Team USATF competes at 2018 IAAF World Half Marathon Championships

Team USATF competes at 2018 IAAF World Half Marathon Championships

Provided by USATF

VALENCIA, Spain -- Battling windy conditions, Team USATF took on nearly 300 athletes from 82 countries at the 2018 IAAF World Half Marathon Championships in Valencia, Spain. The men’s team placed seventh overall, while the injury plagued women’s team placed ninth with just three athletes in the field.

The men’s race got off to a slow, bunched up start, with the first 38 athletes crossing the 5km mark in 14:33. Sam Chelanga (Colorado Springs, Colorado) came through the 5km in third position in 14:31 followed by Leonard Korir (Colorado Springs, Colorado) and Bernard Lagat (Tucson, Arizona) in 14:33, Diego Estrada (Flagstaff, Arizona) in 14:36 and Jared Ward (Kaysville, Utah) in 14:49.

The lead pack remained at nearly 30 men deep through 10km, but the pace picked up drastically after 15km mark as Kenya’s Geoffrey Kamworor took charge. The Americans dropped back, but Chelanga continued to battle the elite men’s field, crossing the line first for Team USATF in 14th place with a time of 1:01:23.

Meanwhile, 43-year-old Lagat, competing in just his second half marathon in his long and storied career, finished in 31st place out of 160 elite men, with a time of 1:02:16. Estrada placed 69th in 1:03:59 and Ward clocked 1:04:49 for 83rd place. After sticking with the lead pack through 5km, Korir dropped out and did not finish.

Unlike the men’s race, the 122 women field got of to a fast start and thinned out quickly. Through 5km, Becky Wade (Louisville, Colorado) and Elaina Tabb (Watertown, Massachusetts) clocked 16:40 with Emma Bates (Boston, Massachusetts) not far behind in 16:47. However, by the 15km mark Bates had overtaken both Wade and Tabb, on her way to a finishing first for Team USATF and placing 27th overall with a personal best time of 1:11:45. Wade crossed the line in 41st place in 1:12.31 and Tabb finished in 1:14:55 for 64th place.