MINNEAPOLIS - Two-time U.S. 10 mile champion Abdi Abdirahman (Tucson, Ariz.), will face some of the country's top athletes in defense of his USA Men's 10 Mile title this weekend at the Medtronic Twin Cities 10 Miler. Sunday's race will see more than 30 of the top men in the United States on the line, many of whom are using this year's championship as the final tune-up before the U.S. Olympic Team Trials - Men's Marathon next month in New York.
Two former USA Men's 10 Mile champions, 2003 champion Chris Graff (Crofton, Md.) and 2004 champion Dan Browne (Portland, Ore.) will compete in hopes of regaining the 10 mile title. Browne comes to Minneapolis on a high note, having won the USA 20 km Championship as well as the USA 5 km title in the span of two weeks last month.
Also challenging for the title will be local favorites Andrew Carlson (St. Paul, Minn.), fourth at the 2006 10 Mile championships, and his Team USA Minnesota teammate Jason Lehmkuhle (Minneapolis, Minn.) who finished third at the 20 km championships on Labor Day.
The list of contenders continues with James Carney (Boulder, Colo.), runner-up to Browne at the 20 km championships; and Matthew Downin (Madison, Wis.), fifth at the 2005 edition of the 10 Mile Championships; Mbarak Hussein (Albuquerque, N.M.), the 2006 USA Marathon Champion; and Ryan Sheehan (Rochester Hills, Mich.) and Ryan Shay (Flagstaff, Ariz.) who finished fourth and fifth, respectively, at the 20 km championships last month.
The USA Men's 10 Mile Championship is the seventh stop for the men on the 2007 USA Running Circuit (USARC) and pays a total of $25,000 in prize money, with the winner earning $10,000.
The USARC, a USA Track & Field road series, features USA Championships from 5 km to the marathon and attracts the best U.S. distance runners. The thirteenth edition for the men and twelfth for the women, the 2007 USARC has nine events for men and seven events for women.
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 2007 USARC and USA Men's 10 Mile Championship visit www.usatf.org.