Thursday, September 16, 2010

Minnesotans Headline Grandma's Minnesota Mile

With Minnesota natives Will Leer, Garrett Heath, Gabriele Anderson, and Heather Dorniden figuring prominently in its elite fields, this Sunday's Grandma's Minnesota Mile in Duluth looks to be especially true to its name.

The quartet headlines two strong fields for the $12,500 prize-purse event which will send its victors home $2000 richer than before they sped down Superior Street.

Leer, a Minnetonka High School alumnus, finished third in the 1500-meter final at this year's USA Outdoor Championships. He sports a
3:55.66 PR for the mile. Heath, a Winona native, has run 3:57.34 for a mile. He finished 7th at 1500m at the World Indoor Championships earlier this year in Doha, Qatar.

The fleet Minnesota pair should expect strong competition from challengers from the other side of the globe, however. Kenyan Richard Kandie has run 3:53.70 for a mile and countryman Philip Lagat has clocked 3;57.55. Moses Weweru, also of Kenya, the runner-up in last year's Minnesota Mile, is also in the field.

Other challengers include American steeplechaser Steve Slattery and Romania national Ovidiu Olteanu, who both have run 3:56 for the classic distance.

In the Women's Race ... Breeda Willis, the 40-year-old former Irish Olympian who now makes her home in Stevens Point, Wisconsin sports the fastest mile PR in the field at 4:31.

She can expect a challenge from Romania's Denisa Costescu and American Amy Mortimer, both of whom have 4:32 PRs for the mile. Canadian Carmen Hussar, a 4:35 miler, should also be an important player in the race's finals blocks.

Team USA Minnesota runners Anderson, a Perham native, and Dorniden, a Rosemount High School alum, whose 1500m PRs of 4:12 and 4:15 put them in stride with anyone in the women's field, are joined on the starting line by fellow University of Minnesota alums Jamie Cheever and Ladia Albertson-Junkans.

Kenyans Rael Murey and Anne Kingori could also make a mark on Sunday.

Action in the Grandma's Minnesota Mile starts at 9:00 a.m. with the Verizon Wireless Kids Mile, followed at 9:20 by the All-City Mile. At 10:00, semi-elite runners will race in the Duluth Mile, followed at 10:20 by the elite races of the Grandma's Minnesota Mile.

The event concludes with a fund-raising mile walk to fight breat cancer.

Find more information on the race, HERE, on the Grandma's Marathon web-site.

1 comment:

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