Biwott, Peyton Seek USARC Lead at USA Marathon Championships
Provided by USATF
INDIANAPOLIS – Shadrack Biwott and hometown favorite Meghan Peyton lead the charge at the USA Marathon Championships this Sunday in Minneapolis, Minnesota hosted by the Twin Cities Marathon.
The USA Marathon Championships are the second to last stop on the USA Running Circuit, which concludes this fall with the .US National Road Racing Championships on November 17 in historic Alexandria, Virginia. The top ten finishers at each race on the circuit qualify to compete in the .US National Road Racing Championships.
Currently third in the USARC standings with 32 points, Biwott looks to score major circuit points while eyeing the win. An impressive 2013 racing season includes a runner-up finish at the USA 20 km Championships and third place finishes at the USA Half Marathon Championships and USA 10 km Championships. With a 62:23 half marathon performance in Houston earlier this year, Biwott enters Sundays race as the favorite.
Along with Biwott, Timothy Ritchie and Josphat Boit have the experience and talent to challenge for the victory. Ritchie enters having finished fourth in both the USA Half Marathon Championships and USA 5 km Championships, while currently ranking sixth with 22 points in the USARC standings.
Boit is in similar position to Biwott and Ritchie, with an opportunity to quickly climb the USARC standings, sitting fifth with 26 points. A win on Sunday would push Boit into second place and his performances over the longer distances this season prove he’s ready for a big performance in Minnesota. Boit ran to a runner-up finish at the USA 25 km Championships, fourth at the USA 20 km Championships and fifth at the USA Half Marathon Championships.
Marathon veterans Nick Arciniaga, Sergio Reyes and Patrick Rizzo seem poised to make a run for the national title. Arciniaga finished tenth at the Olympic Marathon Trials in 2012, while running 2:17:05 at the LA Marathon earlier this year. Rizzo ran 2:16:05 at the London Marathon this past spring, while Reyes holds a 63:17 half marathon performance to his name this season.
USARC 2012 co-champion Christo Landry is entered in Sunday’s competition. Landry, who currently sits fourteenth in this season’s standings with thirteen points, finished fourth at the USA 25 km Championships earlier this season and although he’s been quite for much of the season, seems ready to attack the streets of Minneapolis.
Meanwhile, road race veteran Joseph Chirlee enters with his eye on challenging for the victory. Coming off an impressive fifth place showing at the USA 20 km Championships, he’ll certainly contend for a very high finish. 63:16 half marathon performer Tyler McCandless is also set to compete.
Rounding out the key contenders in Sunday’s race, Michael Eaton, USA 25 km Championship fifth place finisher Craig Curley, 64:09 half-marathon standout Josh Eberly, Tyler Sigl, Scott MacPherson and Robert Scribner all have the ability to run new PRs and challenge for a top five finish.
In the women’s field, Peyton as the heavy pre-race favorite after her impressive USA 20 km Championship victory early in September. While Peyton eyes the win in her marathon debut, she’ll also be looking to move up from her current fifth place in the USARC standings. With 21 points, Peyton has the potential to move into first with a win or runner-up finish in Minneapolis.
Challenging Peyton for the win, Atalelech Asfaw and Wendy Thomas both hold marathon PRs under 2:35. New Mexico-based Asfaw offers a 2011 best of 2:33:56, while winning the Santa Fe to Buffalo Thunder Half Marathon earlier this season with a speedy 1:14:19 effort. Thomas, who finished fifth at the USA 20 km Championships earlier this fall and ran 2:34:25 at last year’s Olympic Marathon Trials, seems to be peaking at the right time.
Savvy road racer Esther Erb finished seventh at the Olympic Marathon Trials in 2012, running a best of 2:36:24. That experience, plus a seasonal best half-marathon mark of 74:35, show she’s highly capable to pull off the win in Minneapolis.
Minneapolis-based runner Michelle Lilienthal looks to impress in front of her home crowd, with the experience to challenge for a top five finish. Same goes for Lindsay Scherf, who ran incredibly well over the half-marathon distance in 2012 with a 71:45 performance. 74:41 half marathoner Nicole Camp, Nicole Feest and Sarah Cummings are other notable entries.
Live text updates of the USA Marathon Championships will be available at www.USARunningCircuit.com beginning at 9:00 a.m. ET. Video of the race, post-race interviews and photos will be available shortly after the race in cooperation with RunnerSpace.com. Join the conversation on Twitter with the hashtag #USARC.
About the USARC
The USARC is a USA Track & Field road series featuring USA championships from one mile through the marathon and consistently attracts the best American distance runners with more than $500,000 to be awarded in total prize money. A total of $145,000 in prize money will be awarded at the USA Marathon Championships.
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 those earning the most points receiving prize money at the end of the series.
The mission of the USARC is to showcase, support and promote U.S. runners. Since its inception in 1995, the USARC and its races have provided over $7 million to U.S. distance runners.
Contributed by Scott Bush