Men’s Marathon Rematch
The elite field for the inaugural B.A.A. 10K features the top three finishers from April’s Boston Marathon. Geoffrey Mutai, the champion and world's fastest marathoner (2:03:02), will challenge runner-up Moses Mosop and third place finisher Gebre Gebremariam in their first meeting since Patriots’ Day. Mutai ran 57 seconds faster than Haile Gebrselassie's marathon world record time of 2:03:59 in Boston, and Mosop is coming off of a world record track performance over 25,000 meters and 30,000 meters.
Top Women’s Contenders Ready to Race
The women's field also boasts a pair of top ten finishers from the 2011 Boston Marathon. Champion Caroline Kilel of Kenya returns after prevailing down Boylston Street, finishing in a time of 2:22:36. Ethiopia's Werknesh Kidane, who finished seventh in 2:26:15, is hoping she can crack the top three on Sunday. In addition, New Zealand's Kim Smith, the leader for the first 18 miles of the marathon before a torn muscle forced her to drop out, is healthy and ready to go for the win again. Also entered is Australian national record holder and three-time Olympian Benita Willis.
Chelanga Jumps into Professional Ranks
Making his professional debut at the B.A.A. 10K is Sam Chelanga. A 14-time All-American, Chelanga was a standout at Liberty University, winning four NCAA titles, including two back-to-back in cross country. One of the most decorated athletes in NCAA history, Chelanga will run his first race as a professional this Sunday. The native of Kenya also has ties to the Bay State: his brother, Joshua, finished third at the 2001 Boston Marathon.
$30,000 at Stake
The B.A.A. 10K features $30,000 in prize money, $5,000 of which will go to each of the winners in Sunday's race. The top ten men and women overall will receive equal amounts of prize money, as well as the top three masters finishers. Age group awards for the top three in each category will be given Marathon Sports gift certificates, which are good towards the purchase of adidas footwear and apparel.
With his finishing time of 2:04:53 and her finishing time of 2:26:15 in the 2011 Boston Marathon, it’s believed that Gebre Gebremariam and Werknesh Kidane are the fastest married couple ever to finish the same marathon. The Ethiopian couple’s combined time of 4:31:08 may prove tough to beat, but there is competition in the arena. Second-place men’s finisher Moses Mosop, who finished in 2:03:06, is married to Florence Kiplagat. She pulled out of this year’s Boston Marathon, but her half-marathon time of 1:07:40 translates to about 2:22:00 across 26.2 miles. Had she run the Boston Marathon in less than 2:28:02, the Kenyan couple would have set the new mark. Mosop, Gebremariam, and Kidane are all competing in the B.A.A. 10K.
Boston Running Legends Get Involved
Two legends in the sport of distance running, Bill Rodgers and Joan Benoit Samuelson, will toe the line on Charles Street. Winners of a combined six Boston Marathons, Rodgers and Samuelson were both involved in the 2011 Boston Marathon, with Rodgers serving as Grand Marshal of the race and Samuelson running the course in 2:51:29 to win the 50-54 age group division. Despite her initial aspirations to compete in the B.A.A. 10K, women’s running pioneer Roberta “Bobbi” Gibb will not run in the inaugural event, choosing instead to participate as a break-tape holder and finish line honoree. Gibb was the first woman to complete the Boston Marathon.
Kids in the Running
The inaugural B.A.A. 10K will feature free kids races on Boston Common following the conclusion of the 10K. At 9:30 a.m., children between the ages of four and eleven are invited to participate in complimentary races on the baseball field in the Common. The race distances will depend on the age of participants, with four- and five-year-olds competing at 100m, six- and seven-year-olds at 200m, eight- and nine-year-olds at 300m, and ten- and eleven-year-olds at 400m.
Similar to this year's Boston Marathon, the B.A.A. 10K will feature a three-wave start at the beginning of the race. In order to ease congestion, the three waves will start four minutes apart from one another. Runners will be asked to seed themselves in the starting corals based on their anticipated pace. Signs will be posted adjacent to the start displaying pace locations.
Streets and roadways which comprise and abut the 10K course will be closed to vehicular traffic on the morning of June 26. Exact times of road closures and re-openings will be at the discretion of the Boston Police and Massachusetts State Police. Charles St. between Boylston St. and Beacon St will close before 7:00 a.m., while the majority of roads along the course will close at 7:45 a.m. For a full listing of closures, please click here. The B.A.A. encourages the use of MBTA Stations, nearby parking, and drop-off and pick-up areas on Beacon, Boylston, Tremont, or other nearby streets.
Still Time to get to the Starting Line
Registration for the inaugural B.A.A. 10K remains open at www.baa.org, and interested runners can apply online until Friday at 5:00 p.m. (ET). Race-day registration ($55) will open at Boston Common at 6:30 a.m.