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Marla Runyan and Sara Wells head Team USA to Vilamoura

Marla Runyan takes 2003 US national 5000m title (Getty Images)Marla Runyan takes 2003 US national 5000m title (Getty Images) © Copyright

USA Track & Field on Thursday announced the USA teams for the 12th IAAF World Half-Marathon Championships October 4 in Vilamoura, Portugal. Marla Runyan - a 2000 Olympian, three-time 5,000m USA track champion and multiple national champion on the roads - and 2003 USA women's marathon champion Sara Wells lead the U.S. contingent.

The 3.5 km multi-loop course - traversed 6 times - goes around the heart of Vilamoura, a port city in southern Portugal. The men's championship race starts at 10 a.m. and the women's 11:30 a.m.

With world titles and prize money at stake, individual and team races should be highly competitive in a championship that annually is one of the deepest and fastest road races in the world. Team scoring is accumulative time by the top three team members; the highest finishing third place runner will decide a tie.

The prize purse totals $245,000, with $140,000 for the top six individuals ($30,000, $15,000, $10,000, $7000, $5000 and $3000) and $105,000 for the top six teams ($15,000, $12,000, $9000, $7500, $6000 and $3000).

At the 2002 championships in Brussels, Team USA placed 10th in both men's and women's team competition. David Morris was the top American as he finished 26th in 1:03:26. Rosa Gutierrez was the top woman for Team USA, placing 52nd (1:16:28).

Best-ever U.S. individual finishes at the World Half-Marathon Championships are Clint Verran, 17th (1:05:56 in 2000) and Milena Glusac, 10th (1:13:53 in 2000). In 2000 and 1992, the women's team had their best team finishes by placing 5th (3:49:03/3:35:32); in 1996 the men's team was an all-time best 8th (3:13:52).

The fastest American time was produced in 1992 by Bill Reifsnyder (1:02:00/18th). Sharing a time of 1:11:34, Gordon Bloch in 1992 (14th) and Milena Glusac in 2001 (24th) have posted the fastest U.S. women's times.

USA Teams
Men
Teren Jameson, 26, Salt Lake City, UT      1:05:06 ('03)
Ryan Kirkpatrick, 25, Boulder, CO            59:32 (20K-'03)
Brian Sell, 25, Rochester Hills, MI         1:03:57 ('02)
Scott Strand, 35, Birmingham, AL          1:05:13 ('03)
Matt Thull, 28, Wauwatosa, WI                     47:54 (10Mi-'03)

Women
Christine Clifton, 31, Kirkland, WA            1:11:31 ('03)
Magdalena Lewy, 30, Oakland, CA       1:13:29 ('02)
Sylvia Mosqueda, 37, Los Angeles, CA      1:10:46 ('02)
Marla Runyan, 34, Eugene, OR              1:11:19 ('02)
Sara Wells, 24, Edina, MN                1:13:36 ('03)