INDIANAPOLIS – 2012 Olympic Marathon team members Abdi Abdirahman
(Tucson, Ariz.) and Kara Goucher
(Portland, Ore.) lead the men’s and women’s fields at Saturday’s USA Half Marathon Championships in Duluth, Minnesota. 2012 marks the third time the Gary Bjorklund Half Marathon has hosted the women’s championship, the event will be hosting the men’s championship for the first time.
While Abdirahman and Goucher are the leading entrants, the field includes multiple top performers from January’s Olympic Trials Marathon.
The men’s field will see six of the top-10 finishers from Houston including, fifth-place Brett Gotcher
(Flagstaff, Ariz.), sixth-place Andrew Carlson
(Minneapolis, Minn.), eighth-place Nick Arciniaga
(Flagstaff, Ariz.) and 10th-place Jimmy Grabow
(Running Springs, Calif.).
Also looking to challenge for the men’s title will be the defending USA Half Marathon Champion Mo Trafeh
(Duarte, Calif.) and Patrick Smyth
(Mammoth Lakes, Calif.), who finished third in the 2011 edition of the championships and runner-up in 2010.
Led by Goucher, the women’s field features four of the top-10 finishers at the Olympic Trials Marathon including, fifth-place Janet Bawcom
(Rome, Ga.), seventh-place Clara Grandt
(Morgantown, W.V.) and Dot McMahan (Rochester Hills, Mich.).
Goucher will be returning to her home state of Minnesota seeking her second USA road racing title while Abdirahman will be looking for his 10th.
Live coverage of the USA Half Marathon Championships will be available at www.USARunningCircuit.com
beginning at 6:15 a.m. CT in cooperation with RunnerSpace.com.
About the USARC
The USA Half Marathon Championships are the sixth stop on the 2012 USA Running Circuit (USARC), and will feature $77,500 in prize money. The USARC is a USA Track & Field road series, featuring USA Championships from one mile to the marathon and attracts the best U.S. distance runners. The 2012 circuit features nine events for men and ten for women.
The 2012 USARC features more than $900,000 in circuit prize money with U.S. athletes competing for the right to represent Team USA in various international competitions.
The first ten U.S. runners earn points at each USARC race (15 for first, 12 for second, 10 for third, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2 and 1), with a final $12,500 grand prix purse ($6,000, $4,000, and $2,500) for the top three men and women point scorers overall.
The mission of the USA Running Circuit is to showcase, support, and promote U.S. runners. Since its inception in 1995, the USARC and its races have provided over $6 million dollars to U.S. distance runners.
For more information on the 2012 USA Half Marathon Championships visit www.usatf.org