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Posted: June 11, 2009  : Add to Mixx! Subscribe to stories like this

(RWire) Athletics: Olympic Champion, Two-Time Race Champion Constantina Dita Headlines Steamboat Classic 4 Mile

Harroufi, Smith to defend race titles at 36th Midwest summer tradition - "Home of the 4 Mile World Records"

PEORIA, Ill. - (June 10, 2009) - The 36th edition of the Steamboat Classic 4 Mile in downtown Peoria on Saturday, June 20 promises some high-powered international road racing, with top athletes vying for a potential prize purse of $40,000. Included in the 2009 Steamboat professional fields at the Midwest summer tradition are several past Steamboat champions, favorites and some rising newcomers. In addition, Jerry Kokesh and Bev Enslow will be running their 36th consecutive Steamboat Classic races.

TOP WOMEN
The featured athlete is 2008 Olympic Marathon champion Constantina Dita of Romania, also a two-time Steamboat Classic champion. 2009 marks the 8th Steamboat appearance by the veteran Dita who has a terrific record in Peoria: 2001 - runner-up in 20:20; 2002 - 3rd in 20:25; 2003 - winner in 20:15; 2004 - 3rd in 20:57; 2005 - winner in 20:45; 2006 - 5th in 21:06 and 2008 - 4th in 20:38.

Challengers to Dita should be: 2008 Steamboat Classic champion Kim Smith (New Zealand); Millicent Gathoni (Kenya), the 2008 BolderBOULDER champion; Olympians René Kalmer (South Africa), Elva Dryer (USA), Jane Gakunyi (Kenya) and Meskerem Legesse (Ethiopia). The field is rounded out by Adriana Pirtea (Romania), 2008 Chicago Marathon runner-up.

TOP MEN
Defending Steamboat Classic champion Ridouane Harroufi of Morocco will face up against 2006-07 Steamboat champion John Korir (Kenya). Other male notables include a trio of Steamboat newcomers in 2008 Irish Olympian Martin Fagan (Ireland), Boaz Cheboiywo (Kenya) - several times an NCAA champion and Jason Hartmann (USA). Veteran racer John Yuda (Tanzania) also returns. Of special interest are two members of the U.S. marathon team for the IAAF World Championships in Berlin, Germany this coming August: Nate Jenkins, who was 11th at Steamboat 2008, and local favorite Justin Young, a former Richwoods High School graduate. In addition, three Hansons-Brooks runners - Luke Humphrey, Ryan Sheehan and Pat Rizzo - are expected plus newcomer Philemon Terer (Kenya.)

The 2009 Steamboat Classic guaranteed prize money breakdown goes 5-deep ($4000, $2500, $2000, $1500 and $1000) and with bonuses, the total prize purse could exceed $40,000.

TIME BONUSES
Any athlete finishing in places 6th through 25th is eligible to win the following non-cumulative time bonuses, unless against High School or NCAA rules.

Men / Women
Sub-18:30 - $400 Sub-21:00 - $400
Sub-19:00 - $200 Sub-21:30 - $200

RECORD BONUSES
Course Record / World Record Bonus ($4000)
The first man breaking 17:24 (Josphat Machuka, Steamboat Classic 1995) and/or the first woman breaking 19:28 (Delillah Asiago, Steamboat Classic 1995).

The Michael Sonnemaker Award - U.S. Record Bonus ($1000)
The first man breaking 17:39 (Gerard Donakowski, Steamboat Classic 1986) and/or the first woman breaking 19:59 (Colleen De Reuck, Steamboat Classic 2002) - must be a U.S. citizen to be eligible. An American athlete setting WR and AR times will receive both bonus awards.

Masters World Record Bonus ($1000)
The first man breaking 18:23 (Pierre Levisse, Steamboat Classic 1992) and/or the first woman breaking 21:05 (Lorraine Moller, Steamboat Classic 1995). There is no separate prize purse for Masters (40+) runners.

For more race information, go to: www.SteamboatClassic.org.


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