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Trafeh, Nelson win Half Champs

Mo Trafeh

Mo Trafeh

NDIANAPOLIS – (June 22, 2013) – Pushing the early pace, Mo Trafeh continued his successful 2013 USA Running Circuit campaign, setting a course record and winning the men’s title at the USA Half Marathon Championships Saturday morning in Duluth, Minnesota, hosted by the Grandma’s Marathon.

The USA Half Marathon Championships are the sixth stop on the USA Running Circuit, which will conclude this fall with the .US National Road Racing Championships. The top ten finishers at today’s race qualified to compete for national honors at the the .US National Road Racing Championships.

Trafeh pushed the pace early in the foggy, cool morning in Duluth. Passing through the first mile mark in 4:21, the field strung out quickly, with Trafeh finding himself running alongside only three other runners. Olympian Meb Keflezighi, Josphat Boit and Shadrack Biwott held strong, as Trafeh continued to push the pace, passing through the two mile mark in 8:56.

As the pace started to settle a bit, Trafeh and Keflezighi began to pull away, the early pace obviously taking it’s toll on Boit and Biwott. From the halfway point to nearly the finish line, Trafeh and Keflezighi would challenge each other running side-by-side.

As the two runners neared the finish, Trafeh made a slight move that Keflezighi simply couldn’t cover. Trafeh, the freshly minted USA 25K record holder, surged to the finish to win his second consecutive USARC title, crossing the finish in a new course record time of 1:01:17. Keflezighi finished a strong second in 1:01:22.

Trafeh’s win pushes him atop of the USARC standings, well ahead of runner-up Ben True (21 points) with 33 points. There are five races left to go in the 2013 USARC racing calendar.

Rounding out the top five, Oregon-based Biwott finished third in 1:02:24, Timothy Ritchie finished fourth in 1:02:29, while Boit finished fifth in 1:02:32. Olympian Abdi Abdirahman finished sixth overall in 1:02:57, while 2013 Team USA cross country athlete Bobby Mack finished seventh in 1:13:10.

In the women’s race, Boulder-based standout Adriana Nelson took the lead from the start and never looked back. Running the first mile in 5:16, Nelson immediately distanced herself from the field, putting 13 seconds on her closest competitors. Her lead would grow to nearly 50 seconds by the five mile mark.

As the chase pack passed through the 5.5 mile mark, Olympian Desiree Davila and Serena Burla started to close the gap on Nelson. Coming through seven miles, Nelson’s lead shrunk to 35 seconds and by nine miles it was down to 14 seconds.

Davila made a break and positioned herself solely in second, as Burla, 2012 USA Half Marathon Championship runner-up Maegan Krifchin, Minnesota-based Kelly Brinkman, Mattie Suver and Stephanie Rothstein-Bruce packed together to continue to push the pace and make up ground on Nelson.

At 10 miles, Davila was only seven seconds behind Nelson, but Nelson found another gear and grew her lead back to 11 seconds by the 12 mile mark. With the finish in sight, Nelson charged to the line, as the 33-year-old won her first U.S. title in 1:11:19. Following closely behind, Davila crossed second in 1:11:26, while Brinkman finished a surprising third in 1:11:33.

Stephanie Rothstein-Bruce finished fourth in 1:11:38, while Suver finished fifth in 1:11:56. Suver’s six point gain in the USARC standings, giving her 28 total points, moved her into a tie for second overall with Brianna Nelson, who scored her own three points in the USARC standings with her eighth place performance of 1:12:23.

The USARC is a USA Track & Field road series featuring USA championships from one mile through the marathon and consistently attracts the best American distance runners with more than $500,000 to be awarded in total prize money. A total of $77,500 in prize money will be awarded at the USA Half Marathon Championships.

The first ten U.S. runners earn points at each USARC race (15 for first, 12 for second, 10 for third, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2 and 1), with those earning the most points receiving prize money at the end of the series.

The mission of the USARC is to showcase, support and promote U.S. runners. Since its inception in 1995, the USARC and its races have provided more than $10.7 million to U.S. distance runners.

photo credit:

2013 USA Half Marathon Championships
Duluth, MN, Saturday, June 22, 2013

1) Mo Trafeh 28     Duarte     CA 1:01:17 $12000
2) Meb Keflezighi 38     San Diego     CA     1:01:22 $8000
3) Shadrack Biwott 28     Eugene     OR     1:02:24 $5000
4) Timothy Ritchie     25     Brighton     MA 1:02:29 $4000
5) Josphat Boit     29     Mammoth Lakes     CA     1:02:32 $3000
6) Abdi Abdirahman     36     Tucson     AZ 1:02:57 $2000
7) Bobby Mack     28     Raleigh     NC 1:03:10 $1500
8) Ian Burrell     28     Tucson     AZ     1:03:13 $1000
9) Scott Wietecha     31     Hendersonville     TN 1:03:13 $800
10) Christopher Barnicle 26     Mammoth Lakes     CA 1:03:15 $700
11) Tyler McCandless     26     Boulder     CO 1:03:16 $500
12) Sergio Reyes 31     Los Osos     CA 1:03:16 $250

1) Adriana Nelson     33     Boulder  CO     1:11:19 $12,000
2) Desiree Davila     29     Washington Township MI 1:11:26 $8000
3) Kelly Brinkman     32     Bloomington     MN  1:11:33 $5000
4) Stephanie Rothstein-Bruce     29  Flagstaff     AZ  1:11:38 $4000
5) Mattie Suver     25     Jelm     WY     1:11:56 $3000
6) Maegan Krifchin     25     Dewitt     NY     1:12:05 $2000
7) Serena Burla     30     Falls Church     VA     1:12:14 $1500
8) Brianne Nelson     32     Golden     CO     1:12:23 $1000
9) Michelle Frey     31     Minneapolis     MN 1:12:34 $800
10) Wendy Thomas 34     Windsor CO 1:13:17 $700
11) Katie McGregor 35     St. Louis Pk     MN 1:13:19 $500
12) Sarah Crouch 23     Blowing Rock     NC 1:13:34 $250