INDIANAPOLIS - Defending champions Mo Trafeh (Duarte, Calif.) and Katie McGregor (Minneapolis, Minn.) return to Jacksonville, Florida to defend their USA 15 km Crowns Saturday at the 34th annual Gate River Run. This year marks the 18th year that the event has hosted the championships.
McGregor will face a field that includes two-time 15 km champion Jen Rhines (Mammoth Lakes, Calif.), who started her 2011 USA Running Circuit campaign with a win at the USA Half Marathon Championships in Houston on January 29.
Also in the hunt for the women's title will be 2004 USA 15 km Champion Colleen De Reuck (Boulder, Colo.); Nan Kennard (Boulder, Colo.), the third-place finisher at this year's half marathon championships; and Clara Grandt (Waldorf, Md.), who finished sixth in Houston.
On the men's side, Trafeh, this year's male half marathon champion, returns to Jacksonville where he dominated the field last year with a 54 second win. Looking to challenge Trafeh this year will be 2008 champion Andrew Carlson (Minneapolis, Minn.); 2008 Olympian Jorge Torres (Boulder, Colo.); 2010 USA 20 km champion Sean Quigley (Philadelphia, Pa.); 2010 USA 10 Mile champion Fasil Bizuneh (Flagstaff, Ariz.); and two-time U.S. Cross Country Team member Scott Bauhs (Mammoth Lakes, Calif.).
The USA 15 km Championships will be streamed live beginning at 8:20 a.m. EST in cooperation with RunnerSpace.com at www.USARunningCircuit.com.
About the USARC
This year's race will once again feature the Equalizer Bonus, awarding $5,000 to the first male or female to cross the finish line. The top 25 seeded women will start 6 minutes ahead of the rest of the field.
Additional bonuses of $10,000 will be offered for a World record (41:29 - men; 46:57 - women); $5,000 for a U.S. record (42:22 - men; 47:15 - women); and $3,000 for a course record (42:22 - men; 47:15 - women).
The USA 15 km Championships are the third stop on the 2011 USA Running Circuit (USARC), and features a total championship prize purse of $80,000. The men's and women's champion will each earn $12,000.
The 2011 USARC is a USA Track & Field road series, featuring USA long distance running championships and for the first time will include the USA Cross Country Championships. The USARC attracts the best U.S. distance runners and has ten events for men and nine for women.
The 2011 USARC will feature more than $450,000 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 2011 USA 15 km Championships visit www.usatf.org.