INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - Team USA is ready to compete for a total prize purse of $245,000, including $30,000 for an individual victory and $15,000 for a team win in both the men's and women's races at the 1st IAAF World Road Running Championships in Debrecen, Hungary, on Sunday.
In the men's race, Morocco's reigning double World Marathon champion Jaouad Gharib is heavily favored in a field that includes entrants from 36 nations. Team USA's Ryan Hall (Woodside, Calif.), the 2006 USA 20 km and USA Cross Country 12 km champion, will look to lead the U.S. men's team as they seek to improve upon their sixth-place finish at last year's championships.
Joining Hall on the men's team will be Fernando Cabada (Bristol, Va.), the 2006 USA 25 km champion and American Record holder; Andrew Carlson (St. Paul, Minn.), who finished third at the USA 20 km Championships; Joe Driscoll (Blowing Rock, N.C.), fourth at the USA 20 km Championships; and Max King (Bend, Ore.), who has recorded third-place finishes in the open men's 12 km at the 2006 USA Cross Country Championships and 2006 USA Men's Half Marathon Championships
The women's international field will include Constantina Tomescu-Dita, who won last year's World Half Marathon Championships, the IAAF World Athletics Series that is being replace by this year's inaugural World Road Running Championships.
Team USA will include: Annie Bersagel (Minneapolis, Minn.), the 2006 USA Women's Half Marathon Champion; Ann Alyanak (Bellbrook, Ohio), fourth at the USA Women's Half Marathon Championship and fifth at the USA 20 km Championships; Desiree Davila (Rochester Hills, Mich.), a cross country and track All-American at Arizona State University, who finished 13th at the USA 20 km Championships; Erin Nehus (Indianapolis, Ind.), ninth at the USA 20 km Championships; and Sonja Friend-Uhl (West Palm Beach, Fla.), who qualified for the U.S. team at the USA 20 km Championships where she finished 11th.
The event will be contested on a 5,000 meter criterium loop through the streets of Debrecen. Each team will consist of five athletes with the top three athletes scoring. The team members were selected based on performances at the USA championships for the half marathon, 20 km and 25 km.
For more information on the IAAF World Road Running Championships visit www.iaaf.org.