Field includes Kenyan Lineth Chepkurui, the hottest runner on the American roads; online registration for runners thru Aug. 20
GLOUCESTER, Massachusetts — The inaugural Run Gloucester! 7-Mile Road Race has attracted three top elite athletes – including record-breaker Lineth Chepkurui of Kenya – to the Sunday, Aug. 22 race on scenic Cape Ann, race organizers announced Thursday.
The Run Gloucester! 7-Mile Road Race, which includes nearly five miles of often breathtaking ocean views, is still accepting race registrations at www.rungloucester.com. Online registration will close at 5 p.m. Aug. 20. Bib packet pick-up and registration will be Sat., Aug. 21, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Gloucester High School. Race day registration also will be available from 6 a.m. to 7:45 a.m. at the high school.
Lineth Chepkurui, the hottest runner on the American roads, is coming off a course record-setting (30:59) victory at the TD Bank Beach to Beacon 10K in Cape Elizabeth, Maine last weekend, following her win at the Peachtree 10K Road Race in July. Ranked 9th in the world by Running Times, the 22-year-old is a favorite in the Falmouth Road Race this Sunday (Aug. 15).
Joining Chepkurui in the Run Gloucester field will be Kenyan James Koskei, 41, one of the top master’s runners in the world, and newcomer Alan Kiprono of Kenya, who is making a strong impression in his first races on American soil.
“We’re thrilled to have three of the strongest distance runners in the world joining the local and New England recreational runners in our inaugural race,” said Dave McGillivray of DMSE Sports, Inc., who also serves as race director of the BAA Boston Marathon as well as the popular TD Bank Beach to Beacon 10K. "This is a great opportunity for local runners to be in a race field with elite athletes of this caliber. These are inspiring athletes. It’s going to make the race even more interesting and help the causes this event was created to assist – the local GFAA and DMSE’s Children Fitness Foundation."
Following a long, stellar career in the open division, Koskei is now a dominant force in the master’s category. He took the master’s title at the BAA Boston Marathon in April (2:17.28), finishing 18th overall in a deep field, and also is the reigning master’s champ at both the TD Bank Beach to Beacon (29:54 in 2010) and Falmouth Road Race, races he won in 2002.
Kiprono, on the other hand, is just getting started. The 20-year-old placed second at the TD Bank Beach to Beacon 10K with a blazing 27:42, just 1.3 seconds behind the winner, and will be seeking a top placing in Falmouth this weekend.
Chepkurui has been one of the most feared female road racers for two years now, winning nearly every race she enters, including the past two Peachtree Road Race 10Ks, Crescent City Classic 10Ks and Cherry Blossom 10Ms. A member of the Kenyan Armed Forces, she set a world record at 12K (38:07) to win the Bay to Breakers 12K earlier this year, and ran the fastest 10K in the world so far in 2010 at Crescent City (30:45). She broke the course record at the highly competitive TD Bank Beach to Beacon by more than 25 seconds.
Race organizers and the lead sponsor, Saucony, Inc., a leading global supplier of performance athletic footwear and apparel with brand headquarters in Lexington, Mass., have established a prize purse of $5,000. The winning man and woman will each receive $1,500, with $750 for the second place finishers and $250 for third. Saucony also will award shoe gift certificates to all age group winners.
In addition to Saucony, Inc., other sponsors include Addison Gilbert Hospital, which will assist the medical team at the race, the Gloucester Daily Times, Marriott Peabody, Courtyard Boston Danvers, Springhill Suites Boston Peabody, Sudbay Motors, North Shore 104.9, the Vitamin Shoppe, Cape Ann Savings Bank, Bank Gloucester, Seaboard Beer Distributors and Dunkin’ Donuts.
Proceeds from the Run Gloucester! 7-Mile will benefit the Gloucester Fishermen Athletic Association (GFAA) and DMSE’s Children Fitness Foundation.
The GFAA, the race’s primary beneficiary, raises funds for Gloucester High School student-athletes, sports programs and facilities, and is a key supporter of the renovation of Gloucester High's Newell Stadium.
Volunteers are also needed and can sign up at the race website at www.rungloucester.com/volunteer.
Race day parking will be available at Gloucester High School and at Stage Fort Park. Race organizers are encouraging runners who pick up their numbers or register for the race at the high school on Sat., Aug. 21 to park at Stage Fort Park on race day, and those picking up or registering for the race on race day to park at Gloucester High School.
Founded by McGillivray in 1981, DMSE Sports, Inc. is a leader in sports event management, specializing in creating, marketing and producing mass participatory athletic events throughout the U.S. and abroad. McGillivray has produced or consulted on more than 900 mass-participatory athletic events throughout the world, including 23 Boston Marathons; the 2004 and 2008 USA Women’s Olympic Marathon Trials, the 1990 Triathlon World Championship, the 1998 Goodwill Games Triathlon, and the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games. For more info, visit www.dmsesports.com.