Following tradition, a world-class men’s and women’s field will toe the line at the start of the 44th running of the AJC Peachtree Road Race on Thursday, July 4. For the first time, the AJC Peachtree Road Race will host the USA Women’s 10 km Championship as it welcomes back the USA Men’s 10 km Championship for the fifth time in seven years. The event will also serve as the 2013 Professional Road Running Organization’s (PRRO) Race of Champions. Athletes in the 2013 AJC Peachtree Road Race will be competing for a share of the $139,500 overall prize purse, which includes $30,000 each for the USA Men’s and Women’s 10 km Championships. Additionally, two men and two women competing in the 2013 Peachtree are eligible to receive a $10,000 PRRO bonus*. Eligible athletes must place first in the AJC Peachtree Road Race in order to take home the PRRO bonus.
“Hosting the USA Men’s and Women’s 10 km Championships makes the AJC Peachtree Road Race even more exciting this year by attracting some of the top distance talent in the country,” said Tracey Russell, race director for the AJC Peachtree Road Race and executive director of the Atlanta Track Club. “With more than 80 professional athletes from around the world competing, this will be the largest field in recent history, and we expect some outstanding performances from both the men and the women.”
This year, both the men’s and women’s 2012 AJC Peachtree Road Race champions will return to defend their titles. The men’s field is stacked with nearly 40 runners, including Peter Kirui (KEN), who finished first (27:37) last year. Kirui will be joined at the line by fellow Kenyan and two-time Peachtree champion, Sammy Kitwara. Both Kitwara (KEN) and Belete Assefa (KEN) have the $10,000 PRRO bonus on the line. Kitwara qualified for the bonus through his win at the World’s Best 10 km in February (28:42), while Assefa won the Bloomsday 12 km with 34:21 in May. Top contenders for the USA Men’s 10 km Championship title include Mo Trafeh and Meb Keflezighi. Both athletes are coming off of stellar performances at the USA Men’s Half Marathon Championships on June 22 in Duluth, Minnesota, where Trafeh out kicked Keflezighi by just four seconds with a time of 1:01:17.
On the women’s side, Mamitu Daska (ETH) and Buzunesh Deba (ETH) are competing for the PRRO bonus. Daska finished first in the 2012 AJC Peachtree Road Race with a time of 32:22 and qualified for the bonus money just days later at the Utica Boilermaker 15 km (49:26). Deba is the 2013 champion of the Lilac Bloomsday 12 km with a finish of 39:53. Local runner and Atlanta Track Club member Janet Cherobon-Bawcom is one to watch in the USA Women’s 10 km Championship. Cherobon-Bawcom earned her third consecutive USA Women’s 10 Mile Championship title at the Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Run this past April, where she set a new USA 10 Mile record (53:28).
The 44th running of the AJC Peachtree Road Race will take place on Thursday, July 4, 2013. The professional women’s field will take off at 7:17 a.m. followed by the men’s division at 7:30 a.m. The event begins on Peachtree Road by Lenox Square Mall and finishes on 10th Street near Piedmont Park.
*If a PRRO eligible male and female runner both win the AJC Peachtree Road Race, the $10,000 will be divided in half between the two athletes.
2013 AJC Peachtree Road Race Invited Athlete Start List
Mike Kigen Kipruto