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Competitive Fields Set For USATF Marathon Championships

INDIANAPOLIS – Led by Sean Quigley and Sergio Reyes on the men’s side and Jeannette Faber and Esther Erb on the women’s side, fields at the USA Marathon Championships are wide-open Sunday morning in Minneapolis, hosted by the Twin Cities Marathon.
The USATF Marathon Championships are the second to last stop on the 2014 USA Running Circuit, which concludes on Nov. 16 with the .US National 12K in historic Alexandria, Virginia. The top ten finishers at each race on the circuit qualify to compete in the .US National 12K.
Experienced veterans in Quigley (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) and Reyes (Palmdale, California) lead the way in a loaded men’s race, which hosts nearly a dozen athletes all capable of taking home the title. Quigley enters Sunday’s action having won the USA 7 Mile Championships earlier in the season, while running a new personal best half marathon in Houston, where he clocked 62:46 in January. For Reyes, the 2010 USA Marathon champion, another U.S. title is clearly the goal. After finishing fourth at last year’s contest in 2:13:34, he is as qualified as any to take home the title.
Following closely on their heels is Ian Burrell (Tucson, Arizona). Burrell ran a breakthrough performance at the Chevron Houston Marathon in January, as he placed seventh overall in 2:13:26 to finish as the top American. His marathon best is fastest in the field and shows the 29-year-old is clearly capable of challenging for the win.
Scott MacPherson (Austin, Texas) and Scott Smith (Flagstaff, Arizona) are two other notable runners who cannot be overlooked. MacPherson finished tenth at the 2013 USA Marathon Championships. Having run a new half marathon personal best of 62:56 earlier in the year, he is fit and looking to lower his marathon best. The same goes for Smith, who enters Sunday’s contest sporting a 2:16:04 personal best set in Sacramento in 2013.
Rounding out the field of top contenders, Tyler McCandless (Boulder, Colorado) looks to improve upon his 2:16:46 marathon best, which he ran at the 2013 edition of the USA Marathon Championships. Young pros Jared Ward (Provo, Utah) and Tyler Pennel (Blowing Rock, N.C.) look to increase their profiles, too. Ward debuted last fall at the Bank of America Chicago Marathon in 2:16:18, while Pennel debuts in the distance on Sunday, coming off a 61:44 half marathon in January and a ninth place showing over 5,000m at the USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships.
On the women’s side, the list of top contenders is a bit shorter, but the field is ripe for numerous breakthrough performances. Last year’s third place finisher, Esther Erb (Lambertville, N.J.) leads the way. She’s coming off a terrific first half of 2014. She cruised to a 74:46 in New York City, while running a new marathon best of 2:33:15 to finish top-20 at the Boston Marathon.
Other pre-race favorites are Jeannette Faber (Pegram, Tennessee) and Brianne Nelson (Golden, Colorado). Faber won the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon in 2012 with her best of 2:32:37 on the same course hosting this year’s USA Marathon Championships. While she hasn’t blazed any new bests in 2014, she’s been a consistent force in the marathon and should continue to be. Meanwhile, Nelson enters with a 2:34:42 marathon best and 72:23 half marathon best. The Colorado-based runner has plenty of experience and seems poised to step it up another level over the 26.2-mile distance.
Another top pro to watch is hometown favorite Meghan Peyton (Richfield, Minnesota). Peyton, the 2013 USA 20 km champion, returns after an ninth place finish at last year’s race, where she ran her marathon best of 2:38:58. Like Nelson, she is a very experienced road racer at shorter distances and seems ready for another breakthrough.
There is also a collection of 2:37-2:41 marathoners who look to contend for top-three finishes. Ariana Hilborn (Tempe, Arizona) owns a personal best of 2:37:28, while running 2:37:37 as recently as the 2012  U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials. She placed second in 2:40:23 at the Riga Marathon back in May. Katie DiCamillo, (Providence, R.hode Island) Heather Lieberg (Helena, Montana), Heather Cappello (Somerville, Massachusetts) and Allison Macsas (Austin, Texas) have each run under 2:41 over the past three years, adding to the depth of the field.
Live Coverage
The USA Marathon Championships will be broadcast live beginning at 8:00 am CT at Race video, results, post-race interviews and photos will be available shortly after the race in cooperation with Join the conversation on Twitter with the hashtag #USARC.
About the USARC
The USARC is a USA Track & Field road series featuring USA championships from one mile through the marathon and consistently attracts the best American distance runners with more than $500,000 to be awarded in total prize money. A total of $145,000 in prize money will be awarded at the USA Marathon Championships.
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 those earning the most points receiving prize money at the end of the series.
The mission of the USARC is to showcase, support and promote U.S. runners. Since its inception in 1995, the USARC and its races have provided over $7 million to U.S. distance runners.
Contributed by Scott Bush

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