INDIANAPOLIS - After finishing eighth at last year's event, Team USA took fifth-place at the 2009 International Chiba Ekiden Monday in Chiba, Japan, finishing in 2:09:42. Host team Japan won the event in 2:05:58. The format of the 21st annual race featured mixed teams of men and women running six alternating legs totaling 42.195 km.
Jordan Horn (Flagstaff, Ariz.) led off with the opening 5 km leg, running 13:53, putting Team USA in eighth. Meghan Armstrong (Minneapolis, Minn.) ran the second 5 km leg in 16:18, moving the U.S. up to seventh. Ian Burrell (Flagstaff, Ariz.) then took the sash to cover the 10 km third leg in 29:14, moving the team up to fourth-place. Team USA held steady in fourth place as Lindsey Allen (Flagstaff, Ariz.), ran the 5 km fourth leg in 16:28. On the fifth leg, Andrew Carlson (Flagstaff, Ariz.) turned in a 29:20 10 km, to maintain the team's position as he turned the sash over to Jennifer Donovan (Boston, Mass.) where she ran 24:29 for the final 7.195 km leg.
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