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Huddle, Korir headline incredible fields at USATF 15 km Championships


JACKSONVILLE, Florida – Olympians Molly Huddle and Leonard Korir lead deep and talented fields in Jacksonville, Florida Saturday, as the USATF 15 km Championships get underway, hosted by the Gate River Run.


The USATF 15 km Championships are the second 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 Join the conversation on Twitter with the hashtag #USARC.


For Huddle, Saturday’s contest gives the Providence-based athlete an opportunity to test her fitness in her build-up to the Boston Marathon next month. Huddle broke the American record in the half-marathon in mid-January, running 1:07:25 at the Aramco Houston Half-Marathon, showing she’s clearly in fine form.


Huddle’s biggest challenge could come from fellow 2018 Boston Marathon entrant Jordan Hasay. Hasay has shown tremendous range competing on the roads over the past two years, including her recent 1:08:38 performance at the Houston Half-Marathon.


Other top competition should come from Molly Seidel. The former Notre Dame standout is having a strong 2018 season, thus far, including a runner-up finish to Emily Infeld at the USATF Cross Country Championships last month. Seidel has two USATF Running Circuit finishes to her name and would like nothing better than coming away victorious Saturday.



Experienced USATF Running Circuit veteran Maddie Van Beek is also entered, while fans should keep a close eye on Susan Tanui. The U.S. Army runner placed sixth at the USATF Cross Country Championships last month.


One other runner, Sarah True, brings an intriguing storyline to the field. True, a two-time Olympian in the triathlon, including a fourth place finish at the 2012 London Olympic Games, is set to test her abilities on the roads. True, married to multi-time U.S. champion Ben True, is making the switch from short course to long course triathlon competition and Saturday’s race provides a great fitness test on the roads.


On the men’s side, Korir is the pre-race favorite, entering as the defending champion, as well as winning the USATF Cross Country Championship last month. The U.S. Army runner won four national titles on his way to claiming the 2017 USATF Running Circuit title. Off to a great start in 2018, Korir enters with a target on his back.


Korir should find plenty of competition among a deep field of runners, including Sam Chelanga, who won the USATF 7 Mile Championship in 2017 and placed second in the overall 2017 USATF Running Circuit standings. Chelanga is coming off an incredible 60:37 performance at the Houston Half Marathon in mid-January, an effort which ranks him fourth all-time among Americans over the distance.


As the Boston Marathon nears, Ryan Vail is ready to test his fitness after putting in weeks of intense training. Same goes for fellow marathoner Jared Ward, as the Olympian prepares to compete for Team USA at the IAAF World Half Marathon Championships later this month.


Young pro Martin Hehir, who placed fifth at last month’s USATF Cross Country Championships, continues to show his strength on the roads and should vie for a top three finish.


Also joining the mix is Kiya Dandena, who placed tenth at the 2017 USATF 15 km Championships, while placing sixth overall in last year’s USATF Running Circuit standings. The Flagstaff-based runner finished third at the USATF Marathon Championships and looks to build on that momentum in 2018.


Rounding out the top field of competitors is Korir’s U.S. Army teammate Emmanuel Bor, who has plenty of experience to draw from to challenge for a top five finish. Bor finished third at the USATF 10 Mile Championships in 2017.


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 $58,000 in prize money will be awarded at the USATF 15 km Championships


The first ten U.S. runners earn points at each USATF Running Circuit race. For the USATF 15 km 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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