March 24, 2005 at 12:25 am #2358
INDIANAPOLIS – 2004 Olympic marathon bronze medalist Deena Kastor and fellow Olympian Anthony Famiglietti lead the fields for the men’s and women’s USA 8 km Championships, hosted by the New York Road Runners Club this Saturday, March 26. The race will be held in and around Icahn Track and Field Stadium, located on Randall’s Island.
Also the hometown favorite born in Port Jefferson, N.Y., Famiglietti will lead a men’s contingent that consists of seven fellow Olympians. Other challenges for the men’s title will come from the likes of, Jorge Torres, Team USA’s top finisher (13th) in the 4 km at the recent IAAF World Cross Country Championships, and Ryan Shay, who earlier this month won his fifth national title at the USA Men’s 15 km Championships.
Kastor, who will be making her season debut, will be returning to New York for her first race since running the ING New York City Marathon only nine weeks after her bronze-medal effort at the 2004 Athens Olympics.
The most intense challenge for Kastor will come from fellow Olympic marathoner and 2005 USA 15 km champion Jen Rhines. The duo will be joined at the front of the women’s race by Olympians Carrie Tollefson and Amy Rudolph.
The USA 8 km Championships is the third stop for the men and the second for women on the 2005 USA Running Circuit (USARC) and will feature $40,000 in prize money with $5,000 for the first place man and woman.
The USARC, a USA Track & Field road series, features USA Championships from 5 km to the marathon and attracts the best U.S. distance runners. The eleventh edition for the men and tenth for the women, the 2005 circuit has 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 USA 8 km championships and the USARC, visit http://www.usatf.org
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