INDIANAPOLIS – The USA Running Circuit (USARC) gets underway Saturday with the running of the 2011 USA Half Marathon Championships, presented by Aramco Services Company.
Returning to Houston for the first time since his American Record run in 2007, Ryan Hall (Big Bear Lake, Calif.), headlines a field that includes fellow Olympic marathoner Magdalena Lewy Boulet (Oakland, Calif.) and a host of top U.S. athletes competing for a total prize purse of $59,500.
In addition to the national title, athletes will use 2011 as an opportunity to preview the course that will be used when Houston plays host to the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Marathon next January.
Joining Hall in his reconnaissance mission in Houston will be Jorge Torres (Boulder, Colo.), a 2008 Olympian at 10,000 meters; Patrick Smyth (Mammoth Lakes, Calif.), the 2010 Half Marathon Championships runner-up; 2004 Olympian Dan Browne (Chula Vista, Calif.); Jason Lehmkuhle (Minneapolis, Minn.), 2008 Half Marathon runner-up; and Sergio Reyes (Los Osos, Calif.) the 2010 USA Marathon Champion.
The women’s race will see 2009 champion Boulet face a deep field that includes 2010 USA Running Circuit champion Katie McGregor (Saint Louis Park, Minn.); three-time Olympian Jen Rhines (Mammoth Lakes, Calif.); 2004 Olympic Trials Marathon champion Colleen De Reuck (Boulder, Colo.); 2010 runner-up Serena Burla (Ellisville, Mo.); and Zoila Gomez (Alamosa, Colo.) and Tera Moody (Colorado Springs, Colo.) the fourth and fifth place finishers from the women’s 2008 Olympic Trials Marathon.
The USA Half Marathon Championships, presented by Aramco Services Company will be streamed live beginning at 7:45 a.m. CST in cooperation with RunnerSpace.com at www.USARunningCircuit.com
About the USARC
The USA Half Marathon Championships are the first stop on the 2011 USA Running Circuit (USARC), and features a total championship prize purse of $59,500 plus potential bonuses. 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, including Olympians Deena Kastor, Ryan Hall, Shalane Flanagan and Meb Keflezighi. The 2011 USARC 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 Half-Marathon Championships visit www.usatf.org.