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US Olympians, Past Champions Highlight B2B

AMERICAN OLYMPIANS, FORMER CHAMPIONS HIGHLIGHT TD BEACH TO BEACON 10-K FIELD
By Chris Lotsbom, @ChrisLotsbom

(c) 2013 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved
(Used with permission)

(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 debut.

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.”

NOTE: Race Results Weekly will be in Cape Elizabeth to provide exclusive coverage of this event –Ed.

PHOTO:
Deena Kastor holding daughter Piper before cancelling her participation
at the 2011 TD Beach to Beacon 10-K due to illness

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