2005 USARC Circuit Begins in Houston

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    INDIANAPOLIS – 2004 Olympian Dan Browne leads the U.S. contingent at this weekend’s USA Men’s Half Marathon Championship on Sunday, January 16, hosted by the Aramco Houston Half Marathon. Among those challenging Browne, the 2002 USA Running Circuit Grand Prix Champion, will be 2003 USA Ten Mile Champion Chris Graff (VA); Justin Young (CO), the top U.S. finisher at the 2004 IAAF World Half Marathon Championship; and Matt Gabrielson (MN), 2004 Chiba International Ekiden Relay team member. For the latest list of US athletes visit, http://www.usatf.org.

    “The field is very good and looking at race day weather, with no wind and temperatures between 35 and 40 at race time, we should have some fast performances,” said race Athlete Coordinator David Chester. “Graff and Young say they are ready for a good one, so maybe they will give Dan a run for the title.”

    The Aramco Houston Half Marathon, which includes open athletes, offers a purse of $17,500 to the top ten U.S. athletes with $5,000 going to first place. The race also will be used to select two athletes for the 2005 IAAF World Half Marathon Championships to be held October 1 in Edmonton, Canada.

    The 2005 USA Men’s Half-Marathon Championship kicks off USA Track & Field’s 2005 USA Running Circuit (USARC), which features USA Championships from 5 km to the marathon. The USARC attracts the best U.S. distance runners, including Olympians Deena Kastor, Meb Keflezighi, Colleen DeReuck and Dan Browne. This year marks the eleventh edition for the men and tenth for the women, with the 2005 circuit including nine events for men and eight events for women.

    The first ten U.S. runners earn points at each USARC race (15 for first, 12 for second, 10 for third, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2 and 1), with a final $12,500 grand prix purse ($6000, $4000, and $2500) for the top three men and women point scorers overall. The USARC points at the USA Marathon Championships will be doubled.

    The mission of the USA Running Circuit is to showcase, support, and promote U.S. runners. Since its inception in 1995, the USARC and its races have provided over $4 million dollars to U.S. distance runners.

    For more information on the 2005 USA Men’s Half Marathon Championship and the 2005 USARC, visit: http://www.usatf.org

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