Returning and Past Champions Lead Professional Elite Race at Eighth Annual Country Music Marathon & ½ Marathon Race set to host largest participant field in event history with nearly 30,000 runners and walkers on race day Press Release
Tenn., (April 23 2007) - Past champions Luke Kibet and Jomo Kororia
from Kenya, along with returning women's champion Tatiana Mironova from
Russia lead a professional elite field of 27 athletes at the eighth
annual Country Music Marathon in Nashville, Tenn., Saturday, April 28,
2007. The race is set to host its largest participant field to date
composed of nearly 30,000 runners and walkers from around the world in
the marathon and half-marathon combined.
Competition will be
fierce as 18 men battle for five prize money positions. With three
Country Music Marathon titles between them, Kibet, 33, and Kororia, 26,
both hope to use course experience to their advantage. Kibet covered
the 26.2-mile course en route to his 2004 and '00 victories in times of
2:14:11 and 2:12:55 respectively. Kororia broke the tape in 2003 in a
time of 2:12:56.
Both Kenyans will be challenged by Ethiopian
Fekadu Degefu, 31, who plans to better his 2006 bronze medal
performance in Nashville. Degefu is joined by countryman and training
partner Belay Welasha, 38. Both men train in the Entoto hills above
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Athletes from Eastern Europe and South
America frequent this race to utilize their strength on the undulating
Country Music Marathon course. To date, no athletes from either region
have been successful against the Kenyan and Ethiopian dominance on the
men's side, but Ukrainians Yuriy Hychun, 30, and Evgeni Bozhko, 31, and
Columbians Hugo Jimenez, 32, Juan Cardona, 32, hope to change this
trend in 2007.
Between the Ukrainians and Columbians, Hychun has
the strongest finish in Nashville. With victory in sight during the
2005 race, Hychun was left with bronze after his commanding lead was
diminished in the final miles by hard charging Nephat Kinyanjui and
Luke Kibet, who finished one and two respectively.
the women's side, Mironova, now 37, bettered her 2005 third-place
finish in Nashville last year, running to victory after she used a
strong surge over the final two miles, making up a 40-second deficit,
to pull away from Kenyan Anne Jelegat and cross the finish line alone.
Saturday, Mironova will defend her title against a women's field that
includes 29-year-old Abebe Tola of Ethiopia. Tola recently finished
third at the L.A. Marathon (2:45:16) and holds a personal best time of
2:29:54. Svetlana Pretot, 35, from France, who won the 2006 Nant
Marathon, will also match strides with her former Russian country woman.
Olena Shurkhno, 35, who set a course record in her 2006 victory at the
Munster Marathon in Germany (2:37:50), and Ethiopians Alem Ashebir, 24,
and Hirut Legesse, 25, are all expected to push the pace on race day.
Americans Suzy Schumacher, 37, from Arizona and Jenny DeWeese from North Carolina represent America's bid.
For more information on the Country Music Marathon & ½ Marathon, please visit www.CMMarathon.com.
Registration for the marathon will be open at the Health & Fitness
Expo on Thurs. April 26 and 27 at the Nashville Convention Center.
Registration for the half-marathon is closed and no longer accepting
Saturn SKY to Pace the Race The Saturn SKY is
the official vehicle of the 2007 Country Music Marathon & ½
Marathon and will lead the professional athletes as they race for
victory. The SKY will also be on display at the Health & Fitness
Expo and "Finish Line Festival." To discover Saturn, please visit your
local Saturn retailer or www.Saturn.com
Prize Schedule Place Men Women 1 $17,500 $17,500
2 $8,000 $8,000 3 $4,000 $4,000 4 $2,000 $2,000 5 $1,250 $1,250
TIME BONUSES First man under 2:11:00 - $10,000 First woman under 2:29:00 - $10,000 First man under 2:10:00 - $10,000 First woman under 2:28:00 - $10,000 These are cumulative
*All men finishing 6th or lower running under 2:19:00 -- $1,000 *All women finishing 6th or lower running under 2:40:00 -- $1,000
LOCAL PRIZE MONEY - DAVIDSON COUNTY First man - $1,000 First woman - $1,000 Second man - $500 Second woman - $500
LOCAL PRIZE MONEY - STATE OF TENNESSEE First man - $1,000 First woman - $1,000 Second man - $500 Second woman - $500
WHEELCHAIR (NOT HANDCYCLES) First man under 2:30:00 - $500 First woman under 3:00:00 -$500
MASTERS (40 AND OVER) First man First Woman - $500 . Prize money is offered in the marathon only.
PROFESSIONAL ELITE FIELD As of April 23, 2007
MEN NAME, AGE, COUNTRY, BEST, FACT/COMMENT 1) Jomo Kororia, 26, KEN, 2:11:07, 1st 2003 Country Music Marathon, 4th 2006 Country Music Marathon 2) Luke Kibet, 33, KEN, 2:10:18, 1st 2004, 2nd 2005 & 3rd 2003 Country Music Mar. 3) Fekadu Degefu, 31, ETH, 2:12:24, 3rd 2006 Country Music Marathon, 2nd 2007 P.F. Chang's Rock 'n' Roll Arizona 4) Belay Welasha, 38, ETH, 2:10:57, 4th 2006 P.F. Chang's Rock 'n' Roll Arizona 5) Yuriy Hychun, 30, UKR, 2:14:23, 3rd 2005 Country Music Marathon, 5th 2006 P.F. Chang's Rock 'n' Roll Arizona 6) Barnabas Rutto, 30, KEN, 2:10:53, 1st 2006 Hangzhou Marathon 7) Thomas Kamau, 28, KEN, 2:17:17, 4th 2004 Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon 8) Simon Wangui, 28, KEN, 2:10:35, 3rd 2006 LA Marathon, 8th 2006 Bay to Breakers 9) Evgeni Bozhko, 31, UKR, 2:13:13, 2nd 2006 Dallas White Rock Marathon
10) Hugo Jimenez, 32, COL, 2:15:24, 9th 2006 Country Music Marathon, 8th 2004 Country Music Marathon 11) Juan Cardona, 32, COL, 2:14:30, 5th 2006 Country Music Marathon, 2nd 2007 ING Miami Marathon 12) Luis Fonseca, 30, VEN, 2:11:49, 2007 San Sebastian Half, 2006 Nat. 5,000m Champion 13) Constantino Leon, 33, PER, 2:29:22, 5th 2007 Carerra International Pilsen 10k 14) Halefom Abebe, 25, ETH, 2:12:52, 2nd 2005 Treviso Marathon, 8th 2007 Dubai Marathon 15) Oleg Kulkov, 28, RUS, 2:17:16, 3rd 2006 Dresden Marathon 16) Urgessa Woyessa, 24, ETH, 2:20:16, 3rd 2006 Broad Street 10 Mile 17) Philip Tanui, 3, KEN, 2:09:56, 7th 2006 Country Music Marathon 18) Nikolai Kerimov, 38, RUS, 2:11:46, 1st 2003 White Knights St. Petersburg Marathon.
WOMEN NAME, AGE, COUNTRY, BEST, FACT/COMMENT 1) Tatiana Mironova, 37, RUS, 2:32:28, 1st 2006 Country Music Marathon, 3rd 2005 Country Music Marathon 2) Abeba Tola, 29, ETH, 2:29:54, 5th 2006 P.F. Chang's Rock 'n' Roll Arizona, 3rd 2007 L.A. Marathon 3) Alem Ashebir, 24, ETH, 2:39:39, 10th 2006 Real Berlin Marathon 4) Hirut Legesse, 25, ETH, 2:45:33, 6th 2007 Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon 5) Iraida Pudovkina, 25, RUS, 2:42:09, N/A 6) Svetlana Pretot, 35, FRA, 2:32:14, 1st 2006 Nant Marathon 7) Olena Shurkhno, 29, UKR, 2:37:50, 1st 2006 Munster GER Marathon CR 8) Suzy Schumacher, 37, USA/AZ, 2:46:29, N/A 9) Jenny DeWeese, 29, USA/NC, 2:44:55, 26th 2006 LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon
COUNTRY KEY COL Columbia ETH Ethiopia FRA France KEN Kenya PER Peru RUS Russia UKR Ukraine USA United States VEN Venezuela