, 3rd in the championship in 2006, are planning to compete. Minnesotans Chris Lundstrom of Team USA Minnesota, Donnie Fellows, and Zach Schendel will also compete, as will Carleton College alum Matt Hooley.
Additional elite runners slated to compete include: James Carney, Brandon Leslie, Joe Driscoll, Teren Jameson, Donnie Franzen, Corey Stelljes, and Nick Stanko.
The race will serve as an Olympic Marathon Trials tune-up for many of the runners in the field. The Men's Olympic Team Trails for the marathon take place on November 3 in New York City.
"The runners will be in peak condition," Team USA Minnesota coach Dennis Barker explained, "because many of them are also preparing for the U.S. Olympic Trails Marathon in New York. It's a fantastic course with some very fast parts and some very tough parts, which is going to make it a very compelling race."
The exact route for the race is still in flux. TCM executive director Virginia Brophy Achman said it was still possible for the TC 10 to follow its original course, which ran underneath the now-collapsed Interstate 35W bridge.
"The city is working very hard to clear the route for us," she said. "On October 1st is when we'll make a decision."
If the original course isn't cleared in time, the revised course would be as follows, according the TCM web-site:
"The [contingent course] will start on Portland Avenue near the current start line and proceed to West River Parkway. Follow the parkway to 11th Street, turn right and then left on Washington Avenue. Follow Washington Avenue through the 7 Corners area to 19th Avenue, turn right, then left onto 4th Street down to West River Parkway and back onto the original course."
TCM had previously announced its elite field for the 26th Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon.