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USA Half Marathon Championships Sunday in Bend, Ore.


Bend, Ore. -- For the third year in a row the renowned trail running town of Bend, Ore., will host the USA Half Marathon Trail Championships. The tenth installment of this popular event will be held Sunday beginning at 8:00 a.m.

A very deep field, which includes defending champion and local favorite Max King, is slated to compete.

Leading the women’s competition will be members of the Team USA from the 2011 North American Central American and Caribbean (NACAC) mountain running squad, Gina Lucrezi and Amber Moran, as well as defending masters champion Katie Caba.

On the men’s side, top athletes include defending men’s masters champion Tim Van Orden and 2011 USA NACAC Mountain Running team member Mario Mendoza.  Local trail speedsters Jeff Caba and Chris Rennaker will also toe the starting line located on the west side of Bend. 

These top athletes and other USATF members will vie for the $2,500 in cash prizes. The prize money breakdown awards $500 for first, $300 for second, $200 for third and $250 for the top masters finishers. Prize money is furnished courtesy of Visit Bend - the City of Bend, which is Oregon's visitors bureau.

“We are expecting about 800 runners and almost as many spectators for our event,” said race director Dave Thomason. “I’ve really enjoyed connecting with the USA championship athletes and learning a bit more about them and their passion for trail running.  We’re really making this more than another trail race. With the excellent support from our community, sponsors, and volunteers, this is going to be a celebration of trail running.  One very hard run followed by some fun afterwards.”

The course starts in the Northwest Crossing neighborhood of Bend and heads out on a paved road for the first three-quarters of a mile before turning into flat, fast trails that are part of network originating from the popular Phil’s Trailhead.  The total climb and descent for the course is 700 feet and the elevation is over 4,000 feet.  A course map can be found by clicking here.

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