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Abdirahman, Goucher take USA Half Marathon titles

6/16/2012
 
INDIANAPOLIS – 2012 Olympic Marathon team members Abdi Abdirahman (Tucson, Ariz.) and Kara Goucher (Portland, Ore.) lived up to their pre-race favorite status, taking the respective men’s and women’s titles at Saturday’s USA Half Marathon Championships in Duluth, Minnesota. Abdirahman scored his tenth USA road title in 1:02:46, while Goucher took her second in a course record 1:09:46. This was the third time the Gary Bjorklund Half Marathon has hosted the women’s championship and the first time the event hosted the men’s.

Under ideal conditions, a field of 99 men started the day of racing with Abdirahman leading a large group through the mile in 4:37.  At three miles, Abdirahman and Brett Gotcher (Flagstaff, Ariz.) broke away from the field and looked to be setting up a two man race for the title. 

Over the next six miles, Abdirahman opened a small lead over Gotcher but couldn’t seem to manage a decisive breakaway. At the same time, a chase pack that included Ian Burrell (Tucson, Ariz.), Michael Eaton (Louisville, Ky.) and Tim Ritchie (Brighton, Mass.), was steadily making up ground on Abdirahman and Gotcher.

By 10 miles, Burrell had managed to break away from Eaton and Ritchie and joined Abdirahman and Gotcher, and even managed to take a brief turn in the lead.  The move served to jumpstart the tempo with Abdirahman surging to the lead again at 11 miles.  Burrell lost contact as Abdirahman and Gotcher began the duel to the finish. 

Over the final mile, Abdirahman regained his slight edge over Gotcher and hit the line for a three second win. Gotcher was timed in 1:02:49 as Burrell closed slightly to finish a strong third in 1:02:51. 

The women’s race started with 69 entrants but quickly became a three woman race as Lindsey Scherf (Fayetteville, N.C.) pressed the pace with Goucher and Maegan Krifchin (Dewitt, N.Y.).  The race would soon turn into a duel between Goucher and Krifchin as Scherf began to fade, eventually finishing in 10th-place.

After passing 10 km together in 33:23, Goucher started to increase the tempo and by 10 miles, the hometown favorite enjoyed a 19 second lead.  Over the final miles, Goucher would extend her lead to over a minute on her way to a course record. Krifchin finished in 1:10:56 as Michelle Frey (Minneapolis, Minn.) worked her way through the field to finish third in 1:11:45.       

INDIANAPOLIS – 2012 Olympic Marathon team members Abdi Abdirahman (Tucson, Ariz.) and Kara Goucher (Portland, Ore.) lived up to their pre-race favorite status, taking the respective men’s and women’s titles at Saturday’s USA Half Marathon Championships in Duluth, Minnesota. Abdirahman scored his tenth USA road title in 1:02:46, while Goucher took her second in a course record 1:09:46. This was the third time the Gary Bjorklund Half Marathon has hosted the women’s championship and the first time the event hosted the men’s.
 
Under ideal conditions, a field of 99 men started the day of racing with Abdirahman leading a large group through the mile in 4:37.  At three miles, Abdirahman and Brett Gotcher (Flagstaff, Ariz.) broke away from the field and looked to be setting up a two man race for the title. 
 
Over the next six miles, Abdirahman opened a small lead over Gotcher but couldn’t seem to manage a decisive breakaway. At the same time, a chase pack that included Ian Burrell (Tucson, Ariz.), Michael Eaton (Louisville, Ky.) and Tim Ritchie (Brighton, Mass.), was steadily making up ground on Abdirahman and Gotcher.
 
By 10 miles, Burrell had managed to break away from Eaton and Ritchie and joined Abdirahman and Gotcher, and even managed to take a brief turn in the lead.  The move served to jumpstart the tempo with Abdirahman surging to the lead again at 11 miles.  Burrell lost contact as Abdirahman and Gotcher began the duel to the finish. 
 
Over the final mile, Abdirahman regained his slight edge over Gotcher and hit the line for a three second win. Gotcher was timed in 1:02:49 as Burrell closed slightly to finish a strong third in 1:02:51. 
 
The women’s race started with 69 entrants but quickly became a three woman race as Lindsey Scherf (Fayetteville, N.C.) pressed the pace with Goucher and Maegan Krifchin (Dewitt, N.Y.).  The race would soon turn into a duel between Goucher and Krifchin as Scherf began to fade, eventually finishing in 10th-place.
 
After passing 10 km together in 33:23, Goucher started to increase the tempo and by 10 miles, the hometown favorite enjoyed a 19 second lead.  Over the final miles, Goucher would extend her lead to over a minute on her way to a course record. Krifchin finished in 1:10:56 as Michelle Frey (Minneapolis, Minn.) worked her way through the field to finish third in 1:11:45.       
 
Video Coverage
 
Video highlights of the USA Half Marathon Championships are available at www.USARunningCircuit.com in cooperation with RunnerSpace.com.
 
About the USARC
The USA Half Marathon Championships were the sixth stop on the 2012 USA Running Circuit (USARC), and will feature $77,500 in prize money. Abdirahman and Goucher each earned $12,000 for their title.  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.


Video highlights of the USA Half Marathon Championships will be available Saturday at www.USARunningCircuit.com in cooperation with RunnerSpace.com.

About the USARC
The USA Half Marathon Championships were the sixth stop on the 2012 USA Running Circuit (USARC), and will feature $77,500 in prize money. Abdirahman and Goucher each earned $12,000 for their title.  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.

Jim Estes
Associate Director, Marketing & LDR Programs
USA Track & Field
317.713.4661
e-mail

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