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Posted: July 2, 2009  : Add to Mixx! Subscribe to stories like this

(RWire) Athletics: Professional Field Set for 40th Atlanta Journal-Constitution Peachtree Road Race

Defending national champion Abdirahman and Famiglietti headline USA Men's 10K Championship field; race purse exceeds $100,000

ATLANTA - (July 1, 2009) - True to tradition, a world class field will line up at the start for the 40th running of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Peachtree Road Race on Saturday, July 4. This year's event also serves as the USA Men's 10K Championship and the 2009 Professional Road Running Organization's (PRRO) Race of Champions. The overall prize purse for the 2009 Peachtree totals $111,300, which includes $30,000 for the USA Men's 10K Championship. In addition, two men and one woman competing in the 2009 Peachtree are eligible to receive a $35,000 PRRO bonus*.

"The addition of the USA Men's 10K Championship and the PRRO bonus have made the AJC Peachtree Road Race one of the most lucrative non-marathon road races of 2009," stated Tracey Russell, Executive Director of the Atlanta Track Club. "With our strong elite field and the different races within the big event, the 40th running of the AJC Peachtree Road Race is sure to be one of the most exciting yet."

The professional men's field is one of the largest in the event's history with close to 40 runners expected to toe the line. Two runners to watch are Sammy Kitwara of Kenya and Ridouane Harroufi of Morocco, both contenders for the $35,000 PRRO bonus. Kitwara has won four consecutive road races including the World's Best 10K (28:25), one of the PRRO qualifying circuit races, and his recent 10,000m victory at the Kenyan Championships (27:44.46) was the fastest 10,000m ever run on Kenyan soil. Harroufi ran his 10K personal best at the Azalea Trail Run 10K (28:14) in March and successfully defended his title at the Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10 Mile (45:45), another PRRO circuit event.

The men's field also features newcomer Tadesse Tola of Ethiopia. Tola has two 10K runs in the top 100 fastest road performances this year, and he recently set a course record with his first place finish at the Healthy Kidney 10K (27:48) in New York City on May 16.

Top Americans competing for the USA Men's 10K title include Olympians Abdi Abdirahman, the reigning national champion, and Anthony Famiglietti. Abdirahman finished runner-up (and also won the U.S. title) at the 2007 AJC Peachtree Road Race (28:11), while Famiglietti ran a personal best at the Gate River Run 15K (43:16) to win the national 15K title last March.

On the women's side, one runner to watch is Kenyan Lineth Chepkurui. Chepkurui's 32:24 at the Crescent City Classic 10K is the 22nd fastest women's performance this year. She is also in contention for the $35,000 PRRO bonus after qualifying with wins at the Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10 Mile (53:32) and Lilac Bloomsday 12K (38:37) this year.

The women's field also features several top runners from last year returning to Peachtree including Amane Gobena (ETH) and Nadia Ejjafini (BRN). Gobena came in fifth at last year's event in 33:13, and her times at the 2009 Cooper River Bridge Run 10K (32:25) and Ukrop's Monument Avenue 10K (32:37) are among the 50 fastest women's 10K road performances this year. Ejjafini, who placed 14th in 2008 (34:30), has three 10K finishes this year among the 70 fastest women's times for 2009. Also returning is Ogla Kimaiyo (KEN), last year's sixth place finisher (33:30), as well as Neriah Asiba who came in seventh (33:31) at Peachtree 2008.

The masters men's field (40+) also looks strong with last year's Peachtree masters champion (31:24) and the current USA Masters 10K champion, Sean Wade (USA) returning for the 2009 event. Also returning is Gideon Mutisya (KEN), the 2008 third place masters finisher (31:54). Two notable contenders for the 2009 masters women's field include four-time Olympian Colleen De Reuck, U.S. Masters Half-Marathon champion and second place masters finisher at the 2008 Peachtree (33:57), and Albina Gallyamova (RUS) who was the third place masters finisher (35:56) at the 2008 event.

The 40th running of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Peachtree Road Race will take place on Saturday, July 4, 2009. The race begins on Peachtree Road by Lenox Square and finishes on 10th Street near Piedmont Park. For more information on the country's largest road race, go to: www.AtlantaTrackClub.org.

*If a PRRO eligible male and female runner both win the AJC Peachtree Road Race, the $35,000 will be divided in half between the two athletes.


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