As many American athletes are gearing up for their track seasons, some are sticking to the roads and even running longer. That would include the approximately 40 athletes who plan to contest tomorrow's USA 25-K Championships, hosted by the Fifth Third River Bank Run in Grand Rapids, Mich. A $21,200 championship prize money purse is on the line with $4000 going to the race winners.
Dan Browne sits on top of a well-matched men's field. The 2004 Olympian in the marathon is coming off of a fifth place finish in last Sunday's Lilac Bloomsday Run where he was the top American. He should get a strong challenge from Fasil Bizuneh, Jason Hartmann, Fernando Cabada and Jason Lehmkuhle. Cabada won this race in 2006 where he set the American record of 1:14:21.
In the women's competition, 2008 Olympian and reigning USA Half-Marathon champion Magdalena Lewy Boulet is the top entrant and will actually be making her debut at the distance (she has a 71:47 half-marathon personal best). But road specialist Sally Meyerhoff will certainly be trying for the victory, too. Like Browne, she was the top American at the Lilac Bloomsday run. Samia Akbar, who has a 32:41.84 10,000m personal best, could also be in the mix.
Local weather forecasters are calling for showers and gusty winds.
NOTE: The complete fields for these championships are at this link:USATF.org.