Grandmas Marathon weekend promises to once again bring elite athletes into town, especially with the USA Half Marathon Championships taking place once again. A pair of Olympians from last year’s Summer Games in London head the list of Americans set to race in Saturday’s USA Half Marathon Championships.
Meb Keflezighi and Abdi Abdirahman, both members of the 2012 Team USA marathon squad, will be among those competing for national titles and a share of an $82,000 prize purse, including first place awards of $12,000.
Keflezighi, 38, placed fourth in the 2012 Olympics marathon on August 12 with a time of 2 hours, 11 minutes and 6 seconds. He was the silver medalist in the marathon at the 2004 Athens Olympics (2:11:29). Keflezighi has a personal best half-marathon time of 1:01:00 (2009, San Jose Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon).
Abdirahman, 36, is the defending half-marathon national champion after winning last year’s event – also held in Duluth – in 1:02:46 and has a best of 1:00:29 (2007, New York City Half Marathon).
For a complete list of those entered in the 2013 USA Half Marathon Championships field, click here: http://bit.ly/16EXstT.
Duluth’s history of hosting national championship road racing events includes the 2003 and 2004 USA Women’s Half Marathon Championships. The city also hosted the 1987, 1990 and 1994 USA Women’s Marathon Championships as part of Grandma’s Marathon, which is currently the country’s 14th largest marathon.
Grandma’s Marathon Elite Field
In the 37th running of Grandma’s Marathon, also scheduled for Saturday, favorites in the men’s field include Ethiopians Bazu Worku (PR 2:05:25, 2010) and Wegayehu Tefera (PR 2:08:25, 2010) and Kenyans Weldon Kirui (PR 2:09:06, 2010) and Ernest Kebenei (PR 2:10:55, 2011).
On the women’s side, past champions Everlyne Lagat (2012) and Yihunlish Delelecha (2011) are returning to Duluth with hopes of claiming their second Grandma’s Marathon victories.
6:15 a.m. - USA Men's Half Marathon Championship
6:25 a.m. - USA Women's Half Marathon Championship
6:45 a.m. - Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon
7:45 a.m. - Grandma’s Marathon (Wheelchair Start 7:40 a.m.)