Current Boston Marathon, B.A.A. 10K, and B.A.A. Distance Medley winners lead strong professional athlete field. More than 475 runners will race as part of presenting sponsor Dana-Farber Cancer Institute’s team to tackle cancer.
BOSTON – The Boston Athletic Association announced today the elite field for the 15th annual B.A.A. Half Marathon, presented by Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Jimmy Fund. Headlining the professional field are this year’s Boston Marathon champion Caroline Rotich, as well as two-time defending B.A.A. Distance Medley victor Stephen Sambu. Both are from Kenya. The B.A.A. Half Marathon will be run on Sunday, October 11, 2015, beginning and finishing in Boston’s Franklin Park.
Rotich, 31, returns to Boston looking to add another accomplishment to her growing resume. In 2010, Rotich won the B.A.A. Half Marathon in 1:10:52, showing her prowess over the distance. The native of Nyahururu, Kenya, returned to the Bay State in triumphant fashion this year, using a finely timed surge on Boylston Street to win the Boston Marathon in 2:24:55. By winning the Boston Marathon, Rotich became the first woman ever to win both the marathon and the B.A.A. Half Marathon.
“Winning Boston… makes me feel like one of the big runners,” Rotich said earlier this year, reflecting on her victory. Rotich will be racing the 2015 B.A.A. Half Marathon, presented by Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Jimmy Fund, as part of her tune up for November’s TCS New York City Marathon. Rotich is one of the favorites in that race as well, and has won the NYC Half twice.
Standing between Rotich and another B.A.A. Half Marathon title are a slew of international runners. Mary Wacera, the 2014 IAAF World Half Marathon Championships silver medalist, returns to Boston after winning the rain-soaked B.A.A. 10K fewer than four months ago. Cynthia Limo, last year’s B.A.A. Half Marathon runner-up, and Helen Jepkurgat, winner of two half marathons this year, round out the women’s field from Kenya. Hailing from Ethiopia is Belaynesh Oljira, a World Championships bronze medalist both on the track and in cross country.
Leading the American charge are Clara Santucci and Karen Roa. Santucci is the reigning Pittsburgh Marathon champion. Beverly Ramos, the national record holder for Puerto Rico, returns to Boston aiming to better her eighth place showing from a year ago.
For the men, Sambu comes into the B.A.A. Half Marathon riding a hot streak in Massachusetts. In addition to winning the past two B.A.A. Distance Medley titles, he placed second at the B.A.A. 10K in June and won August’s Falmouth Road Race on Cape Cod. Having previously finished third and fourth at the B.A.A. Half Marathon, Sambu seeks to finish atop the podium.
“I love this place. I’ve been doing most of my races, almost everything, on the East coast. So many people know you, they love you,” Sambu said prior to the B.A.A. 10K. "So many people [here], they love running.”
Joining Sambu among the men’s contenders from East Africa are Raji Assefa, Daniel Salel, and Eliud Ngetich. Assefa, a native of Ethiopia, holds the fastest half marathon personal best in the field, having run 1:00:07 in Rotterdam in 2008. He placed 6th at last year’s race.
Salel and Ngetich are half marathon aces looking to give Kenya their ninth B.A.A. Half Marathon men’s title. Salel is this year’s B.A.A. 10K winner and finished runner-up at the B.A.A. Half Marathon in 2014, while Ngetich won the Virginia Beach Half Marathon in March with a personal best time of 1:03:40.
Eric Ashe and Brian Harvey will sport the distinguished gold unicorn singlet of the Boston Athletic Association’s racing team. Ruben Sanca, a Massachusetts native and 2012 Olympian for Cape Verde Islands, is also competing.
With the B.A.A. Half Marathon serving as the third and final race of the B.A.A. Distance Medley, three athletes have a chance to earn bonuses on race day. If Rotich, Salel, or Wacera win their respective races, they’ll earn an extra $20,000 (USD) bonus for finishing first at two B.A.A. races this year.
Since first being run in 2001, the B.A.A. Half Marathon has seen winners from eight different countries. The winner of the B.A.A. Half Marathon will earn $10,000, plus an additional $10,000 if the winner’s time is under the event records of 1:00:34 for men and 1:08:20 for women. In 2014, more than 6,220 athletes participated in the B.A.A. Half Marathon, presented by Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Jimmy Fund. This year’s field has 8,500 participants.
|Win three of the four events||$10,000|
|Win two of the four events||$6,000|
|Place among the top two in three of the four events||$4,000|
|Place among the top three in three of the four events||$2,500|
|B.A.A. 5K||B.A.A. 10K||B.A.A. HALF MARATHON||BOSTON MARATHON|