Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Elite Field Announced for Sunday's Medtronic TCM

Four USA Championships are at stake in  Sunday’s 32nd annual Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon, which plays host to the USA Men’s & Women’s Marathon Championships and the USA Masters Marathon Championships.

Competitors in the USA Men’s & Women’s Championships will be racing for $145,000 in prize money, including $25,000 for the winners, plus an additional $25,000 course record bonus should the men’s champion break Phil Coppess’s men’s mark of 2:10:05 set in 1985 or the women’s winner betters the record shared by Zinaida Semenova (2001) and Irina Permitina (2004) at 2:26:51. Coppess will be in town this weekend as a documentary is being filmed on him with his TCM race being one of the high points of his career.

Three naturalized Americans of Kenyan descent  will face 2010 Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon and 2010 USA Champion Sergio Reyes (Palmdale, Calif.) in their quest for the men's USA Championship title. Shadrack Biwott (Folsom, Calif.), the third-place finisher at the USA Half Marathon Championships in June, Joseph Chirlee (Colorado Springs, Colo.), a veteran with a 2:12:10 marathon best, and Josphat Boit (Mammoth Lakes, Calif.), the USA 25K runner-up in May, will seek their first USA title.  Other contenders include Timothy Ritchie (Brighton, Mass.), fourth at the USA Half Marathon Championships, 2011 US Pan American team member Patrick Rizzo with a 2:13:42 PR( Boulder , Co.), and Nicholas Arciniaga (Flagstaff, Ariz.), a veteran with a 2:11:30 marathon to his credit.(RRW story on Archiniaga is HERE.

Team USA Minnesota’s Meghan Peyton, the recent winner of the USA 20K Championship, will face a balanced field of challengers  for the USA Women’s Championship. They include  Atalelech Asfaw (Albuquerque, N.M.), an Ethiopian-born American with a personal best of 2:33:56; Wendy Thomas (Windsor, Colo.), the 12th-place finisher at the 2012 Olympic Marathon Trials; Esther Erb (Richmond, Va.), the 7th-place finisher at last year’s Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon; and Minnesotan Michelle Lilienthal (Minneapolis), who finished fourth at the 2006 Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon.

In the USA Master Championships, which the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon is hosting for the 23rd straight year and where winners will earn $7,500, defending men’s champion Uli Steidl (Seattle, Wash.) is expected to battle 2012 runner-up Malcolm Campbell (Marietta, Ga.) for the title.  The men’s field also includes two-time Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon champ Mbarak Hussein (Albuquerque, N.M) and three-time USA Masters Marathon champ Tracy Lokken (Marquette, Mich.) and American masters 10,000-meter record holder Kevin Castille (Nicholasville, Ky.).

Among the masters women, Olympian Elva Dryer, a 2:31 marathoner who has not raced in a major competition since 2009, appears to be the main contender along with for 2012 USA Masters runner-up Sheri Piers.  Full startlists for the championship fields are HERE.

Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon Weekend kicks off on Friday with the Health & Fitness Expo at RiverCentre in St. Paul. Activities continue on Saturday with the TC 10K, presented by TomTom, the TC 5K Run/Walk, presented by Fredrikson & Byron, and the Medtronic TC Family, all held on the State Capitol grounds in St. Paul. The weekend culminates with the 15th running of the Medtronic TC 10 Mile and the 32nd annual Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon on Sunday.

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