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2008 B.A.A. Half Marathon Elite Field

Top
Athletes Racing for $30,000 and Course Records

 

Boston, Mass. ‰ÛÒ An event-record 5,061 entrants are preparing for
the October 12 B.A.A. Half Marathon, presented
by Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Jimmy Fund. Leading the charge on race
day will be one of the strongest elite fields in the event’s eight-year
history.

 

The race is scheduled to begin at
8:00 a.m. on Sunday, October 12 at Roberto Clemente Field in Boston’s Back Bay Fens
neighborhood. The route will take runners out to the Franklin Park Zoo, and back
again, along Boston’s Emerald Necklace park system. The
field of elite men and women will be competing for a total prize purse of
$30,000 ($5,000 each to the male and female champions). The B.A.A. course
records are 1:02:20 (Tom Nyariki, 2007) and 1:10:57 (Marie Davenport,
2003).

 

The men’s field boasts a mix of
veterans and newcomers who could challenge Nyariki’s record. Charles Munyeki (KEN) is just 22 years
of age, but already a veteran of the half marathon distance. Consistently a
sub-1:04:00 performer around the globe, Munyeki had a major breakthrough when he
ran 59:44 in Rotterdam just two weeks ago. That time makes
him the 10th-fastest man in the world for 2008.

 

Munyeki will be challenged by a
group of seasoned road racers, including 2003 and 2005 Running Times Road Racer of the Year John Korir (KEN), who holds a half marathon best of
1:01:00. Though less experienced in the half marathon, Gilbert Okari (KEN) is one of Korir’s
top rivals on the U.S. road circuit, and has won such
races as the World’s Best 10K, Falmouth Road Race, and Beach to Beacon 10K.
Okari has raced the half marathon distance just once and looks poised for a
breakthrough at the distance.

 

Returning from last year’s field are
Stephen Koech (KEN), who placed
fourth in 2007, and Robert Wade
(IRL)
, who finished 10th. James
Koskei (KEN)
enters the B.A.A. Half Marathon for the first time, though he is familiar with
the B.A.A.’s other event: Koskei was fourth in the 2007 Boston Marathon. A
newcomer to the roads is Iona College alum Abraham Ng’etich (KEN). He’s coming off
of a senior year that saw him earn NCAA All-America honors in cross country and
post a 5,000m best of 13:51.68. This will be just his second half
marathon.

 

The top returning woman from 2007 is
third-place finisher Kathy Newberry
(VA)
, who will be challenged by a deep field. Irene Limika (KEN) will be racing the
half marathon distance for just the third time in her career. The second time,
however, was a third-place finish at the Philadelphia Distance Run on September
21, where she posted a 1:10:51 personal best. Neriah Asiba (KEN), who races primarily
in Mexico, is a veteran of
the half marathon and finished just seconds behind Limika in Philadelphia, setting a
new personal best of 1:10:58.

 

Lioudmila Kortchaguina
(CAN)
holds the
fastest half marathon PR in the field, a 1:10:50 run in 2003. She is a
three-time Canadian marathon champion (2005-2007), and was runner-up in the 2003
B.A.A. Half Marathon (1:11:27).

 

Jane Gakunyi (KEN) was a 2004 Olympian at 5,000m and
placed third at the World Cross Country Championships in 2003. She boasts a half
marathon best of 1:13:40. Janet Kogo
Cherobon (KEN)
was a three-time NCAA Division II national champion at
Harding
University who has moved on
to road racing since her 2005 graduation. Alemtseshay Misganaw (ETH), who will be
making her first appearance in Boston, ran sub-1:15 twice this past
summer.

 

Though just 20 years of age, Azalech Masresha (ETH) ran a
personal-best 1:11:29 last year. Twenty-one-year-old Jane Murage (KEN), winner of the Broad
Street Run 10-mile earlier this year, will be making her half marathon
debut.

 

ELITE
FIELDS

Top Men                   
           
#         
Age    
Citizenship   
Hometown                
           
PR

Charles Munyeki                    
1         
22       
KEN                
Nyahuru, KEN / Boulder, CO 
59:44

James Koskei                        
2         
39       
KEN                
Iten, KEN / Boulder,
CO         
1:02:07

Stephen Koech                      
3         
31       
KEN                
Kenya / Westchester, PA      
1:02:19

John Korir                               
4         
32       
KEN                
Nyahuru, KEN / Boulder, CO 
1:01:00

Gilbert Okari                           
5         
30       
KEN                
Nyahuru, KEN / Boulder, CO 
1:04:17

Abraham Ng’etich                  
6         
27       
KEN                
Eldoret KEN / Bronx, NY        
1:05:52

Robbie Wade                         
7         
26       
IRL                  
Arlington, VA                           
1:07:47

James Gale                            
10       
23       
USA                
Allendale, MI               
           
1:06:23

 

Top Women              
           
#         
Age    
Citizenship   
Hometown                
           
PR

Lioudmila Kortchaguina         
F1       
37       
CAN                
Toronto, ON, CAN                  
1:10:46

Irene Limika                            
F2       
29       
KEN                
Ngong, KEN / Philadelphia     
1:10:51

Neriah Asiba                           
F3       
27       
KEN                
Ngong, KEN / Toluca, MEX    
1:10:58

Azalech Masresha                 
F4       
20       
ETH                
Ethiopia                                  
1:11:29

Kathy Newberry                     
F6       
30       
USA                
Williamsburg, VA                   
1:12:59

Jane Gakunyi                         
F7       
29       
KEN                
Nyahuru, KEN / Boulder, CO 
1:13:40

Janet Kogo Cherobon            
F8       
30       
KEN                
Lawrenceville, GA                  
1:13:47

Jane Murage                          
F9       
21       
KEN                
Philadelphia, PA                     
Debut

Alemtseshay Misganaw         
F10     
25       
ETH                
Ethiopia / New York, NY         
1:12:48

 

Masters Women                   
#         
Age    
Citizenship   
Hometown                
           
PR

Maria Luisa Servin                 
F21     
46       
MEX                
Mexico                                    
1:13:20

Zola Pieterse                          
F25     
42       
RSA                
Myrtle
Beach, SC                   
1:12:39

 

PRIZE
MONEY

Athletes in the elite, wheelchair,
and masters division fields will be competing for a total of $30,000 in prize
money, to be awarded equally to men and women. The complete prize purse is as
follows:

 

Place  Overall          
Masters (40+)                       
Wheelchair

1st       $5,000            
$500                           
$750

2nd      $3,000            
$300                           
$500

3rd       $1,500            
$100                           
$250

4th      
$1,000

5th      
$600

6th      
$500

7th      
$400

8th      
$300

9th      
$200

10th    
$100



PAST
CHAMPIONS

Men

2001    Wayne Levy (JAM/MA)           
1:10:57

2002    David Hinga (KEN/MA)           
1:09:47

2003    Laban Kipkemboi (KEN)        
1:03:04

2004    Luke Metto (KEN)                   
1:02:57

2005    Celedonio Rodriguez (CO)    
1:04:09

2006    Samuel Ndereba (KEN)         
1:03:03

2007    Tom Nyariki (KEN)                 
1:02:20 (course record)

 

Women

2001    Sarah Nixon (MA)                   
1:21:16

2002    Sarah Nixon (MA)                   
1:22:34

2003    Marie Davenport (IRL/CT)       1:10:57
(course record)

2004    Lornah Kiplagat (NED)           
1:12:05

2005    Nataliya Berkut (UKR) 1:12:21

2006    Marie Davenport (IRL/CT)      
1:12:10

2007    Edna Kiplagat (KEN)              
1:13:36

 

Men’s
Wheelchair

2001    Tim Kelly (MA)            
1:06:46

2002    Tim Kelly (MA)            
1:06:51

2003    Tony Nogueira (NJ)                
57:43

2004    Tony Nogueira (NJ)                
53:07 (course record)

2005    Mark Ledo (CAN)                   
57:18

2006    Mark Ledo (CAN)                   
56:48

2007    Tony Nogueira (NJ)                
54:19

 

Women’s
Wheelchair

2001    Jane Raymond Hall (MA)       
1:31:06

2002    Nanci Cahalane (MA)             
1:30:13

2003    Laurie Stephens (MA)            
1:10:43

2004    Laurie Stephens (MA)            
1:09:44 (course record)

2005    April Coughlin (NY)                 
1:22:50

2006    April Coughlin (NY)                 
1:15:17

2007    Jacqui Kapinowski (NJ)         
1:22:17

 

Established
in 1887, the Boston Athletic Association is a non-profit
organization with a mission of managing athletic events and promoting a healthy
lifestyle through sports, especially running. The B.A.A.’s Boston Marathon is the
world’s oldest annual marathon, and the organization manages other local events
and supports comprehensive charity, youth, and year-round running programs.

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