Jordan Hasay and Galen Rupp will get their final tuneup races for Chicago at the 2017 Rock ‘n’ Roll Philly Half on Sunday

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September 14, 2017

Nike Oregon Project team members Galen Rupp and Jordan Hasay will have their final pre-2017 Chicago Marathon prep races this weekend in Philadelphia as both are racing on Sunday at the 2017 American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Rock ‘n’ Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon.

With the Competitor Group reducing prize money and appearance fees in recent years, the Philly Half hasn’t been as competitive as it once was but this year’s race certainly seems to be a big improvement over last year when the winning times were just 63:24 for the men (Augustine Choge) and 71:49 for the women (Buze Diribe). The men’s winning time in 2016 was the slowest since 1980 and the women’s the slowest since 1995.

Hasay ran great in her marathon debut in Boston in April

Hasay ran great in her marathon debut in Boston in April

Tthe women’s field, in particular, is vastly improved. Hasay, who won the US 20k champs on Labor Day in 66:35 (70:14 half marathon pace), is by no means a lock for the win. Besides Hasay, the women’s field includes three prominent African runners in Meseret Defar, the 33-year-old Ethiopian who four times during her career has won global 5000 gold (2 Olympics/2 Worlds), as well as Boston Marathon champs Caroline Rotich (2015) and Buzunesh Deba (2014).

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Defar has only raced sparingly since winning gold at Worlds in 2013 – the results database Tilastopaja lists six total races for her over the last four years – but comes into Philly in good shape as she ran 31:14 for third at the TD Beach to Beacon 10K last month in Maine. Rotich, who dropped out of Boston this spring, recently ran 53:06 for 4th place in a 10-miler in Michigan at the end of August while Deba, who was seventh in Boston this year, most recently raced at the Boilermaker Road Race in Utica in early July (50:55 for 10th in the 15k).

The women’s field also includes two notable Japanese entrants. 21-year-old Miyuki Uehara will be making her half-marathon debut in Philly. Uehara, who has personal bests of 15:21.40 and 31:38.60, competed in Rio as a 20-year-old in 5000 (15th place) and in London in the 10k this year (24th place). 22-year-old Reia Iwade, a 2:24 marathoner with a 69:45 half-marathon personal best that dates to 2013 when she was just 19, also is in the field (73:50 sb).

On the men’s side, it certainly would be a surprise if Rupp doesn’t win the race, but 2016 Olympian Jared Ward is also in the field as well as Japan’s Muryo Takase, a 2:12 marathoner with a 61:57 half marathon personal best (62:55 this year).

The full elite fields for Sunday’s race appear below.

Before taking a look at the fields, vote in our polls.

MB: Official 2017 Philly Half Discussion Thread – Rupp and Hasay get ready for Chicago

2017 AACR Rock ‘n’ Roll Philadelphia Professional Fields

Race #, Name, Birthday, Country, Career Highlight

1. Galen Rupp, 05/08/1986, USA. Olympic Silver and Bronze medalist from the 10,000m and marathon respectively.
2. Jared Ward, 09/09/1988, USA, Finished sixth at the Rio Olympic Marathon running a personal best of 2:11:30.
3. Muryo Takase, 01/31/1989, JAPAN, Has a personal best of 1:01:57 set in Marugame in 2010.
4. Tyler Mueller, 10/01/1991, USA, Has a best of 1:03:21 set at the USA Half Marathon Championships in 2015.
5. Marty Hehir, 12/19/1992, USA, Has set PR’s over 5000m, 10000m and 10K on the roads so far this year.
6. Yuki Sato, 11/26/1986, JAPAN, Has a best half marathon of 1:04:23 and has represented Japan at the
7. Gebrekidan Abadi, 10/07/1984, ETHIOPIA, Winner of last year’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Denver Half Marathon
8. Mark Leininger, 02/28/1991, USA, Has a personal best of 1:04:26 set in Jacksonville last year.
9. Trevor Hofbauer, 03/08/1992, CANADA, Has a personal best of 1:04:28
10. Patricio Castillo, 02/17/1992, MEXICO, Set his personal best at Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego this year running1:05:31.

F1. Meseret Defar, 11/19/1983, ETHIOPIA, 2010 race champion, Mezzy has won 2 Olympic Gold medals over 5000m.
F2. Jordan Hasay, 09/21/1991, USA, Has a personal best over the half marathon of 1.07.55 set in Prague.
F3. Caroline Rotich, 05/13/1984, KENYA, Winner of the 2015 Boston Marathon. Personal best half is 1:08:52
F4. Buzunesh Deba, 09/08/1987, ETHIOPIA, Winner of the 2014 Boston Marathon. Personal best half is 1:08:59.
F5.  Reia Iwade, 12/08/1994, JAPAN, Has a personal best of 1:09:45 set in Okayama.
F6. Miyuki Uehara, 11/22/1995, JAPAN. Debut. Represented Japan at the Olympics in Rio last year
F7.  Sasha Gollish, 12/27/1981, CANADA, Canadian Cross Country Champion has a personal best of 1:11:05.
F8. Bethany Sachtleben, 02/09/1992, USA, Finished was 4th at 2017 USATF Half Marathon Championships.
F9. Amanda Marino, 10/19/1989, USA, Villanova University graduate has a personal best of 1:13:44.
F10. Christine Ramsey, 11/13/1982, USA, Has a personal best of 1:14:58.

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