MOLINE, IL – The most dominant runner in the history of the TBK Bank Quad Cities Marathon headlines the 2019 women’s elite runner field. Hirut Guangul (Ethiopia) is entered in the 22nd annual, 26.2-mile race with a 7-am start Sept. 22nd at John Deere Commons.
Guangul owns four wins in her four races at the QCM and has the women’s course record as well. Her QCM victories include titles in 2016 (2:44:25), 2015 (2:39:10), 2013 (2:38:50), and the record in 2012 (2:35:07). Guangul is coming off an impressive 1:15:03 effort at the Edmonton Half Marathon last month, good for a second-place finish. She is running strong this year, after taking a break from marathon racing. In addition to her success at the QCM, from 2012-2016, she also set her personal record of 2:34:02 at the 2012 Twin Cities Marathon (second), ran a 2:38:24 at the 2016 Buffalo Marathon (first), ran 2:35:31 at the 2016 Dongguan China Marathon, and ran 2:38:07 at the 2015 Hong Kong Marathon.
Ayantu Dakebo Hailemaryam (Ethiopia) should be a top contender in the field as well. She won the 2017 Pittsburgh Marathon (2:36:20) and in 2016 ran well at New York City (2:37:07) and at Twin Cities (2:37:32). Caitlin Robinson (Oakland, CA) is a top American contender. She has qualified for three USA Olympic Marathon Trials (2012, 2016, 2020). Her recent best is a 2:43:09 at the 2018 Grandma’s Marathon. She ran 2:50:26 at the 2018 Houston Marathon and has a lifetime best of 2:41:37 (2011 Boston). Robinson also is the 2015 USATF 50K Trail champion.
Bose Gemeda Assefa (Ethiopia) returns to the QCM, following last year’s runner-up finish in 2:48:53. She ran a solid 2:39:15 at the 2019 Pittsburgh Marathon. Gadise Fita Megersa (Ethiopia) was second at the 2017 Cleveland Marathon in 2:44:23 and ran 2:44:25 at the 2016 Lodz Poland Marathon. Gladys Cheboi (Kenya) should be another top contender, she won the 2018 Mercedes-Benz Marathon in 2:46:10 and ran a 2017 half marathon in 1:14:19 at Grandma’s.
Doreen Kitaka (Kenya) returns to the QCM this year. She placed third in 2017 in 2:51:00, Kitaka recently ran a 36:16 10K this year in Nairobi. Maria Lindberg (Elmhurst, IL) is another top American in the field. Lindberg was second at this year’s Rock ‘n Roll Arizona Marathon in 2:52:22, previously she won the 2014 Bayshore Marathon (2:50:46). Alem Ashebir (Kenya) recently ran 1:06:38 in the 2018 Bronx 10-Mile. Ashebir has run 2:46:57 at the 2011 Grandma’s and has a lifetime best at 2:37:08. Jane Cherop (Kenya) is in the field with a 2:48:53 effort from the 2017 Wuxi China Marathon.
Jacquline Nyetipei (Kenya) recently ran 2:47:15 at the 2018 Hong Kong Marathon and should be a solid contender. Betty Kithambi (Kenya) recently ran 1:15:57 at the 2015 Vannes, France, Half and has a lifetime marathon best of 2:45:00. Former Augustana College standout Elizabeth Lundine (Davenport, IA) is in the open field, she placed seventh at the 2017 QCM and was second in the 2016 QCM Half. Amy Regan (Lenexa, KS) is making her marathon debut at the QCM. Regan was a six-time NCAA Division III Champion at Stevens Institute of Technology. Her PR’s follow: 16:23 (5K), 33:28 (10K), and 1:16:21 (Half Marathon). The top master’s seed is Jennifer VandeVegte (Sioux Center, IA). She placed fourth overall at the 2018 Des Moines Marathon and was third master’s at the 2017 Indianapolis Marathon.
The 2019 Mel Foster Co. Half Marathon features a balanced field with a number of top contenders. Claudia Becque (Boulder, CO) has had a successful career at the national level. She is a three-time USA Olympic Marathon Trials qualifier (2008, 2012, 2016) and was a member of Team USA at the 2016 World 50K Championship. She was fifth at the 2014 USA Marathon Championship. The former Marquette runner has a lifetime Half best of 1:16:22.
Jane Bareikis (Crestwood, IL) is another top elite in the half. She won the 2019 Toledo Half in 1:17:06 and ran 2:42:38 at the Chicago Marathon. Sarah Keino (Kenya) is in the field, from the DUMA Team, and owns a 1:17 PR. Daniella Orton (Cincinnati, OH) ran two solid races last year: a 1:23:50 at the Flying Pig Half Marathon and a 2:51:00 at the Indianapolis Marathon.
Regan Weidner (Platteville, WI) enters the field following a solid Half Marathon earlier this year at the CRANDIC race in Iowa City. Her winning time was 1:24:25. Andi Ripley (Rockford, MI) is another top elite, her PR’s include a 2:55:28 (marathon), a 37:24 (10K), and a 17:35 (5K). Kiera Depies (Verona, WI) rounds out the elite field, her recent best effort was a 29:33 8K at the Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle.
The women’s half marathon record is 1:14:23 by Laura Batterink (Evanston, IL) from 2014.
FULL MARATHON WOMEN (15) - with bib numbers: 18. Alem Ashebir, Ethiopia 12. Gladys Cheboi, Kenya 20. Jane Cherop, Kenya 4. Ayantu Dakebo Hailemaryam, Ethiopia 10. Gadise Fita Megersa, Ethiopia 8. Bose Gemeda Assefa, Ethiopia 2. Hirut Guangul, Ethiopia 14. Doreen Kitaka, Kenya 24. Betty Kithambi, Kenya 16. Maria Lindberg, Elmhurst, IL 26. Elizabeth Lundine, Davenport, IA 22. Jacqueline Nyetipei, Kenya 28. Amy Regan, Lenexa, KS 6. Caitlin Robinson, Oakland, CA 30. Jennifer VandeVegte, Sioux Center, IA * HALF MARATHON WOMEN (7) - with bib numbers: 1019. Jane Bareikis, Crestwood, IL 1018. Claudia Becque, Boulder, CO* 1024. Kiera Depies, Verona, WI 1020. Sarah Keino, Kenya 1021. Daniella Orton, Cincinnati, OH 1023. Andi Ripley, Rockford, MI 1022. Regan Weidner, Platteville, WI