GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - (May 9, 2009) - 2004 Olympian Dan Browne (Beaverton, Ore.) won his third U.S. 25K title (also 2003-04) as Sally Meyerhoff (Tempe, Ariz.) won her first at the USA 25K Championships on Saturday in Grand Rapids. This marks the 16th year that the national championships have been hosted by the Fifth Third River Bank Run.
In a field that also included Open international athletes, Browne and Meyerhoff each finished second overall in the respective men's and women's divisions. At the 32nd River Bank Run, Browne was timed in 1 hour, 15 minutes, 56 seconds and Meyerhoff ran 1:27:28. The overall race titles were won by Kenya's Isaak Kimaiyo in 1:15:36 and Genoveva Kigen in 1:27:16.
Due to local flooding, race officials were forced to use an alternate course that had significantly more hills than the traditional course, which had most of the top athletes talking about a more conservative approach to the early miles. This combined with a steady rain at the start to lead to a relaxed opening mile of 5:03.
As a lead pack of nearly 20 men approached five miles, the pace dropped to 4:42, as Browne was tucked in a pack that included Kimaiyo and his countrymen Linus Maiyo and Emmanuel Korir along with U.S. several contenders including Ryan Sheehan (Rochester Hills, Mich.), Jason Hartmann (Boulder, Colo.), Fasil Bizuneh (Flagstaff, Ariz.), Josh Eberly (Gunnison, Colo.) and Antonio Vega (Saint Paul, Minn.).
Just after 11 miles, Kimaiyo along with Maiyo and Korir increased the tempo, running a 4:34 12th mile to open a gap on the Browne and Sheehan. By 13, he had a ten second lead over Maiyo and Korir as Browne had pulled away from Sheehan and was closing the gap on them.
As Kimaiyo steadily increased his lead, Browne, 33, caught Maiyo and Korir. In the final 400 meters, Maiyo surged but Browne had one more gear as he kicked to the line to finish four seconds up. In the final mile, Hartmann was able to overtake Korir for fourth overall and take runner-up in the national championships, running 1:16:14 to Korir's 1:16:16. Bizuneh took the third U.S. spot, finishing sixth overall in 1:16:21.
The women's race saw Kigen jump to an early lead as Meyerhoff ran with 2008 U.S. Olympic marathoner and pre-race favorite Magdalena Lewy Boulet (Oakland, Calif.).
Just past 11 miles, Meyerhoff, 25, made her move and pulled away from Lewy Boulet, who had been dealing with a side-stitch. As Meyerhoff pressed the pace, she closed on Kigen slightly but was only able to close the gap to 12 seconds at the finish. Lewy Boulet held on for third overall and second in the national championships, running 1:28:14. Tera Moody (Colorado Springs, Colo.) took fourth overall to round out the top three U.S. finishers in 1:28:41.
USA Masters Championships (40 and older)
This year's event once again served as the USA Masters 25K Championships with Paul Aufdemberge, 44, (Redford, Mich.) winning his second masters title of 2009 in 1:21:08, while Susan Empey, 40, (Mercer Island, Wash.) earned the women's title in 1:35:55.
The USA 25K Championship was the fourth stop on the 2009 USA Running Circuit (USARC). The 2009 USARC, a USA Track & Field road series, features USA Championships from one mile to the marathon and attracts the best U.S. distance runners. The 2009 USARC has ten events each for men and women. Fasil Bizuneh leads the men's standings with 25 points, while Magdalena Lewy Boulet leads the women with 27 points.
For more information and video highlights from the 2009 USA 25K Championships as well as the USARC, visit: www.USATF.org
32nd Fifth Third River Bank 25K: USA Championships
Grand Rapids, MI, Saturday, May 9, 2009
1) Isaak Kimaiyo (KEN), 1:15:36, $4000
2) Dan Browne (OR), 1:15:56, $6000
3) Linus Maiyo (KEN), 1:16:00, $1500
4) Jason Hartmann (CO), 1:16:14, $2000
5) Emmanuel Korir (KEN), 1:16:16
6) Fasil Bizuneh (AZ), 1:16:21, $1500
7) Ryan Sheehan (MI), 1:16:23, $1000
8) Josh Eberly (CO), 1:16:28, $600
9) Antonio Vega (MN), 1:16:29, $500
10) Matt Gabrielson (MN), 1:16:42, $400
11) Jason Lehmkuhle (MN), 1:16:48, $300
12) Peter Gilmore (CA), 1:17:28, $200
13) Nicholas Stanko (MI), 1:17:36, $100
1) Genoveva Kigen (KEN), 1:27:16, $4000
2) Sally Meyerhoff (AZ), 1:27:28, $6000
3) Magdalena Lewy Boulet (CA), 1:28:14, $3500
4) Tera Moody (CO), 1:28:41, $1500
5) Michelle Lilienthal (MN), 1:13:58, $1000
6) Caroline Chepkorir (KEN), 1:31:58
7) Kara Storage (OH), 1:32:26, $600
8) Tara Storage (OH), 1:32:26, $500
9) Samia Akbar (VA), 1:33:04, $400
10) Alvina Begay (AZ), 1:33:49, $300
11) Megan Lund (CO), 1:33:55, $200
12) Caroline Jefferson (MI), 1:34:15, $100
Deeper results at: www.53RiverBankRun.com