Bobby Curtis and Marina Muncan will contest the 5K and mile, respectively, in the pre-Boston Marathon events put on by the Boston Athletic Association (BAA). As the press release details below, the field is very competitive for each race. Curtis, who finished 2nd in the event last year in 14:07, will battle with 2011 winner Ben True of the US, Australian 10,000 meter national record holder Ben St Lawrence, multiple NCAA champion Sam Chelanga, and half-marathon ace Ali Abdosh of Ethiopia.
Muncan will contest the mile and attempt to defend the title she won last year in a photo finish (see photo below). She'll be up against 2011 world #1 at 1500 meters Morgan Uceny, Treniere Moser, among others.
Fast Fields Set For B.A.A. 5K And Mile
From: Running USA
The Boston Athletic Association (B.A.A.) has announced that some of the fastest distance runners in the world will be taking part in the fourth B.A.A. 5K and B.A.A. Invitational Mile races on Sunday, April 15, 2012, one day prior to the 116th Boston Marathon.
The B.A.A. 5K begins at 8:00am at Copley Square Park in Boston’s Back Bay and utilizes the same, famous finish line as the Boston Marathon on Boylston Street. The top athletes in the B.A.A. 5K will compete for a prize purse of $25,000. The entry field is closed and is limited to 6,000 entrants. This year, the B.A.A. 5K marks the beginning of the B.A.A. Distance Medley, a three-race series which combines the B.A.A. 5K on April 15, the B.A.A. 10K on June 24, and the B.A.A. Half Marathon on October 7 to crown overall male and female champions. The winners of the B.A.A. Distance Medley will each receive $100,000 and based on cumulative time. A schedule of invitational Mile races follows the B.A.A. 5K.
“These athletes have helped our Sunday events grow, in just four years, into a new tradition and a boost of running energy that primes spectators and competitors alike for Marathon Monday,” said B.A.A. Executive Director Tom Grilk. “We can’t wait for the competition to begin, and we are pleased to present our Sunday races to running enthusiasts in town during the Patriots’ Day weekend, especially those running our Boston Marathon.”
Schedule of Events - Sunday, April 15, 2012
8:00am – B.A.A. 5K at Copley Square Park
9:30am – B.A.A. Middle School 1K (Girls, Boys from the eight cities and towns of the Marathon course)
9:45am – B.A.A. Scholastic Mile (Girls, Boys from the eight cities and towns of the Marathon course)
10:00am – B.A.A. Professional Mile (Men, Women)
The B.A.A. 5K women’s field features 2011 Boston Marathon runner-up Desiree Davila, of Michigan, who has qualified for the 2012 Olympic Games in London this summer; Kim Smith, an Olympian at 10,000 meters for New Zealand, and Werknesh Kidane, of Ethiopia, a World Champion and two-time Olympian. In addition, 2011 B.A.A. Half Marathon champion Janet Bawcom is expected to challenge the field for the victory.
Smith, Kidane and Bawcom all have committed to running the three races which comprise the B.A.A. Distance Medley in 2012.
The men’s 5K field is highlighted by the return of last year’s top three finishers. Returning champion, Ben True, of New Hampshire, set a course record of 14:07 last year. Now the reigning USA champion at 5 kilometers, True was followed closely by former NCAA champion Bobby Curtis, and Ben St. Lawrence, from Australia, running 14:07 and 14:09, respectively. The trio from 2011 surely will be challenged by 2011 B.A.A. Half Marathon champion Ali Abdosh, of Ethiopia, and multiple-time NCAA champion Sam Chelanga, both of whom have signed-up to run the entire B.A.A. Distance Medley this year.
The women’s section features the last two B.A.A. Mile champions. Track and Field News magazine ranked American Morgan Uceny #1 in the world at 1500 meters in 2011, and the B.A.A. welcomes her back to the B.A.A. Mile in 2012. Uceny won the B.A.A. Mile in 2010. Marina Muncan, of Serbia, has run every B.A.A. Mile since the event’s inception in 2009, and returns as the defending champion. She holds her country’s national records at both 1500 meters and the Mile. Last year witnessed a photo finish among the top three finishers, including Treniere Moser, who also returns in 2012.
Australian Collis Birmingham is the top entrant in the men’s section of the B.A.A. Mile with a personal best of 3:54.30. Americans Kyle Miller, fourth place in last year’s Mile, and Ben Bruce add to the competitive field, but many locals will be following Tim Ritchie, of Boston. Ritchie was a standout runner at Boston College, competes for the B.A.A., and had a breakthrough indoor track season this winter. A combined prize purse of $12,000 will be at stake in these fast and exciting miles.
The men’s and women’s sections are the last of six races in the B.A.A. Invitational Mile. The four preceding sections are the B.A.A. Middle School 1K and the B.A.A. Scholastic Mile in which high school-aged athletes from the eight cities and towns along the Boston Marathon race course will participate.