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Shay wins USA Half-Marathon Title at Hospital Hill


Ryan Lamppa
Media Correspondent
USA Track & Field
(805) 696-6232

Shay Surges to USA Half-Marathon Title at Hospital Hill

National Champion Also Builds USA Running Circuit Lead

By Charlie Mahler, Running USA wire

KANSAS CITY, Missouri - (June 7, 2003) - They call it the Hospital Hill Run, but you can forgive Ryan Shay for thinking of it as his Trinity Hill race.

Shay, the reigning USA Marathon Champion and a member of Team USA California, used a blasting surge up, over and down Trinity Hill - the last of this challenging event's six named climbs - to shake free of Phillimon Hanneck in the final mile and win his second USA road title at Saturday's 30th Carondelet Heart Institute Hospital Hill Run, the 2003 USA Men's Half-Marathon Championship.

Shay's won in 1:04:13 in sunny, dry conditions with starting line temperature in the high 50s. Hanneck clocked 1:04:31 for second followed by defending champion Peter De La Cerda, a Team USA California teammate of Shay's, who was third at 1:04:45. Teren Jameson was fourth in 1:05:06, while Teddy Mitchell was fifth in 1:05:15.

"I was listening for footsteps," Shay, a recent Notre Dame graduate and former NCAA 10,000 meter champion, explained. "I just concentrated on getting up that hill. I knew I have pretty good leg speed from my 5K and 10K PRs, so I just let my legs and my turnover take me down the hill and just kept on pushing just imagining those guys were right on my butt."

Shay's winning charge came at the end of a patient race for the 24-year-old. Last year's Hospital Hill runner-up Jim Jurcevich got the event off to an aggressive start when he pushed into the lead on the first climb of the race. Only Teddy Mitchell covered the move initially, but by five miles - split in 24:35 - a lead pack of Mitchell, Hanneck, Shay, Jameson, De La Cerda and David Morris had reformed, and Jurcevich was exiting out the back.

After 10K (30:28), the pack winnowed to four - Mitchell, Shay, Jameson and Hanneck with De La Cerda working alone in fifth. Shay and Hanneck shared the lead. By nine miles the race was down to the final duo. De La Cerda worked his way past Mitchell and Jameson into third on the penultimate, two kilometer-long Broadway Hill beginning at the 10 mile mark.

Shay, who had weathered a run of sub-par performances since his title-winning marathon run in Birmingham in February, was pleased to get himself back in stride as he prepares to represent the USA in the marathon at the World Championships in Paris this August.

"I think it was a combination of not taking enough rest after the marathon, racing and training hard too," Shay said of his bumpy stretch. "Eventually it started to really add up, each race got a little worse and I dropped out of the 10,000 meters at the Cardinal Invite. I should have backed off on the racing, recovered a little longer, just focused on training and have that 10,000 at the Cardinal be my first race."

"It's good to be training well and feeling good again," he continued. "I'm just glad I don't have any other races that are that important until the World Championships. I'll just focus on training and getting really fit. This is a really good start and it makes me think of how much better I can be when I get some more good training in."

Shay has based himself in Alamosa, Colo. for his Paris preparations - training with De La Cerda and living with De La Cerda, his wife and their two children. The partnership seems to be working well for De La Cerda, too, who pulled himself out of his own competitive funk with his run today.

"I was really down the last few months," the 2000 Olympic Marathon Trials runner-up said. "It's been hard training on my own and the training hadn't come around. I had really tight abdominals, maybe a tear, just a lot of soreness and stuff in the hips that I couldn't get rid of."

"The last two months I've been able to train somewhat better - each week gets a little bit better and this race is a good indication that fitness is coming around finally. It's great to have Ryan up in Alamosa right now, too, because we're going to really push each other and hopefully improve a lot together."

Hospital Hill was the sixth stop on the 2003 Men's USA Running Circuit - a USA Track & Field road series featuring USA Championships from 5K to the marathon, and the first ten U.S. runners earned Circuit points (15 for first, 12 for second, 10 for third, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2 and 1). Shay's victory extended his USARC lead over Team USA California teammate Meb Keflezighi, 58 points to 30 points. The next Men's USARC race will be the New Haven 20K on September 1, while the Women's Circuit returns to action June 21 at the Garry Bjorklund Half-Marathon in Duluth, Minn.

The 2003 USARC, the ninth edition for the men and eighth for the women, offers over $340,000 in championship prize money with a final $12,500 grand prix purse ($6000, $4000 and $2500) for the top three men and women point scorers overall.

Carondelet Heart Institute Hospital Hill Run: USA Men's Half-Mara Championship

Kansas City, MO, Saturday, June 7, 2003

 1) Ryan Shay, MI		1:04:13  $4000
 2) Phillimon Hanneck, OR	1:04:31  $2000
 3) Peter De La Cerda, CO	1:04:45  $1200
 4) Teren Jameson, UT		1:05:06   $950
 5) Teddy Mitchell, NM		1:05:15   $550
 6) Curtis Moore, UT		1:06:02   $450
 7) David Morris, NM		1:06:30   $350
 8) Patrick Muturi, CO		1:06:41   $300
 9) Jeff Campbell, MI		1:06:46   $200
10) Brian Clas, NY		1:07:04   $100

For more results, go to the race website:

USA Running Circuit Standings

MEN after six races

1) Ryan Shay, 24, East Jordan, MI	58
 2) Meb Keflezighi, 27, Mammoth Lks, CA	30
 3) Kevin Collins, 31, Syracuse, NY	29
 4) Scott Strand, 34, Birmingham, AL	24
    Phillimon Hanneck, 31, Portland, OR	24
 6) Chris Graff, 27, Palo Alto, CA	23
 7) Abdi Abdirahman, 26, Tucson, AZ	22
    Chad Johnson, 26, Portland, OR	22
 9) Clint Verran, 27, Rochester, MI	20
10) Dan Browne, 27, Portland, OR	19

2003 USARC Champions: Men

Ryan Shay	   2:14:29  USA Marathon Championship, Birmingham, AL, Feb 8
Meb Keflezighi       43:31  Gate River Run 15K, Jacksonville, FL, March 8
Chris Graff	     47:09+ Papa John's 10 Miler, Louisville, KY, March 29
Meb Keflezighi       22:28  NYRR 8000, New York, NY, April 5
Dan Browne	   1:16:13  Fifth Third River Bank 25K, Grand Rapids, MI, May 10
Ryan Shay	   1:04:13  Hospital Hill Half-Marathon, Kansas City, MO, June 7
+Championship Record

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