INDIANAPOLIS - Defending men's Champion Andrew Carlson (Flagstaff, Ariz.) takes on a field that includes eight Olympians at the USA 15 km Championships this Saturday in Jacksonville, Fla. This marks the 16th year that the championships have been hosted by the Gate River Run.
Set to challenge Carlson for the title will be 2008 Olympians Jorge Torres (Boulder, Colo.), Ian Dobson (Mammoth Lakes, Calif.), and Anthony Famiglietti (Knoxville, Tenn.) as well as 2004 Olympian and 2000 15 km champion Dan Browne (Beaverton, Ore.).
In a field that includes eight of the top ten U.S.-ranked road racers from 2008, contenders for the men's title will also include 2008 USA Cross Country runner-up Tim Nelson (Portland, Ore) and fellow World Cross Country team member Ed Moran (Williamsburg, Va.). Also in the mix will be the 2008 USA Marathon champion and American record holder at 25 km Fernando Cabada (Boulder, Colo.) and Jason Lehmkhule (Minneapolis, Minn.), a member of the U.S. team at the 2008 World Half Marathon Championships.
The women's field will feature five of the top ten road athletes from 2008 as well as a rare appearance on the USA Running Circuit from Amy Yoder Begley (Portland, Ore.), a 2008 Olympian at 10,000 meters. Additional Olympians in the women's field include 2004 Olympian in the marathon Colleen De Reuck (Boulder, Colo.), two-time Olympian at 10,00 meters Elva Dryer (Gunnison, Colo.) and two-time Olympian at 5,000 meters Amy Rudolph (Providence, R.I.) .
Also considered strong challengers for the women's title will be Emily Brown (Minneapolis, Minn.), the women's 8 km champion at last month's USA Cross Country Championships, and her Team USA Minnesota teammate Katie McGregor (Saint Louis Park, Minn.).
Athletes will compete for a total prize purse of $58,000, with the men's and women's USA Champion earning $12,000 each.
This year's race will once again feature the Equalizer Bonus, awarding $5,000 to the first male or female to cross the finish line, with the top-seeded women beginning 5 minutes before the men. The 5 minute "head start" is based on the time differential of the U.S. 15 km records: 42:22 for the men (Todd Williams, 1995) and 47:15 for the women (Deena Drossin, 2003), both set on the Gate River Run course. In 2007, Kastor held off Meb Keflezighi to win the bonus.
Additional bonuses of $10,000 will be offered for a World record (41:29 - men; 46:57 - women); $5,000 for a U.S. record (42:22 - men; 47:15 - women); and $3,000 for a course record (42:22 - men; 47:15 - women).
For the second time in 2009, video highlights of the USA 15 km Championships and pre- and post-race video interviews with top athletes will be made available throughout race weekend in cooperation with Flotrack.com.
About the USARC
The USA 15 km Championship is the second stop on the 2009 USA Running Circuit (USARC), and featured a total championship prize purse of $53,500 plus potential bonuses.
The 2009 USARC is a USA Track & Field road series, featuring USA Championships from one mile to the marathon and attracts the best U.S. distance runners. The 2009 USARC has ten events each for men and 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 ($6,000, $4,000, and $2,500) for the top three men and women point scorers overall. The USARC points at the USA Marathon Championships 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 and video highlights from the 2009 USA 15 km Championships visit USATF.org.
About USA Track & Field
USA Track & Field (USATF) is the National Governing Body for track and field, long-distance running and race walking in the United States. USATF encompasses the world's oldest organized sports, some of the most-watched events of Olympic broadcasts, the #1 high school and junior high school participatory sport and more than 30 million adult runners in the United States.
For more information on USATF, visit USATF.org.