Whether Bloomsday sees a record number of runners this year will be dependent on one thing and one thing alone, opined race organizers on Tuesday.>>
Whether Bloomsday sees a record number of runners this year will be dependent on one thing and one thing alone, opined race organizers on Tuesday. That one thing: the weather. Registration for the 12k road race in Spokane this Sunday is trending between 1,000 and 1,500 more than last year.>>
Organizers on Tuesday announced the field of elite athletes who signed up to race in this weekend's Bloomsday Run in Spokane. Among the runners will be three of the four returning champions: Lineth Chepkurui, Jordan Bird and Amanda McGrory.
Peter Kirui, who won the men's elite division last year, will not make the trip to Spokane this year because of problems with his visa. Kirui, from Kenya, won last year's race with a time of 34:28. He has under his belt a long string of strong finishes at races all over the world. He most recently placed third at this year's City Pier Half Marathon in Holland.
Chepkurui was the top female runner in last years race for the third year in row. She finished the 2010 race with a record time of 38:10, beating her time in 2009 by 27 seconds. Her Bloomsday time last year was the fastest in race history and the fastest 12k time in the world. She most recently placed second at the 2011 Crescent City Classic 10k in New Orleans.
After finishing in 8th place in 2009, Bird won the men's wheelchair division last year with a time of 26:20. A member of the University of Arizona team, he won the Gasparilla 15k in 2010.
McGrory, from Savoy, Ill., races for the University of Illinois and is a four-time consecutive Bloomsday winner. She finished last year with a time of 35:15. She finisheds second in the Beijing Paralympic Marathon, won the 2011 Gasparilla Distance Classic, placed third at the 2011 World Championship Marathon and won the World Championship 5000m.