INDIANAPOLIS – The USA Running Circuit (USARC) gets underway Saturday with the running of the 2011 USA Half Marathon Championships, presented by Aramco Services Company.
Returning to Houston for the first time since his American Record run in 2007, Ryan Hall (Big Bear Lake, Calif.), headlines a field that includes fellow Olympic marathoner Magdalena Lewy Boulet (Oakland, Calif.) and a host of top U.S. athletes competing for a total prize purse of $ 59,500.
In addition to the national title, athletes will use 2011 as an opportunity to preview the course that will be used when Houston plays host to the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Marathon next January.
Joining Hall in his reconnaissance mission in Houston will be Jorge Torres (Boulder, Colo.), a 2008 Olympian at 10,000 meters; Patrick Smyth (Mammoth Lakes, Calif.), the 2010 Half Marathon Championships runner-up; 2004 Olympian Dan Browne (Chula Vista, Calif.); Jason Lehmkuhle (Minneapolis, Minn.), 2008 Half Marathon runner-up; and Sergio Reyes (Los Osos, Calif.) the 2010 USA Marathon Champion.
The women’s race will see 2009 champion Boulet face a deep field that includes 2010 USA Running Circuit champion Katie McGregor (Saint Louis Park, Minn.); three-time Olympian Jen Rhines (Mammoth Lakes, Calif.); 2004 Olympic Trials Marathon champion Colleen De Reuck (Boulder, Colo.); 2010 runner-up Serena Burla (Ellisville, Mo.); and Zoila Gomez (Alamosa, Colo.) and Tera Moody (Colorado Springs, Colo.) the fourth and fifth place finishers from the women’s 2008 Olympic Trials Marathon.