GREAT AMERICAN ROAD RACING ON SUNDAY ON BOTH COASTS
By David Monti
(c) 2009 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved
The top road racing action in the United States on Sunday will be split
between the east and west coasts and at different distances.
In Washington, D.C., the Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Run will
celebrate its 37th running with a $40,000 prize money purse, five
recent race champions and two Olympic medalists. Ridouane Harroufi,
who became the first Moroccan to win the Cherry Blossom, will be back
to defend his title, and his recent victory at the Azalea Trail Run
10-K in Mobile, Ala., shows that he's in good form. Last year's NYC
Half-Marathon champion Tadese Tola of Ethiopia should be his top
challenger, but three-time Cherry Blossom champion John Korir is
certainly hoping for another win. Kenyans Kiplimo Kimutai, Silas Sang,
Samuel Ndereba and MacDonald Ondara should also contend. The top
Americans entered are Jason Lehmkuhle and Jason Hartmann.
Two-time Olympic silver medalist Catherine Ndereba of Kenya headlines
the women's field which competes in a separate all-women's elite race,
but she won't be wearing the #1 bib. That goes to Lineth Chepkurui,
the race's defending champion who was fourth at last Saturday's IAAF
World Cross Country Championships. Other contenders include Ethiopia's
Abebu Gelan, Britain's Kathy Butler, Kenya's Pauline Kiragu Wanguru,
and Romania's Lidia Simon, the second Olympic medalist. Hoping to
deliver the first USA women's victory here since Joan Nesbit in 1996
will be Zoila Gomez, Sally Meyerhoff, Allison Grace, Kristen Fryburg,
Kristin Nicolini Lehmkuhle, and Tera Moody.
Some 4200 kilometers away, the 24th Carlsbad 5000 will take place on
the same day in Carlsbad, Calif., the home of the 13 fastest men's 5
kilometer road times in history. The men's race is loaded with talent,
led by defending champion Terefe Maregu Zewdie of Ethiopia. He's
facing an impressive list of challengers from his own nation -- Abreham
Cherkos, Ali Abdosh, Ibrahim Jeilan, and Bekana Daba-- all of whom have
broken 13:10 for 5000m on the track. The Kenyan team is led by
Shedrack Korir (13:09.92 PB) and Haron Lagat (13:36 PB/road).
The last American man to win here was Doug Padilla in 1990, and Anthony
Famiglitti and Scott Bauhs are hoping to change that. "Fam," a
two-time Olympian in the steeplechase, was the USA road 5-K champion
last year and has run 13:11.93 on the track. Bauhs, last year's NCAA
D-II cross country champion, has run 13:31.90 on the track and, in his
road racing debut last November, won a 5 km race in 13:37.
San Francisco's Shannon Rowbury leads the women's field. The reigning
USA 1500m champion has run 15:38.42 on the track and 15:54 on the road
for 5 km, but her four-flat 1500m speed makes her the fastest closer in
the race. Her key challengers will be Ethiopia's Aheza Kiros,
Australia's Lara Tamsett, Minnesota's Katie McGregor, and Canada's
There are special $5000 bonuses should the top Americans break the existing American records (13:24/14:54).