Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Goucher, Abdirahman Lead USA Half Fields

Hometown darling Kara Goucher and three-time Olympian Abdi Abdirahman headline the startlists for Saturday's USA Half Marathon Championships to be held in conjunction with the Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon in Duluth.

Goucher, a Duluth native who now lives and trains in Portland, Oregon, was a member of the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team and has already earned a spot on the USA marathon squad for this summer's London Games.

Abdirahman, a Somali-born American who lives and trains in Tucson, Arizona, has been a member of three U.S. Olympic Teams and will represent his adopted country at the Olympics for a fourth time this summer, also in the marathon.

Goucher's competition on Saturday will include three-time Grandma's Marathon champion Mary Akor, Team USA Minnesota's Emily Brown, former Team USA Minnesota runner Michelle Frey, Carla Grandt, Melissa Johnson-White, Maegan Krifchin, Dot McMahan, Kathy Newberry, Lindsey Scherf, Wendy Thomas, and Heidi Westover.

Abdirahman will face a field that includes Nicholas Arciniaga, Team USA Minnesota's Andrew Carlson, Matt Gabrielson, Matt Llano, and Josh Moen, Jimmy Grabow, former Twin Cities Marathon champion Jason Hartmann, Zachary Hine, St. Paul's Mike Reneau, Stephan Shay, and former Team USA Minnesota runner Patrick Smyth.

Find the full USA Half Marathon startlists HERE.

Kevin Pates of the Duluth News-Tribune has written features on Goucher (HERE) and Abdirahman (HERE) this week.

USA Half Marathon winners will pocket $12,000 for their victories, from a total prize purse of $82,000.USA Track & Field has announced that two women and two men finishing in the top five in this year’s championships will be eligible to represent Team USA in the IAAF World Half Marathon Championships in Kavarna, Bulgaria on October 6.

The USA Men's Half Marathon Championships get underway at 6:15 a.m. on Saturday, followed by the women's championship race at 6:25 a.m.  The Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon gets underway at 6:45 a.m. while Grandma’s Marathon begins at 7:45 a.m.

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