Where Your Dreams Become Reality
Naoko Takahashi Trying to Prevent Edna Kiplagat's Triple Crown, Sammy Kipketer, Abdi Abdirahman Running Jefferson Hospitcal Philly Distance Run
PHILADELPHIA, Pa. (September 13, 2006) – Fresh off her victory at the Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon in Virginia Beach, Va. just 11 days ago, 26-year-old Edna Kiplagat from Kenya now has extra incentive to win the 29th Jefferson Hospital Philadelphia Distance Run on Sunday, Sept. 17, 2006. She is seeking the $25,000 “Triple Crown” bonus offered to any athlete who wins all three fall half marathons produced by Elite Racing, Inc. (Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon, Virginia Beach, Sept. 3 – Jefferson Hospital Philadelphia Distance Run, Sept. 17 – Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon, San Jose, Calif. Oct. 8).
Approaching the end of a conservative race in her half marathon debut in Virginia Beach, Kiplagat knew she had secured victory in the final two miles of the race along the oceanfront boardwalk, finishing in 71:08. If she is able repeat in Philadelphia, Kiplagat will have the opportunity to take home at least $53,000 if she can complete the hat trick in San Jose on Oct. 8.
Kiplagat admitted the field in Virginia Beach contained some dangerous competition and Philadelphia is no different. The toughest challenge to Kiplagat could come from Japanese athletes Naoko Takahashi, 34, and Yurika Nakamura, 20.
Takahashi, Japan’s running super-star, returns to Philadelphia for the second year in a row. Last year, she finished fourth here (71:28) in preparation for what would be a victorious run at the prestigious Tokyo International Women’s Marathon on Nov. 20, 2005 in a time of 2:24:39. Nakamura is coming off a second place finish at the 2006 Japan Corporate Half Marathon Championships in a time of 70:03, more than a minute faster than Kiplagat’s half marathon time.
The elder ladies in the field, Anne Jelegat, 37, of Kenya (68:58), and American Colleen De Reuck, 42, (68:38) hold the fastest times of the group. De Reuck is well known for winning the United States Olympic Marathon Trials in 2004 and the USA Cross Country 8k Championships in 2005.
On the men’s side, Wilson Kiprotich of Kenya leads the field with the fastest half marathon time. Kiprotich is an experienced distance athlete at the young age of 26 and already has a string of victories at some of the world’s toughest distance competitions.
The running world will be watching Sammy Kipketer’s half marathon debut as he moves up in distance. The 25-year-old Kenyan was the first and only athlete to run 13 minutes flat on the roads when he set the world best in 2000 at the Carlsbad 5000 in Carlsbad, Calif. In 2001, Kipketer came back to Carlsbad and produced a carbon copy of his record setting performance from the previous year.
Abdi Abdirahman, 29, from Tucson, Ariz. leads a strong group of Americans entered in the field. He finished third at the inaugural New York City Half Marathon and has the speed that could pose a threat to competitors around him near the finish. Other top American athletes joining Abdirahman are Jason Hartman, 25, from Boulder, Colo. and Brandon Leslie, 30, from Albuquerque, N.M. Hartman finished third at the U.S. Half Marathon Championships this year and Leslie was fourth at the 2006 Houston Half Marathon.
This year, athletes from nine countries, masters runners and top Philadelphia area runners will compete for a prize purse set at more than $70,000. Prizes are awarded to the top 10 elite men and women. Course record bonuses, masters and first male and female Philadelphia resident prizes are included.
The 29th annual Jefferson Hospital Philadelphia Distance Run welcomes its largest field in race history with 13,000 runners and walkers on Sun., Sept. 17. On race day, approximately 20 bands will play on 11 stages at points along the course and including the finish line festival at Eakins Oval. Bands playing jazz, reggae, alternative rock, classic rock, and country will create a block party atmosphere for runners and walkers, as well as cheering fans.
To learn more about the half marathon and the prize purse, visit www.runphilly.com or call 800/311-1255.
Elite Athlete Field (as of Sept. 12, 2006 – Subject to Change)
NAME AGE COUNTRY BEST FACT/COMMENT
Wilson Kiprotich 26 KEN 59:25 1st 2006 World's Best 10k, 1st 2005 Stamilano Half Marathon
Sammy Kipketer 25 KEN Debut Three-time Carlsbad 5000 winner (2000, 2001, 2002)
C. Cheboiboch 28 KEN 60:33 1st '05 Rock 'n' Roll Marathon, 4th '05 Philadelphia Distance Run
Abdi Abdirahman 29 USA, AZ 61:34 3rd NYC Half Marathon, 2X USA Nationals 10,000m Champion
John Henwood 34 NZL 65:00 N/A
Celedonio Rodriguez 25 USA, CO 64:08 1st 2005 Boston Athletic Association Half Marathon
Matt Levassiur 25 USA, CO 64:45 7th 2006 Papa John's 10 Mile
Brandon Leslie 30 USA, NM 63:10 5th 2006 Houston Half, 7th 2006 U.S. Cross Country Trials
David Kemboi 23 KEN 63:09 2nd 2006 Prague Marathon, 2nd 2005 San Silvertre
Nathan Wadsworth 24 USA, KS 67:30 2nd 2005 Mountain Valley Conference Indoor 5,000m
Mario Macias 25 MEX 66:38 Adams State College, 8th 2006 Peachtree Road Race
Jason Hartman 25 USA, OR 63:07 3rd 2006 U.S. Half Marathon Championships
Ridouane Harroufi 25 MAR 61:01 2nd 2006 Marrakech Half Marathon, 6th 2006 Bolder Boulder
Julius Kibet 24 KEN 61:18 1st 2004 Jefferson Hospital Philadelphia Distance Run
Chris Seaton 27 USA, NC 66:32 7th 2006 P.F. Chang's Rock 'n' Roll Arizona Marathon
Matthew McInnes 31 CAN 64:54 12th 2004 Jefferson Hospital Philadelphia Distance Run
Samuel Ndereba 28 KEN 62:48 1st 2005 21k de Montreal, 7th 2005 Bix 7 mile
Antonio Arce 29 USA, CA 67:42 N/A
Luke Kipkosgei 30 KEN Debut 3rd 2003 Indoor World Championships
John Supsic 26 USA, CO 63:30 N/A
Reuben Chebii 24 KEN 60:59 3rd 2006 Parkersburg Half, 3rd 2006 Cherry Blossom 10 Mile
Fikadu Degefu 30 ETH 62:22 3rd 2005 Reims Marathon, 3rd 2006 Country Music Marathon
Berhanu Adane 27 ETH 62:17 1st Bolder Boulder
Dan Kahn 27 USA, NC 66:57 Duke University
Matt Barresi 23 USA, MD Debut N/A
Demesse Tefera 23 ETH 63:17 5th 2006 New York City Half Marathon
Worku Beyi 19 ETH 63:41 6th 2006 New York City Half Marathon
Mohamed Amyn 30 MAR 62:11 4th 2006 New York City Half Marathon
Edwardo Torres 26 USA, CO Debut 10th 2006 Falmouth Road Race
NAME AGE COUNTRY BEST FACT/COMMENT
Naoko Takahashi 34 JPN 68:55 1st 2005 Tokyo International Women’s Marathon, 4th 2005 Jefferson Hospital Philadelphia Distance Run
Edna Kiplagat 26 KEN 71:08 1st '06 Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon, 4th '06 Crescent City Classic
Kiyoko Shimahara 29 JPN 70:51 3rd 2006 Osaka Marathon, 5th 2006 Boston Marathon
D. Marie Rodriguez 34 MEX 70:30 1st 2006 Cardinal Invitational 10,000m
Kathy Butler 32 GBR 71:24 1st 2006 Bellin Run, 4th 2006 Lilac Bloomsday
Dana Coons 27 USA, MN 75:00 2nd 2005 Houston Half Marathon
Samia Akbar 23 USA, VA Debut 10th 2005 Cherry Blossom 10 Mile
Yurika Nakamura 20 JPN 70:03 2nd 2006 Japan Corporate Half Marathon Championships
Ana Gjesdal 24 USA, MI 73:42 N/A
Claudia Colita 27 ROM Debut 2nd Romanian National Championships Steeplechase
Malika Mejdoub 26 MAR 71:10 1st 2006 Seafair 8k
Lineth Chepkurui 18 KEN 73:33 1st Nairobi Standard Chartered Half Marathon
Magdalene Makunzi 23 KEN 71:30 1st 2006 Monterrey Half Marathon
Anne Jelegat 37 KEN 68:58 2nd 2006 Country Music Marathon, 3rd 2005 Dublin Marathon
Teraza Yohannes 24 ETH 72:48 1st 2006 East African 8K Cross Country Championships
Kate Smyth 28 AUS 73:02 1st 2006 Christchurch New Zealand Half Marathon
Colleen De Reuck 42 USA, CO 68:38 2004 US Olympic Trials Marathon Champion, 2005 USA XC 8K Champ
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