Past Champions, Olympians Join Gate River Run For USA 15km Championships
March 10, 2010
INDIANAPOLIS - Former Olympians Blake Russell (Monterey, Calif.) and Jen Rhines (Mammoth, Calif.) are expected to lead the women's field and 2010 USA Half Marathon Champion Antonio Vega (Minneapolis, Minn.) is among the favorites in the men's field for the USA 15 km Championships, hosted by the Gate River Run this Saturday in Jacksonville, Fla.
Also contending for the men's title will be 2009 runner-up Tim Nelson (Portland, Ore.), 2004 Olympian and 2000 15 km champion Dan Browne (Beaverton, Ore.) and Vega's Team USA Minnesota teammates Patrick Smyth (Minneapolis, Minn.) and Jason Lehmkuhle (Minneapolis, Minn.).
Russell, the 2006 USA 15 km champion and Rhines, a two-time 15 km titlist (2005,1998) will face a women's field that features former Olympians including 2008 Olympic marathoner Magdalena Lewy Boulet (Oakland, Calif.), 2004 Olympian in the marathon Colleen De Reuck (Boulder, Colo.), two-time Olympian at 5,000 meters Amy Rudolph (Providence, R.I.).
Also in the chase for the title will be 2009 runner-up Katie McGregor (Saint Louis Park, Minn.), Renee Metivier Baillie (Boulder, Colo.), who recently won the 3,000 meter title at the USA Indoor Track & Field Championships; and McGregor's Team USA Minnesota teammate Emily Brown (Minneapolis, Minn.).
2010 marks the 17th year that the championships have been hosted by the Gate River Run and will see athletes competing for a total prize purse of $58,000, with the men's and women's USA Champion earning $12,000 each.
This year's race will once again feature the Equalizer Bonus, awarding $5,000 to the first male or female to cross the finish line, with the top-seeded women beginning 5 minutes before the men. The 5 minute "head start" is based on the time differential of the U.S. 15 km records: 42:22 for the men (Todd Williams, 1995) and 47:15 for the women (Deena Drossin, 2003), both set on the Gate River Run course.
Additional bonuses of $10,000 will be offered for a World record (41:29 - men; 46:57 - women); $5,000 for a U.S. record (42:22 - men; 47:15 - women); and $3,000 for a course record (42:22 - men; 47:15 - women).
Video highlights of the USA 15 km Championships and pre- and post-race video interviews with top athletes will be made available throughout race weekend in cooperation with RunnerSpace.com.