American Olympians, Former Championships Highlight TD Beach to Beacon 10-K Field Auto forwarded by a Rule
by Chris Lotsbom
(c) Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved
(28-Jul) -- On Friday, organizers of the TD Beach to Beacon 10-K announced
their elite athlete field in advance of the August 3, running of the coastal
race in Cape Elizabeth, Me. Among the entrants are American Olympians Deena
Kastor, Meb Keflezighi, and Ryan Hall, as well as reigning men's champion
Stanley Biwott and women's course record holder Lineth Chepkurui.
"We have the deepest field of Americans in the 16-year history of the TD
Beach to Beacon, but they have their work cut out for them with the
high-level international athletes we were able to attract once again," said
elite athlete coordinator Larry Barthlow in a statement. "All in all, I like
the balance we achieved and the depth. And with the right conditions, we
might see three women run a sub 31:00, which would be really amazing."
Olympic bronze medalist Kastor will make her long awaited TD Beach to Beacon
debut. A week before she toes the line at the IAAF World Championships
marathon on August 10, the 40-year-old will race the 6.2-mile stretch along
Maine's coast, something she had planned to do two years before illness
forced her to scratch after she had traveled 3000 miles to get to the race
with husband Andrew and daughter Piper.
"I've always wanted to run the race, especially since Joanie [Benoit
Samuelson] founded it," Kastor told Race Results Weekly last month before
leaving the USA Outdoor National Track & Field Championships. "It stunk last
year getting ill, but this year I'm excited to go back."
On the men's side, Keflezighi will return with hopes of improving upon his
fourth-place finish in 2007 when he ran his still-standing personal best (on
the road) of 27:58. That placing is the highest ever for an American in the
event's history, according to organizers. Keflezighi's friend and London
Olympic marathon teammate, Hall, will be making his TD Beach to Beacon 10-K
The international field looks to be one of the strongest in the event's
16-year history. In addition to Biwott on the men's side is 2011 winner
Micah Kogo, who in April was runner-up at the Boston Marathon. Fellow
marathon ace Emmanuel Mutai --winner of the 2011 London Marathon-- and 2012
TD Beach to Beacon runner-up Stephen Kipkoskei Kibet round out the field.
Geoffrey Kipsang, the 2011 World Junior Cross Country Champion, will be
among the entrants vying for the $10,000 first-place prize.
Course record holder Chepkurui will face off against Kenyan compatriots
Joyce Chepkirui and Linet Masai on the women's side. In June, Masai was
runner-up at the Oakley New York Mini 10-K. Briton Gemma Steel, third at
the New York race, returns to the United States as well, and will make her
Beach to Beacon debut. Ethiopians Aheza Kiros --the 2011 Beach to Beacon
champion-- and Buzunesh Deba will challenge for the win, as will two-time
Burundi Olympian Diane Nukuri-Johnson.
"We have such a deep field, even without Margaret [Wangari-Muriuki, last
year's champion] and Emily [Chebet, the 2012 runner-up], but can you imagine
if they had been able to run here?" Barthlow said. "It would have been like
staging the 10,000-meter World Champs final right here in Maine."
A number of up-and-coming Americans will also start, including the
University of Wisconsin's Elliot Krause and newly joined Oregon Track Club
member Alexi Pappas.
"Joan Benoit Samuelson continues to be a hero of mine and a great source of
inspiration in running and in life," Kastor said in 2011. "Not only is the
race founded by Joan, but it is not surprisingly also known for its
competitiveness and hospitality."