Atlanta Track Club to Offer $12,000 Prize Purse at Thanksgiving Day 5K
ATLANTA, November 15, 2016 – Atlanta Track Club announced today an expanded prize purse for the Thanksgiving Day 5K. A total of $12,000 will be awarded. The event will be held Thursday, November 24 in conjunction with the Club’s Thanksgiving Day Half Marathon.Prize money will be awarded to the top five overall male and female athletes in the Thanksgiving Day 5K, with the winners taking home $2,000 each.“Atlanta is a year-round running destination and the home of the country’s largest half marathon on Thanksgiving. Beginning this year, we want to also shine a light on our Thanksgiving Day 5K by inviting long distance talent to go head-to-head with our local elite runners,” said Rich Kenah, Atlanta Track Club’s executive director.The race to watch could be between Atlanta Track Club Elite’s Kirubel Erassa (Grayson, GA) and Nike Running’s Sam Chelanga (Colorado Springs, CO). The pair recently faced off at the 2016 USATF 5K Championships, with Chelanga narrowly beating out Erassa for third place. Chelanga crossed the finish line in 13:58 with Erassa close behind in 14:00. Erassa will attempt to defend his 2015 Thanksgiving Day 5K title after winning in 14:30 last year.For the women, Mizuno Running’s Serena Burla (Washington, D.C.) will headline the Thanksgiving Day 5K. Burla was the top American female finisher at last month’s Bank of America Chicago Marathon. She will face tough competition from Atlanta Track Club Elite’s Bridget Lyons (Atlanta, GA) and 2015 Thanksgiving Day 5K winner Lauren Sara (Mableton, GA).Other top competitors include:Men:• Tommy Curtin (Leesburg, VA), 2016 ACC 5K & 10K Outdoor Champion• Trevor Dunbar (Eugene, OR), 13:26 5K personal best• Ford Palmer (Smithville, NJ), 3:56 one mile personal best• Biya Simbassa (Minneapolis, MN), 13:29 5K personal bestWomen:• Allie Buchalski (Greenville, SC), Member of Team USA at World Junior XC Championships• Valentine Kibet (Colorado Springs, CO.), Member of Team Africa in 2014 AJC Peachtree Road Race’s Peachtree Cup• Yolanda Ngarambe (Mableton, GA), 1500m Silver Medal, 2016 Swedish Indoor Track & Field Championships• Natosha Rogers (Boulder, CO), 2012 NCAA 10K ChampionThe Thanksgiving Day Half Marathon & 5K will take place on Thursday, November 24 at Turner Field. The event also features the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia One Mile and a 50m dash. Online registration is available through Wednesday, November 16. For more information on the Thanksgiving Day Half Marathon events, visit atlantatrackclub.org.About Atlanta Track ClubAtlanta Track Club is a nonprofit committed to creating an active and healthy Atlanta. Through running and walking, Atlanta Track Club motivates, inspires and engages the community to enjoy a healthier lifestyle. With more than 26,000 members, Atlanta Track Club is the second largest running organization in the United States. In addition to the AJC Peachtree Road Race (peachtreeroadrace.org) – the largest 10K running event in the world, the Publix Georgia Marathon, PNC Atlanta 10 Miler and Thanksgiving Day Half Marathon, Atlanta Track Club directs more than 30 events per year. Through the support of its members and volunteers, Atlanta Track Club also maintains a number of community initiatives including organizing and promoting the Kilometer Kids youth running program to metro Atlanta youth, honoring high school cross country and track and field athletes through Atlanta Track Club’s All-Metro Banquets and supporting the Grady Bicycle EMT program. For more information on Atlanta Track Club, visit atlantatrackclub.org.