Abdirahman runs U.S. 20 km record, Russell dominates USA 20 km Championships


Jim Estes
LDR Programs Manager
USA Track & Field
317-261-0500 x315

NEW HAVEN -In control from the gun from the gun, Abdi Abdirahman led the men's field at the USA 20 km Championships on Monday to win his second road title of 2005 with a pending U.S. 20 km record of 58:42. Blake Russell took charge of the women's field by the two mile mark and easily won running 1:06:43 to win the first USA title of her career. The championships were hosted by the New Alliance New Haven Road Race in New Haven Conn.

With near perfect conditions and an opening mile of 4:34, Abdirahman made it clear that he was running for records. Despite being led off course once and his progress impeded by a wayward car, he was able to take 15 seconds off Meb Keflezighi's 2003 U.S. record run on the same course, but he fell well short of Khalid Khannouchi's course record of 57:37. "I wanted to break Khalid's record," said Abdirahman, the 2005 USA 10 Mile Champion. "But a couple of wrong turns and no one to run with cost me, it was tough."

Meanwhile in the women's race, Russell made her move early, leading DeReuck by 30 seconds at two miles then cruising to the title on her own. "I had hoped to run a little faster, but the wind by the waterfront made it tough," said Russell. "I was happy with winning the title it's been a long time coming."

The USARC is a USA Track & Field road series, featuring USA Championships from 5 km to the marathon and attracts the best U.S. distance runners. The eleventh edition for the men and tenth for the women, the 2005 circuit has nine events for men and seven events for women. Abdirahman continues to lead the men's circuit with 48 points, while DeReuck leads the women's with 34.

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 ($6000, $4000, and $2500) for the top three men and women point scorers overall. The USARC points at the USA Marathon Championships will be doubled.

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 $4 million dollars to U.S. distance runners.

For more information on the USA 20 km Championships and the 2005 USARC visit www.usatf.org.