Team USA heads to Rio de Janeiro for IAAF World Half Marathon Championships


Jim Estes
Associate Director of LDR and Marketing
USA Track & Field

INDIANAPOLIS - Team USA will travel this week to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, for the 2008 IAAF / CAIXA World Half Marathon Championships on Sunday, October 12. A total of 51 IAAF Member Federations have entered teams for the championships.

Representing Team USA for the first time, 2008 national 20 km champion Jill Steffens (Athens, Ga.) will lead Team USA's women. Also making their first appearances for Team USA at the World Half Marathon Championships will be Kristen Nicolini Lehmkuhle (Minneapolis, Minn.), who was fifth at this year's USA Half Marathon Championships, and masters standout Stephanie Herbst Lucke (Atlanta, Ga.), a former NCAA champion who was fourth at the USA 20 km Championships last month.

The Hansons-Brooks duo of Dot McMahan (Rochester Hills, Mich.) and Melissa White (Rochester Hills, Mich.) will bring previous World Half Marathon Championships experience to the team, with McMahan having represented the U.S. at the 2005 championships in Edmonton, Canada, where she finished 48th. White competed at the 2004 event in New Dehli, India where she placed 36th.

The men's team will be made up of five men who met team qualifying standards at the USA Half Marathon Championships in Houston. Led by runner-up Jason Lehmkuhle (Minneapolis, Minn.), the men's team also includes Steve Sundell (Redwood City, Calif.), Patrick Gildea (Knoxville, Tenn.), Rod Koborsi (Washington, D.C.) and Ryan Kirkpatrick (Colorado Springs, Colo.), who finished third, fifth, sixth and seventh, respectively.

Featuring $245,000 in individual and team prize money, the women's championship race will take place 30 minutes before the men's race, which will be held in conjunction with the Rio de Janeiro Half Marathon, featuring 16,000 participants.

For more information on the 2008 IAAF World Half Marathon Championships visit