GRAND RAPIDS - Andrew Carlson (Flagstaff, Ariz.) captured his second career USA title as Katie McGregor (Saint Louis Park, Minn.) took her second road title for 2010 Saturday at the USA 25 km Championships in Grand Rapids, Mich. Carlson led all competitors in the race which included international athletes, running 1:14:42. McGregor took third overall behind Firehinot Dado of Ethiopia and Genoveva Kigen of Kenya, running 1:26:24 for the U.S. women's crown. Dado won overall in 1:23:46, with Kigen second in 1:24:53.
Cold, breezy conditions met the field at the start as the Fifth Third River Bank Run hosted the championships for the 17th year. Passing the first mile in 4:46, Carlson, the 2008 USA 15 km champion was comfortably tucked into a lead pack of 15 men that included training partners Brett Gotcher (Flagstaff, Ariz.) and Nick Arciniaga (Flagstaff, Ariz.), as well as defending overall champion Isaak Kimaiyo of Kenya and U.S. contenders, Jason Hartmann (Boulder, Colo.) and Josh Eberly (Gunnison, Colo.).
By eight miles the pack was reduced to six men with Hartmann and Gotcher sharing the majority of the pacing duties. Going up a short hill approaching 10 miles, Carlson took command of the lead, breaking up the lead pack as only Gotcher tried to keep pace.
A 4:40 mile from 10 to 11 saw Carlson pull away from Gotcher, sending him on his way to a 24 second win over his training partner. Arciniaga took third in 1:15:18 as Hartmann and Eberly rounded out a U.S. sweep of the top-five in 1:15:38 and 1:15:54 respectively.
In the women's race, Dado and Kigen pulled away from McGregor early, building a 10 second lead by the first mile. Despite running on her own most of the way, McGregor easily won her second 25 km title by 2:39 over Samia Akbar (Herndon, Va.). Akbar was timed in 1:29:03, while Dot McMahan (Rochester Hills Mich.) rounded out the top three in 1:30:08.
Aufdemberge, Reader take masters titles
This year's event once again hosted the USA Masters 25 km Championships featuring top masters (40 and over) with prerace favorites Paul Aufdemberge (Redford, Mich.) and Marybeth Reader (Bloomfield, Mich.) capturing the overall masters titles. Aufdemberge ran 1:22:22. Due to a timing error Reader's time was unavailable.
The USA 25 km Championships features more than $40,000 in prize money with the men's and women's champions earning $7,000 each, and the men's and women's masters champions earning $1,500 each.
About the USARC
The USA 25 km Championships are the third stop on the 2010 USA Running Circuit (USARC). The 2010 USARC is a USA Track & Field road series, featuring USA Championships from one mile to the marathon and attracts the best U.S. distance runners. The circuit features ten events each for men and women.
The 2010 USARC will once again see a record amount of circuit prize money for a non-Olympic year with total prize purse of $623,850 offered by host events. U.S. athletes will also have the opportunity to qualify for various Team USA events, including the IAAF World Half Marathon Championships and the Chiba International Ekiden.
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 ($6,000, $4,000, and $2,500) 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 $6 million dollars to U.S. distance runners.For more information on the 2010 USA 25 km Championships visit www.usatf.org. Video highlights and interviews are available at www.runnerspace.com/USARunningCircuit.