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CVS/pharmacy Downtown 5K again hosts USA Men's Championship


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

CONTACT: Todd Andrew, CVS/pharmacy, (401) 770-5717 Charles Breagy, Race Director, (401) 294-1107

Top International Fields Expected This Sunday, September 7

PROVIDENCE, R.I. - (September 4, 2003) - The USA Men's 5K Championship returns to the CVS/pharmacy Downtown on Sunday morning, September 7 and a top U.S. field - including recent national champions Ryan Shay (2003 half-marathon and marathon), Chris Graff (2003 10 mile) and Ryan Kirkpatrick (2002 10K), 2000 Olympian Brad Hauser and New England natives Jonathon Riley and Matt Lane - is expected to compete for the U.S. road title, $15,000 in USA Championship prize money and against a top international field.

"CVS is proud to sponsor Rhode Island's largest road race," said Jack Kramer, Senior Vice President of CVS/pharmacy and Chairman of the CVS Downtown 5K. "We are especially pleased that our race also serves as USA Track & Field's Men's 5K National Championship for the second consecutive year."

The Downtown 5K is also the penultimate event on the Men's USA Running Circuit (USARC), a USA Track & Field road series featuring national championships and thus, important USARC points also will be at stake for the top 10 U.S. finishers. Current leader Ryan Shay, a Team USA California member, can lock-up the USARC Grand Prix title with a top performance in Providence. The 2003 USARC offers over $340,000 in championship prize money plus a $25,000 grand prix purse for the top three GP scorers.

Like past editions, this year's CVS/pharmacy Downtown 5K will feature an extremely competitive field of elite runners from around the world. In the men's race, local favorite Mark Carroll and the top two finishers from last year's Downtown 5K return this year. In 2002 it took a photo finish to determine that Kenya's James Koseki had edged fellow countryman Shadrack Kosgei, both were timed in 13:40. U.S. champion Meb Keflezighi finished 3rd overall in 13:45.

In the women's race, last year's runner-up, South Africa's Elana Meyer, returns. The 1992 Olympic 10,000m silver medalist set a world record on this course in 1996 with a time of 15:10. Meyer will be challenged by Ludmila Biktasheva from Russia, who has won five major U.S. road races this year and Kenyan Leah Malot.

"We are very excited about the field of world-class runners competing in Providence this Sunday," said Charles Breagy, Race Director of the CVS/pharmacy Downtown 5K. "We have a new route this year that should provide some very fast running times and make for a particularly exciting race."

The race offers over $50,000 in prize money with $5000 to the winners and $15,000 for the USA Men's Championship ($5000, $3000, $2000, $1500, $1000, $900, $700, $500, $300 and $100). Other prize money includes:

Open Men/Women (1-5): $5000, $2500, $2000, $1500 and $1000 USATF Men's Team Championship: $750, $500 and $250 Master Men/Women (age 40-49): $750, $500 and $250 Senior Men/Women (age 50-59): $150, $100 and $50 Veteran Men/Women (age 60+): $150, $100 and $50 Wheelchair: $150


13:00	Sammy Kipketer (KEN)	Carlsbad 5000, CA		03/26/00
13:00	Sammy Kipketer (KEN)	Carlsbad 5000, CA		04/01/01
14:54	Deena Drossin (USA)	Carlsbad 5000, CA		04/07/02
14:54	Berhane Adere (ETH)	Carlsbad 5000, CA		04/13/03

13:24	Marc Davis		Carlsbad 5000, CA		03/31/96
14:54	Deena Drossin		Carlsbad 5000, CA		04/07/02

13:20	Ismael Kirui (KEN)	Harvard Pilgrim Downtown, RI	09/14/97
15:06	Asmae Leghzaoui (MAR)	Harvard Health Downtown, RI	09/15/02

The CVS/pharmacy Downtown 5K, which has, to date, donated more than $200,000 to local charities focused on youth issues, has announced that it will fund this school year's boys and girls cross country running programs at Mount Pleasant High School and Classical High School in Providence.

"The CVS Downtown 5K is a Providence-based charitable running event that has always placed a strong emphasis on youth issues," said Kramer. "When we heard that the cross country programs at these schools were in danger of being cancelled because of budget shortfalls, it made sense to donate proceeds from our race event to support these teams and prevent their season from being cancelled."

Prior to the 5K Race, Youth Races will be held in age categories ranging from ages 5 and under to ages 14-15 beginning at 8:00 AM in front of the Providence Place Mall. The CVS/pharmacy Downtown 5K worked with members of the RI Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance to encourage Rhode Island schools to register their student to participate. Schools that bring 25 or more runners will be entered into a drawing for 10 $500 grants to the school's physical education program.

New to the CVS/pharmacy Downtown 5K this year is the High School 3K Inspiration Run, which will be held at 12:15 PM in front of the Providence Place Mall. The 3K Run is part of the official Rhode Island high school fall running program and is being supported by the Rhode Island Interscholastic League and the Boys and Girls High School Coaches Associations.

Registration and T-shirt/race number pickup for the CVS/pharmacy Downtown 5K will be available Saturday, September 6th at Station Park between the train station and Providence Place Mall between 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM. Registration will also be available Sunday morning at Station Park from 8:00 AM to 10:45 AM. 5K entry fee is $20 through Saturday and $25 on Sunday. Youth Race entry fee is $6 through Saturday and $7 on Sunday. For more information please call the Race Hotline at (401) 751-7287 or visit the race website at:

The CVS/pharmacy Downtown 5K is co-sponsored by GTECH and Pfizer. Media sponsor is Citadel Communications. Running shoe sponsor is New Balance. Other sponsors are Poland Spring and Seabra Supermarkets.

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