Sammy Kitwara's road running win streak of four victories this year will be on the line at tomorrow's 40th running of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Peachtree Road Race in Atlanta, Ga., which features a huge invited field, including many top Americans who will contest the USA Men's 10-K Championship.
Kitwara's road racing season began back in February with a course record victory at the World's Best 10-K in San Juan, P.R. (27:26). Then in Holland last March at the Fortis City-Pier-City Half-Marathon, Kitwara scored the biggest victory of his career, beating Haile Gebrselassie in a sprint finish by three seconds in 59:47. Kitwara then won the Bay to Breakers 12-K in San Francisco, Calif., last May in a course recrod 33:31, picking up $40,000 in prize and bonus money. His most recent vectory was back in Puerto Rico at the Abraham Rosa Int'l 10-K in Toa Baja on May 31, where he ran 28:32.
Tadese Tola, the Ethiopian who won the Healthy Kidney 10-K in New York's Central Park last May in a course record 27:28, looks to be Kitwara's chief rival at Peachtree. Tola's compatriot and 2008 world junior cross country champion, Ibrahim Jeilan, and Moroccan road specialist Ridouane Harroufi should also contest for the overall title.
The top Americans, who will be competing for both an open and USA prize money purse, include Olympians Anthony Famiglietti (27:37.47 PB)and Abdi Abdirahman (27:16.99 PB).
The women's race appears to be a close match between Kenyans Lineth Chepkuri and Alice Timbilili and Ethiopians Amane Gobena and Abebu Gelan. Bahrain's Nadia Ejjafini whould also be in the mix.
The Peachtree serves as the series final for the Professional Road Running Organization (PRRO) 2008/2009 season. Any athlete who has earned at least one PRRO race victory will be eligible to share in a $35,000 bonus if he or she wins the Peachtree. The eligible athletes are Kitwara (who won the World's Best 10-K), Harroufi (who won the Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10-Mile) and Chepkurui (who won both the Cherry Blossom and the Lilac Bloomsday Run).
Exclusing the PRRO bonus, the even'ts prize money purse totals $111,300, larger than many marathons.
The complete list of invited athletes is attached: