Press Release

B.A.A. Half Marathon Draws Elite Runners to Boston

04 Oct 2012 07:18
Jean-Loup Fenaux

B.A.A. Distance Medley to Conclude with12th B.A.A. Half Marathon on Sunday, October 7

BOSTON – The Boston Athletic Association (B.A.A.) today announced that a field of world class runners will compete in the 12th B.A.A. Half Marathon, presented by Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Jimmy Fund, on Sunday, October 7. The race will start and finish in Boston’s Franklin Park.

This year, the B.A.A. Half Marathon marks the third and final leg of the inaugural B.A.A. Distance Medley, a three-race series which combines the B.A.A. 5K in April, the B.A.A. 10K in June, and the B.A.A. Half Marathon to crown a male and female series champion. Scoring for the B.A.A. Distance Medley is based on cumulative gun time across all three races. The male and female competitors with the fastest total time at the end of the series will be crowned the champions and will win $100,000.

“In this, the B.A.A.’s 125th anniversary year, we are pleased to have been able to mark this milestone by offering a unique series which promotes the City of Boston and the sport of running,” said Tom Grilk, B.A.A. Executive Director. “In addition to the overall men’s and women’s champions, the B.A.A. Distance Medley includes more than 1,400 participants who will have completed all three races.”

Among the B.A.A. Distance Medley entrants to compete at the B.A.A. Half Marathon are 2011 B.A.A. Half Marathon champion Ali Abdosh, of Ethiopia; 14-time NCAA All-American Sam Chelanga, of Kenya; 2012 Bolder Boulder 10K and Bellin Run (Green Bay, WI) champion Allan Kiprono, of Kenya; and 2012 B.A.A. 5K third place finisher Lani Rutto, of Kenya.

After the B.A.A. 5K and B.A.A. 10K, Abdosh and Chelanga are tied atop the B.A.A. Distance Medley leader board with a cumulative time of 42:21. Kiprono and Rutto trail the leaders by four and five seconds, respectively. Although Abdosh defeated Chelanga in last year’s B.A.A. Half Marathon, Chelanga’s personal best of 1:01:19 is the fastest in the B.A.A. Distance Medley field. Kiprono will look to replicate his strong performance in the 2010 B.A.A. Half Marathon, where he set a personal best of 1:02:21. Rutto, who has run well this year, will make his half marathon debut. With four men separated by only five seconds, and $100,000 at stake, the B.A.A. Distance Medley likely will be decided in the half marathon’s final miles.

On the women’s side, B.A.A. Distance Medley leaders include 2012 Olympian Kim Smith, of New Zealand and B.A.A. 5K and B.A.A. 10K runner-up Aheza Kiros, of Ethiopia.

Smith enters the B.A.A. Half Marathon with a cumulative time of 47:02, which gives her a 16-second lead over Kiros on the B.A.A. Distance Medley leader board. Smith’s personal best of 1:07:11 makes her nearly two minutes faster than her competition. Kiros, however, has consistently run well this year, placing second at the B.A.A. 5K and B.A.A. 10K. After setting personal bests at 10K (31:57) and the marathon (Dubai; 2:33:21) this year, Kiros may be ready for another breakout performance.

Joining the contenders for the B.A.A. Distance Medley title will be several strong international and American runners. Ireland’s Alistair Cragg, a 2012 Olympian at 5,000 meters, will be among the leaders. Following an eighth place finish at the Falmouth Road Race, where he beat Chelanga and Rutto, Uganda’s Harbert Okuti will look to make a statement. Kenyan Serem Onesmus will seek to carry his momentum after setting a personal best in winning the Fleet Feet 15K Run in Buffalo. Massachusetts native Nate Jenkins will compete along with American compatriots Mike Popejoy (Indiana) and Colin Leak (New York).

B.A.A. Running Club member Caroline Bjune (Massachusetts) will also compete among a highly talented women’s field. She will have to contend with Kenyan Hellen Jemutai who holds a personal best of 1:11:27, set in March. Rounding out the women’s field is Chemtai Rionotukei, of Kenya, who placed sixth at the 2012 B.A.A. 10K.

The 12th B.A.A. Half Marathon, presented by Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Jimmy Fund, begins at 8:30 a.m. in Boston’s Franklin Park, as athletes compete for a prize purse of over $38,000. The 13.1-mile, rolling course is an out-and-back route that runs along the Emerald Necklace park system. A portion of the entry fees is directed towards the Emerald Necklace Conservancy, a non-profit organization working to restore, pre­serve, maintain and promote this historic park system.

About the Boston Athletic Association

Established in 1887, and now in its 125th year, the Boston Athletic Association is a non-profit organization with a mission of managing athletic events and promoting a healthy lifestyle through sports, especially running. The B.A.A.‘s Boston Marathon is the world’s oldest annual marathon, and the organization manages other local events and supports comprehensive charity, youth, and year-round running programs. Since 1986, the principal sponsor of the Boston Marathon has been John Hancock Financial. The Boston Marathon is part of the World Marathon Majors along with the Virgin London Marathon, BMW Berlin Marathon, Bank of America Chicago Marathon, and the ING New York City Marathon. Nearly 50,000 runners will participate in B.A.A. events in 2012.