Sophy Jepchichir returns to UPMC Health Plan Pittsburgh Half Marathon after setting event record in 2014; 7th edition on Sunday, May 3 offers a guaranteed $135,000 prize purse, including American bonuses totaling $40,500
(PITTSBURGH, PA) - Defending women's champions Clara Santucci and Sophy Jepchirchir will return to Pittsburgh on Sunday, May 3 to defend their titles at the 7th DICK'S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon and UPMC Health Plan Pittsburgh Half Marathon, respectively. The weekend of events offers a guaranteed overall prize purse of $135,000, including American Development Program (ADP) bonuses totaling $40,500.
"We are thrilled that both Clara and Sophy will return to defend their titles this year," said Patrice Matamoros, CEO of Pittsburgh Three Rivers Marathon, Inc. (P3R). "In the second year of our American Development Program, we are also proud to showcase a strong field of U.S. women athletes."
Santucci, 28, who won last year's DICK'S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon with a time of 2 hours, 32 minutes, 25 seconds, aims to not only defend her title but also beat the event record of 2:29:50, set by Margaret Groos in 1988. Santucci will face tough competition from Kenyan native and 9-time Wichita State All-American Aliphine Tuliamuk-Bolton, who is making her marathon debut.
P3R's American Development Program, an initiative to increase exposure and racing opportunities for emerging American professional runners, has also attracted top Americans Devon Yanko, with a marathon personal best of 2:38:55, and Emily Gordon, of Team USA Minnesota with a marathon PR of 2:39:58.
In the UPMC Health Plan Pittsburgh Half Marathon, Kenyan Sophy Jepchirchir also returns to defend her title after setting the race record last year, clocking 1:11:37. In order to win again, she will need to beat Ethiopian Etaferahu Temesgen, who recently set a personal best of 1:11:22 at the United Airlines NYC Half Marathon, and American Alvina Begay, who has a PR of 1:12:25.
Other top Americans in the field include Heather Lieberg with a personal best of 1:13:10 and local Pittsburgh runners Carly Seymour and Jennifer Bigham. Seymour recently debuted in the half-marathon at the NYC Half Marathon with a time of 1:14:04, while Bigham achieved her 13.1 mile PR of 1:15:59 at this year's Rock ‘n' Roll New Orleans Half Marathon.
For more information about the 2015 DICK'S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon weekend of events, visit: PittsburghMarathon.co.
Name, Country, Affiliation, Personal Best
Clara Santucci, USA, Saucony, 2:29:54
Aliphine Tuliamuk-Bolton, KEN, Unattached, 1:09:16 (Half-Marathon)
Devon Yanko, USA, Bay Birds Racing, 2:38:55
Christina Murphy, USA, Columbus RC, 2:39:15
Emily Potter, USA, U.S. Army, 2:39:55
Emily Gordon, USA, Team USA MN, 2:39:58
Anna Weber, USA, Unattached, 2:50:01
Kelsey Markham, USA, Oiselle, 2:55:00
Emily Giannotti, USA, Unattached, 1:24:00 (Half-Marathon)
Jessica Mann, USA, Unattached, 2:58:54
WOMEN'S HALF MARATHON
Name, Country, Affiliation, Personal Best
Hellen Jemutai, KEN, MarathonGuide.com, 1:10:49
Etaferahu Temesgen, ETH, Unattached, 1:11:22
Sophy Jepchirchir, KEN, MarathonGuide.com, 1:11:36
Askale Merachi, ETH, WSX, 1:12:19
Alvina Begay, USA. Team Run Flagstaff, 1:12:25
Heather Lieberg, USA, Oiselle, 1:13:10
Carly Seymour, USA, Unattached, 1:14:04
Jennifer Bigham, USA, Oiselle, 1:15:59
Sara Zambotti, USA, Unattached, 1:16:58
Heather Utrata, USA, Unattached, 1:18:56
Mindy Sawtelle-Zottola, USA, Unattached, 1:20:16
About the DICK'S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon
Join us for the ultimate experience that will take you on an unforgettable journey. The 2015 DICK'S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon is more than just a run. With 30,000 competitors and $25,000 in prizes, you're sure to have one incredible adventure. Runners and spectators will play through 7 months of virtual and old-fashioned competition - starting at registration, continuing through training and culminating with one epic weekend of games.
Organized by the Pittsburgh Three Rivers Marathon, Inc. (P3R), the 7th edition is set for May 2-3, 2015. For more information, go to: PittsburghMarathon.com.
About the Pittsburgh Three Rivers Marathon, Inc.
Pittsburgh Three Rivers Marathon, Inc. (P3R) is a non-profit organization which promotes the love of long-distance running and enhances community involvement in fitness activities through high quality events open to a wide variety of ages and ability levels. Our events will consistently serve the needs of our runners and our sponsors; will engage and reward our volunteers; will enhance the economic well-being of the Pittsburgh region; will partner with public and private entities to create the best possible event experience and partner with appropriate charitable organizations to give back to the community. For more, go to P3R.org.