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Hall, Kipchirchir Return to Defend Titles at USATF 10 Mile Championships

10/4/2018
 

MINNEAPOLIS-SAINT PAUL –- Defending champions Sara Hall and Shadrack Kipchirchir return to the streets of the Twin Cities Sunday morning, as the duo seek to defend their titles at the USATF 10 Mile Championships.

 

The USATF 10 Mile Championships, hosted by the Medtronic TC 10 Mile, are the eighth stop on the 2018 USATF Running Circuit. Race videos, results, post-race interviews and photos will be available shortly after the race in cooperation with RunnerSpace.com. Join the conversation on Twitter with the hashtag #USARC.

 

In 2017, Hall ran away from the competition over the final mile to claim her first USATF Running Circuit title in five years. Since then, Hall has won two other titles, including a recent win at the USATF 20 km Championships. Sitting 12.5 points behind USATF Running Circuit standings leader Aliphine Tuliamuk (57-44.5), a top three finish Sunday would catapult her into the overall lead.

 

While Hall enters with experience and momentum on her side, she’ll find plenty of competition on the start line, especially from multi-time Olympian Molly Huddle. Huddle has won 14 consecutive USATF Running Circuit races and 20 overall. While she hasn’t raced since early August, the veteran won the USATF 15 km Championships and USATF Outdoor Championships 10,000m titles this season. Huddle is racing the TCS New York City Marathon in November.

 

Emma Bates currently sits third in the USATF Running Circuit rankings with 44 points, while finishing second at the USATF 25 km Championships and third at the USATF 20 km Championships this season. Her sixth place showing in the Twin Cities in 2017 gives her experience on the course and the former NCAA champion is in fine form heading into Sunday’s race, making her a prime competitor to challenge for the win.

 

Not to be overlooked, veteran road runners Kellyn Taylor and Emily Sisson are also entered. Taylor hasn’t raced much in 2018, but she did score an impressive win at the Grandma’s Marathon in mid-June, where she improved her marathon best with a 2:24:28 course record, winning by nearly six minutes.

 

For Sisson, she’s training at altitude with training mate Huddle. After getting married earlier this summer, Sisson is ready to jump back onto the roads and compete in her first USATF Running Circuit race since 2016.

 

Finishing fifth in 2017, Belainesh Gebre also brings experience to the field. She placed fourth at the USATF 25 km Championships earlier this season and continues to be a top contender in every road race she enters.

 

Other top contenders on the women’s side include Olympian Kim Conley, 2017 top ten finishers Bethany Sacthleben, Maddie Van Beek and Bridget Lyons, along with USATF Running Circuit veterans Esther Atkins and Meghan Peyton.

 

In the men’s field, Kipchirchir returns to the streets of the Twin Cities, where he won the 2017 edition over teammate Leonard Korir, as both men finished with the same time in a thrilling kick to the tape. Kipchirchir has yet to race a USATF Running Circuit race this season, but did finish second at the USATF Outdoor Championships in the 10,000m.

 

Kipchirchir’s chief competition will come from Korir. Who currently has a 73.5-55 lead in the USATF Running Circuit standings over second place Sam Chelanga. Korir has won three USATF Running Circuit races this season, claiming victory at the USATF Cross Country Championships, USATF 15 km Championships and the recent USATF 20 km Championships. Korir no doubt remembers his narrow loss in 2017 and will look to finish on top this time around.

 

Two other teammates will look to run with Kipchirchir and Korir Sunday morning. Emmanuel Bor, who placed third at the USATF 10 Mile Championships in 2017, enters with a fourth place showing at the USATF 15 km Championships earlier this year and a fifth place effort in the 5000m at the USATF Outdoor Championships.

 

Haron Lagat is the another key contender and U.S. Army runner. Having placed fourth in 2017 in the Twin Cities, as well as a recent runner-up finish at the USATF 20 km Championships and sixth place finish in the 3000m steeplechase at the USATF Outdoor Championships, Lagat clearly has the experience and recent fitness to thrive Sunday.

 

Andrew Colley and Stanley Kebenei are two others to keep an eye on. Colley placed third at the USATF Half Marathon Championships earlier this season, while Kebenei earned third place at the USATF Cross Country Championships and fourth place in the steeplechase at the USATF Outdoor Championships.

 

Other notable returnees including Abbabiya Simbassa, Ian La Mere and Futsum Zeinasellassie, who placed sixth, seventh and tenth at the USATF 10 Mile Championships last year. In addition, Abinet Adraro is entered and coming off a third place finish at the USATF 25 km Championships, while veteran road runners Matt Llano and Kirubel Erassa are also ready to challenge for a top five finish.

 

About the USATF Running Circuit

 

The USATF Running Circuit is a USATF road series featuring USATF 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 $81,000 in prize money will be awarded at the USATF 10 Mile Championships

 

The first ten U.S. runners earn points at each USATF Running Circuit race. For the USATF 10 Mile Championships, scoring is set as 22.5 for first, 18 for second, 15 for third, 10.5 ,9, 7.5, 6, 4.5, 3 and 2, with those earning the most points receiving prize money at the end of the series.

 

The mission of the USATF Running Circuit is to showcase, support and promote U.S. runners. Since its inception in 1995, the USATF Running Circuit and its races have provided over $7 million to U.S. distance runners.

 

Contributed by Scott Bush

 




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