General News San Jose, USA

Chicago champion Ivuti the top name in San Jose

Jaouad Gharib loses out on the line to Patrick Ivuti in Chicago (Victah Sailer)Jaouad Gharib loses out on the line to Patrick Ivuti in Chicago (Victah Sailer) © Copyright

Patrick Ivuti, who a year ago won the Bank of America Chicago Marathon, will line up as the favourite in this weekend’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon in San Jose, USA on Sunday 5 October.

“I'm looking forward to racing in San Jose,” said Ivuti, the Kenyan Olympian who is also a double World Cross Country silver medalist. “I hear that the course is fast and flat, which should make for a very competitive race.”

Challenging Ivuti will be fellow Kenyans Charles Munyeki, with a PR of 59:44 (36 seconds faster than the course record), and defending champion MacDonald Ondara, who recently finished fourth at the tightly contested ING Philadelphia Distance Run.

The Kenyan trio leads an exciting men's field that includes U.S. Olympian Adam Goucher, one of America's finest track and cross country runners in the last decade. Goucher, who ran a sub 28:00 10,000m at the Olympic trials, has recently begun to focus on the half marathon distance.

The women’s elite field will be led by Yuri Kano of Japan. Kano, who owns the fastest PR in the women’s field, won the Sapporo half marathon earlier this year with her first sub-70 minute time of 1:08:57.  She joins an international field that includes British Olympian Kathy Butler, a five-time NCAA Champion at the University of Wisconsin, and Ethiopian Azalech Masresha, the winner of the 2007 Reims half marathon who will be making her U.S. soil running debut.

Also expected to challenge are Kenyans Ann Kosgei, owner of a 1:10:17 PB, and Jane Gakunyi, who was a bronze medalist at the 2003 World Half Marathon Championships.

The 3rd annual road race is scheduled to begin near San Pedro Square in downtown San Jose. The route will take runners through downtown, Japantown and the Rose Garden area with the finish line at Plaza de Cesar Chavez. Leading the pack will be a field of elite men and women, competing for a total prize purse of over $50,000.

Dan Cruz for the IAAF