Elite Field Announced for the 2011 B.A.A. Half Marathon

03 OCT 2011
World class runners head to Franklin Park for the 11th annual 13.1-mile race.

Boston, Mass. – The Boston Athletic Association today announced its field of elite athletes for the 11th Annual B.A.A. Half Marathon on Sunday, October 9, 2011. The men’s and women’s list, as of today, is attached to this release. The B.A.A. Half Marathon starts and finishes at White Stadium in Boston’s Franklin Park beginning at 8:30 a.m., and has been annually presented by the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Jimmy Fund since 2003.

The men’s field is highlighted by two past winners. Defending champion and 35-year-old John Korir of Kenya will square off against fellow Kenyan and 2007 champion Samuel Ndereba on Sunday. Korir’s winning time of 1:02:21 in 2010 is tied with Ndereba’s 2007 runner-up performance as the second fastest in event history. Also in the hunt will be 14-time NCAA All-American Sam Chelanga. The former standout at Liberty University made his professional debut in June at the B.A.A. 10K, where he finished third. This will be his first half marathon.

The women’s field is highlighted by defending champion Caroline Rotich of Kenya. Her 2010 B.A.A. Half Marathon time of 1:10:23 set an event record by 34 seconds, surpassing Marie Davenport’s 2003 time of 1:10:57. The second and third place finishers from 2010, Janet Cherobon-Bawcom of Georgia and Jane Kibii of Kenya are also in the mix. Cherobon-Bawcom is coming off of a strong summer on the roads, having won the 20K and 10-mile championship within the past month.

“For elite athletes and recreational runners alike, the B.A.A. Half Marathon has grown into one of the most popular races of the season,” said B.A.A. Executive Director Tom Grilk. “Since its beginning in 2001, it’s been a priority of our organization to attract world-class athletes and a wide range of competitive and recreational athletes to the beautiful Emerald Necklace park system for our event. With nearly 7,000 athletes ready to run on Sunday, we hope their experience is one they remember fondly.”

In the past two editions of the B.A.A. Half Marathon, the men’s race has come down to the final stretch. In 2009, Martin Fagan of Ireland held off Philemon Terer of Kenya to win by three seconds, and last year’s photo finish between Korir and countryman Alan Kiprono remains the event’s closest yet, with both men finishing less than a second apart.

Fernando Cabada of Boulder, Colorado enters the race as the top American male, while New Englanders Katie Dicamillo, Katie Bowser, and Heather Cappello will vie for the top American position with Cherobon in the women’s race. Top finishers in the open and masters divisions will vie for a total prize purse of $30,000.

In the Men’s Wheelchair Division, defending champion Gary Brendal of Sterling, Massachusetts will face stiff competition from five-time champion Tony Noguiera of Glen Ridge, New Jersey, who last won the race in 2009.

B.A.A. Moment 2

1935 John A. Kelley

Born in West Medford, Massachusetts as one of ten children, Kelley ran track and cross-country at Arlington High School in Massachusetts. He did not finish his first Boston Marathon in 1928, but eventually competed in a record 61 Boston Marathons. A legend of the marathon, Kelley won the 1935 and 1945 runnings of the Boston Marathon. He finished in second place at Boston a record seven times. Between 1934 to 1950, he finished in the top five 15 times at Boston, consistently running in the 2:30s. He ran his last full marathon at Boston in 1992 at the age of 84, his 61st start and 58th finish there.