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Carlson to debut at Twin Cities

Andrew Carlson to debut at Twin Cities

Andrew Carlson to debut at Twin Cities

ST. PAUL, Minn. – As organizers of the 30th Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon count down the days until their October 2 race, an intriguing storyline emerging for the event is the possibility that for the first time in the event’s storied history a Minnesotan could win the men’s marathon title. The Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon men’s title that has been claimed by Kenyans, Russians, Mexicans, a Dane, and even an Iowan, but never a home-state runner.

University of Minnesota alumnus Andrew Carlson of Chaska, a USA champion at 15K and 25K in his career and a member of Team USA Minnesota, will make his much-anticipated marathon debut in this year’s race. Carlson, 29, a two-time cross country All-American for the Gophers, recently finished 6th at the USA 20K Championships while in the middle of his training for Twin Cities.

Carlson, of course, will not only face the unique challenge of negotiating the 26.2 miles connecting the Twin Cities, but also the competition from a strong international field that is expected to include runners from across the country and around the world.

The battle for the women’s title at the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon could prove to be a duel between Russian women. Nadezhda Leonteva, a 2:31:56 marathoner who placed 7th at the Russian marathon championships in 2010, and Elena Nagovitsyna, a 32:08 10,000-meter runner who will make her marathon debut at the race, currently headline the event.

The 2011 Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon will feature a weekend of races. Once again, the event will host the USA Masters Marathon Championships, open to American runners over 40-years-old. Defending USA Masters champions Mbarak Hussein and Susan Loken are slated to return.

Marathon Sunday will also include the Medtronic TC 10 Mile which will host the USA 10 Mile Championships for men and women. The event will feature a men-vs.-women equalizer format that will see America’s top male and female 10-milers race one another for a $10,000 bonus.

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