Friday, April 4, 2014

A brief look at the elite field in the GO! St. Louis half-marathon



The organizers of GO! St. Louis have again invited an elite field for the half-marathon, scheduled for Sunday as part of the family fitness weekend. Sunday's races also include an open half-marathon, marathon and marathon relay, which begin and end in downtown St. Louis. 

Given the personal bests of the runners, the course records of 1:03:13 and 1:12:22, set last year by Aaron Braun and Mattie Suver, respectively, could be in danger, especially if the ideal weather forecast comes to fruition. Here are capsules of the top runners:

Chipangama
MEN'S FIELD
Bib No. 1 - Jordan Chipangama (chip-un-GAH-muh): A native of Zambia, he represents Northern Arizona Elite. He has a personal best of 2:13 in the marathon and finished second in last year’s elite half in 1:03.22.

No. 2- Craig Curley: A resident of Tucson and a member of the Red House People Clan of the Navajo Nation. He has a personal best of 1:04.14 in the half-marathon and finished eighth here last year.

No. 4- Jacob Chemtai (CHEM-tay) . Born in Kenya, he set a personal best of 1:02:44 in a half-marathon last November in Monterey, Calif.

No. 5- Matt O'Connor: A native of St. Louis, he is a veteran of area races, including the GO! St. Louis Halloween 10K, where he has finished in the top 10.

No. 6- Julius Koskei: A native of Kenya, he set a person best of 1:01:17 in the half-marathon in 2004 and won the 2008 Frankfurt Marathon in 2:10 14. 

No. 10- Stephen Pifer : A state track and cross country champion at Edwardsville High, he went on to become an All-American at Colorado, and recently finished in the Top 10 at the U.S. 15K championships.

No. 11 Carlos Tujillo: A former member of the University of Oregon team, he has a personal best of 1:03:19 and represented the U.S. in the 2013 IAAF World Marathon Championships.

WOMEN HALF MARATHON ELITE DIVISION:

No. F1- Sarah Kiptoo: A native of Kenya, she trains in Santa Fe and finished third in last year’s GO! Half-marathon. Her personal best is 1:11:21.

No. F3- Kellyn Johnson: A member of Northern Arizona Elite, she finished fourth at the US Ten-mile championships, fifth in the U.S. Cross Country Club Championships and has a personal best of 1:12:27 in the half-marathon.

No. F4- Hannah Wanjiru: A native of Kenya, she finished 13th at the 2010 World Cross Country Championships and has a personal best of 1:12:52 in the half-marathon.

No. F5- Pasca Cheruiyot: A native of Kenya who ran at Missouri State and Florida State, she has a personal best in the marathon of 2:35.

No. F6- Doreen Kitaka: This native of Kenya runs for the Duma Club and has run 1:15:00 in the half-marathon and 2:30:00 in the marathon.

No. F7- Emma Kennan: Her personal best in the half-marathon is 1:19:38.

No. F8- Dana Kelly Herrick: A native of Iowa who represents Power Bar Elite, she qualified for and finished the 2012 Olympic Marathon Trials.

No. F10- Connie Teague: A resident of Kansas City, she finished third at Rock n Roll Arizona in 1:16:46.