One of America's classic summer road races, the Quad-City Times Bix 7 in Davenport, Ia., is back on the USA Running Circuit for 2009 and will serve as a USA road running championship event for the first time since 2002.
"USA Track & Field is proud to partner with events such as the Quad-City Times Bix 7," said USA Track & Field CEO Doug Logan through a media release. "As the USA Running Circuit continues to grow, our championship circuit not only continues to provide competitive opportunities for U.S. long distance athletes, but provides a valuable connection to the events that reach the true base of our sport."
"The Bix," as the event is widely known, will celebrate its 35th edition in 2009 on July 25th. Covering a seven mile course, the famously warm and humid race has become a "must win" for top road runners, attracted by both the race's tradition and the $10,000 winners' checks. The event is also one of the largest non-marathon road races in the USA. The 2008 edition recorded 10,565 finishers, many drawn by Davenport's reputation for warm hospitality.
"This is just what we needed to help us celebrate our 35th anniversary," commented race director Ed Froehlich, who enters his 30th year at the helm of the event. "We will strive to get all of the top American runners to come and compete."
American athletes who run USA Championship races on the USA Running Circuit can earn valuable points towards cash awards presented at the end of the series. The grand prix prizes, plus the prize money paid at the individual events, has put more than $6 million into athletes' pockets since the series inception in 1995, according to USATF, and forms a critical component of financial support for American distance runners.
At the last USA championships held at the Bix in 2002, Olympians Meb Keflezighi and Colleen De Reuck won the titles, and both athletes appear to be in fine early-season form this year. At the USA Half-Marathon Championships in Houston on Jan. 18, Keflezighi took the title in a personal best 1:01:25. De Reuck finished third on the women's side with an amazing 1:12:16 at age 44. De Reuck is also a four-time Bix champion.