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Championship Fields Set for This Weekend’s B.A.A. Half Marathon

Boston Champions Set to Square Off at 

Sunday’s 19th annual B.A.A. Half Marathon 

Photo: Part of the 7,000 runner field leaving Franklin Park at the outset of the 2018 B.A.A. Half Marathon. Photo by FitzFoto/NERunner

BOSTON – The Boston Athletic Association today announced the elite field for the 19th annual B.A.A. Half Marathon, presented by Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Jimmy Fund. Headlining the men’s field is 2012 Boston Marathon champion Wesley Korir, who will toe the line against three-time B.A.A. Half Marathon champion and fellow Kenyan Daniel Salel. Ethiopia’s Gotytom Gebreslase and Kenya’s Monicah Ngige, both podium finishers a year ago, lead the women’s field. The B.A.A. Half Marathon will be run this Sunday, October 13 at 8:00 a.m., beginning and finishing in Boston’s Franklin Park. 

Korir, a former Member of Parliament in Kenya, returns to Boston with hopes of adding to his collection of trophies, having won the 2012 Boston Marathon in 2:12:40. Only three athletes have won both the Boston Marathon and B.A.A. Half Marathon during their career, a list Korir looks to join on Sunday. He’ll face stiff competition with Salel, a three-time champion (2015 through 2017) and winner of the 2015 B.A.A. Distance Medley. 

David Bett, also from Kenya, returns following a one-second victory at the B.A.A. 10K in June. Another past podium finisher is Tanzania’s Gabriel Geay, third at last year’s B.A.A. Half Marathon. Geay has won high profile road races in New York, Washington, and California this year. 

Massachusetts native Tim Ritchie is the top American entered. From Worcester, Ritchie competed at Boston College and won the 2017 USA National Marathon Championship. He is now the head cross country coach at UMass, Amherst. 

Gotytom Gebreslase and Monicah Ngige each have experience on the B.A.A. Half Marathon’s undulating course, and will look to use that to their advantage. Gebreslase was just five seconds behind last year’s champion Joan Chelimo, and placed third at the B.A.A. 5K this spring. Winning the B.A.A. 5K was Ngige, who has shown tremendous range in events from the 5K to half marathon. Ngige has extra incentive to finish as champion, for a $20,000 bonus is at stake if she can win two of the three B.A.A. Distance Medley events in 2019. 

Fastest in the women’s field is Brillian Kipkoech of Kenya, who owns a lifetime best of 1:07:12 for the half marathon. Kenya’s Gladys Yator, Vicoty Chepngeno, and Sheila Jepkosgei are all contenders as well. 

In the Wheelchair Division, Tony Nogueira of New Jersey will go for his 13th victory. Last year Nogueira won in 53:57; this year he’ll take on rising star Miguel Jimenez-Vergara from Arizona. Former Acton-Boxboro standout and 2014 B.A.A. Half Marathon champion Katrina Gerhard leads the women’s wheelchair field, which also includes five-time victor Carla Trodella. Gerhard finished sixth at this year’s Boston Marathon. 

Since first being run in 2001, the B.A.A. Half Marathon has seen winners from eight different countries. In 2018, a total of 6,478 finishers completed the B.A.A. Half Marathon, presented by Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Jimmy Fund. This year’s field has 9,000 participants. 

MEN’S TOP CONTENDERS 

Course Record: 1:00:34, Lelisa Desisa (Ethiopia), 2013 NAME  AGE  COUNTRY  HALF PERSONAL BEST 
Gabriel Geay  23  Tanzania  1:00:26 
Daniel Salel  28  Kenya  1:00:41 
Sammy Rotich  32  Kenya  1:01:16 
Wesley Korir  36  Kenya  1:01:19 
Tim Ritchie  32  USA/MA  1:01:23 
Edwin Kibichiy  27  Kenya  1:01:46 
David Bett  26  Kenya  1:03:37 

WOMEN’S TOP CONTENDERS ­

Course Record: 1:08:20, Mamitu Daska (Ethiopia), 2014

 

NAME

AGE

COUNTRY

HALF PERSONAL BEST

Brillian Kipkoech

24

Kenya

1:07:12

Monicah Ngige

25

Kenya

1:07:29

Gladys Yator

27

Kenya

1:08:39

Gotytom Gebreslase

24

Ethiopia

1:09:39

Vicoty Chepngeno

25

Kenya

1:10:18

Sheila Jepkosgei

33

Kenya

1:14:00

Laura Paulsen

30

USA/MA

1:15:59

 

MEN’S WHEELCHAIR DIVISION TOP CONTENDERS

Course Record: 53:07, Tony Nogueira (NJ), 2004 & 2008

 

NAME

AGE

COUNTRY

HIGHLIGHTS

Tony Nogueira

51

USA/NJ

12-time B.A.A. Half Marathon champion & course record holder (53:07)

Miguel Jimenez-Vergara

19

USA/AZ

2015 World Junior Games gold medalist (1) & silver medalist (4); runner-up at 2019 B.A.A. 10K

 

WOMEN’S WHEELCHAIR DIVISION TOP CONTENDERS

Course Record: 1:09:44, Laurie Stephens (MA), 2004

 

NAME

AGE

COUNTRY

HIGHLIGHTS

Katrina Gerhard

22

USA/MA

2014 B.A.A. Half Marathon champion; 2018 B.A.A. 10K winner; 6th at 2019 Boston Marathon

Carla Trodella

38

USA/MA

5-time B.A.A. Half Marathon champion

 

 

 

ABOUT THE BOSTON ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION (B.A.A.)

Established in 1887, the Boston Athletic Association is a non-profit organization with a mission of 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, including high performance athletes and running club. Since 1986, the principal sponsor of the Boston Marathon has been John Hancock. The Boston Marathon is part of the Abbott World Marathon Majors, along with international marathons in Tokyo, London, Berlin, Chicago, and New York City. More than 60,000 runners will participate in B.A.A. events in 2019. The 124th Boston Marathon will be held on Monday, April 20, 2020. For more information on the B.A.A., please visit www.baa.org.

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