Five-times winner heads list of elites
A healthy selection of elite runners from around the world will battle it out during the Bermuda Marathon Weekend.
However, there is disappointment that Jordan Chipangama, of Zambia, who won the half-marathon title in 2013, and the 10K and half-matahon titles in 2014 and 2016, has made a last minute withdrawal after suffering a hamstring injury.
With Chipangama missing from the action, it is now certain that all-new champions will emerge in almost every event.
One of the contenders is Bermuda’s Dage Minors, who runs in this evening’s KPMG Invitational Front Street Mile.
Minors, of Hamilton Parish, competes for Franklin Pierce University, in New Hampshire, where he is studying for a master’s degree in business administration. As a senior athlete he competed in the NCAA national cross country championships in 2016. He has a college indoor mile best of 4:06.84, which he ran last year, and an 800m best of 1:48.7. Last year he was a team finalist at the Penn Relays.
Minors was named as Franklin Pierce University’s Male Athlete of the Year in 2017.
Another elite runner competing this weekend is Jordan Donnelly, from Liverpool, England. He is a track and mile specialist and lives in the United States. At the mile he has an indoor best of 4:06.85. His running range extends all the way to the marathon, where he has a best of 2:36:54. Donnelly was 68th overall in the New York City Marathon in 2015.
He has twice competed in the Olympic Games trials. Among his other personal bests is a 14:53 at 5K, a 31:46 at 10K, and a 1:11:40 for the half-marathon.
Donnelly is due to compete in the mile and the half-marathon.
Birhanu Dare Kemal, of Ethiopia, is an in form runner, as shown in September when he ran a lifetime best of 1:04:01 for the half-marathon distance in Santa Fe. And last month he clocked 47:59 in a 15K race in New York City. He also competed in the New York City Marathon, in November, where he finished fourteenth in 2:21:30.
Dare Kemal achieved his marathon best of 2:13:42 in Duluth in 2015. Showing his range of ability, he ran a 4:12.3 road mile in New York in September, and has a 10K best of 30:54.
This weekend he will run the mile, 10K, and half-marathon.
Girma Bekele Gebre, of Ethiopia, is another in form athlete who will be running in the mile, 10K and half-marathon.
In May, Bekele Gebre won the Airbnb Brooklyn Half-Marathon in 1:04:56. While at the end of November he clocked 24:37 in a five-mile road race at Alexandria, Virginia.
His best road mile is a 4:03, while his lifetime record in the marathon of 2:11:05, which he achieved in Houston, Texas, in January 2016.
Andrew Pitts, of the US, set three personal bests on the track last year. He clocked 1:55.5 for an indoor 800m, 15:02 for 5,000m, and 8:31.5 for an indoor 3,000m in Boston last month.
He has run 4:07 for the mile indoors and outdoors, and has a 10K best of 30:40.
Pitts will compete in the mile and half-marathon.
Abu Kebede Diriba, of Ethiopia, will run the mile, 10K and marathon.
He was nineteenth in November’s New York City Marathon, where he ran 2:27:25, that was just two weeks after he had won a marathon in Atlantic City in 2:33. His personal best for the distance is 2:22.04, set in 2016. He has a 10K best of 29:57.
The mile is likely to be his weakest event, with his personal best on the road a 4:14.7 achieved in New York in 2013.
There is a strong contingent of elite women competing this year. Among them is American Angel Piccirillo. She is a middle distance track runner and a multiple NCAA division All-American in cross country and track.
Piccirillo has twice competed in the USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships, and was a member of a winning 4 x 800m team at the Penn Relays last year.
She has an 800m best of 2:04.22, and a mile best of 4:32.28. This weekend she will run in the mile and 10K.
Jamaican international athlete Kimarra McDonald ran a lifetime best of 2:02.07 for 800m in June. At the IAAF World Championships in London last summer she ran in the 800m, finishing seventh in her heat in 2:09.19. She has also competed in the Pan American Games, and achieved a bronze medal at the NACAC Championships. Her best for the mile is 5:05.18, however that dates back to 2011. McDonald will run the mile and 10K this weekend.
American Dana Mecke is a middle distance specialist and will compete in the mile. Last year she set a lifetime best at 1,500m, running 4:11.92 in Nashville. Her best for the mile is 4:32.7, which she achieved on the track in 2015. She has a road mile best of 4:39.57, set in Des Moines, last April.
Serkalem Biset Abrha, of Ethiopia, competes at distances from the mile all the way up to the marathon. Her marathon best is 2:31:40, while her top half-marathon performance is 1:12:24, which she ran two years ago. Her best times for shorter distances include a 34:45 at 10K, and a 5:09.02 for a road mile. This weekend she will compete in the mile, 10K and half-marathon.
Kathryn Luzarchick, of the US, is a track specialist. She has a best for the mile of 4:41.86, set indoors last year. She has run 800m in 2:09.3. Luzarchick will compete in the KPMG Invitational Front Street Mile.
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