CHIBA, Japan - The Team USA men raced to third place at the Hanji Aoki Cup 2006 International Chiba Ekiden Thursday in Chiba, Japan. Finishing in 2:01:56, the team tied the highest U.S. finish ever at the event. Kenya won the men's title for the second year in a row, finishing in 1:57:58.
The six-person relay team was led off by former William and Mary All-American Ed Moran who ran his 5 km leg in 13:34 to finish fifth on his leg. By the end of the second leg, Kenya was in full control of the race with their sights on the world record for the marathon relay. Andrew Carlson completed the 10 km in 29:02, the sixth fastest time for the leg, moving the U.S into fourth place.
Team USA athletes Fasil Bizuneh and Josh Moen each turned in solid performances, running the second fastest times for their respective 5 km and 10 km legs. Bizuneh's 13:50 moved Team USA from fifth to within striking distance of third. As a sub-par run by Sammy Korir would ultimately lead the Kenyan team to fall 52 seconds short of the record, Moen's 29:23 on the 10 km leg was good to take over third place .
During the fifth leg, Patrick Tarpy managed to maintain the U.S. hold on third place, running his hilly 5 km leg in 14:47 before handing off to Ryan Sheehan, who would run the 7.2 km leg in 21:21 to bring Team USA home with their second consecutive bronze medal.
Kenya also won the women's race in 2:13:35. The USA women finished tenth in2:23:20.
The Hanji Aoki Cup 2006 International Chiba Ekiden was host to eight men's teams and ten women's.
For more information on the 2006 International Chiba Ekiden visit www.usatf.org.