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  • Sell, Bersagel to Defend USA Half-Marathon Titles in Houston
    Aramco Houston Half-Marathon opens 2007 USA Running Circuit; $59,500 race purse 


    courtesy of Running USA wire


    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    INDIANAPOLIS - (January 9, 2007) - Defending USA Half-Marathon champions Brian Sell, 28, (Rochester Hills, Mich.) and Annie Bersagel, 23, (Minneapolis, Minn.), along with two-time U.S. Olympians Meb Keflezighi (San Diego, Calif.) and Elva Dryer (Gunnison, Colo.) headline the field for the 2007 USA Half-Marathon Championships this Sunday, January 14 in Houston. The national championship, hosted by the Aramco Houston Half-Marathon, is the first race of the 2007 USA Running Circuit (USARC).

    The U.S. record holder and 2006 USA champion at 20K Ryan Hall (Big Bear Lake, Calif.) joins Sell and Keflezighi in the hunt for the first U.S. road championship of the new year.

    A field of more than 40 of the top U.S. men will include two-time USA half-marathon champions Dan Browne (2001 and 2005) and Ryan Shay (2003-04) as well as returning top-five finishers from 2006: Max King (Bend, Ore.), Brandon Leslie (Albuquerque, N.M.) and Andrew Carlson (White Bear Lake, Minn.). Fasil Bizuneh (Bristol, Va.), who won the Dallas White Rock Half-Marathon in December with a time of 1:02:59, should also be in contention for the title.

    In the women's championship, Bersagel will travel from Oslo, Norway where she is a Fulbright Scholar studying Political Science at the University of Oslo, in an effort to repeat her 2006 title run. Bersagel will face a field that includes three-time USA road titlist Dryer, who was the runner-up at the 2006 USA 20K Championships, and Samia Akbar (Herndon, Va.), who finished third in the 10,000 meters at last summer's AT&T USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships.

    The USA Championship will feature a total prize purse of $59,500 with $12,000 for the respective men's and women's national champions. The Aramco Houston Half Marathon will also offer a bonus of $4000 for breaking the existing race records of 1:02:07 and 1:10:55 for men and women, respectively, plus an additional $5000 for breaking the existing U.S. records of 1:00:55 (Mark Curp, 1985) and 1:07:34 (Deena Kastor, 2006).

    In addition, two of the top five U.S. male and female finishers will qualify for the IAAF World Road Running Championships to be held in Udine, Italy, Sunday, October 14, 2007.

    About the USARC
    The USA Running Circuit (USARC), a USA Track & Field road series, features USA Championships from 5K to the marathon and attracts the best U.S. distance runners, including Olympians Deena Kastor, Meb Keflezighi, Marla Runyan and Anthony Famiglietti. The thirteenth edition for the men and twelfth for the women, the 2007 USARC has nine events for men and seven events for women.

    The first ten U.S. runners earn points at each USARC race (15 for first, 12 for second, 10 for third, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2 and 1), with a final $12,500 grand prix purse ($6000, $4000 and $2500) for the top three men and women point scorers overall. The USARC points at the USA Marathon Championships - Boston and New York City - will be doubled.

    The mission of the USA Running Circuit is to showcase, support and promote U.S. runners. Since its inception in 1995, the USARC and its races have provided over $6 million dollars to U.S. distance runners.

    For more information on the 2007 USARC including the schedule, visit: USATF.org

     

    # # #  

    Special thanks to 
    Ryan Lamppa, Running USA Media Services Director.
    385 Oak View Lane
    Santa Barbara, CA 93111
    (805) 696-6232, fax (805) 967-5958
    Ryan@RunningUSA.org

    http://www.runningusa.org

     

     

     

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