MOLINE, IL - The 2017 Quad Cities Marathon, presented by Triumph Community Bank, has an exciting lineup for the 20th Anniversary men's elite field. The 26.2-mile race is scheduled for 7:30-am, Sept. 24th, with a start and finish at John Deere Commons.
Headlining the field this year will be Fikadu Teferi (Ethiopia) and Hillary Too (Kenya) in a rematch of last year's battle decided by just six seconds. Last year, Teferi used a late surge in the final blocks to pull out the win in 2:16:56. Too was just behind in 2:17:02. The duo ran nearly stride for stride for the entire race. Teferi has had recent success at other marathons: 2017 Pittsburgh (2:16:51, 3rd) and 2016 Columbus (2:14:39, 1st). His PR sits at 2:09:34 (2014). Too has a pair of second-place finishes this year: Green Bay (2:19:06) and Miami (2:19:43). Too's last win was at the 2016 Woodlands (2:18:48). Teferi's win last year was the fifth fastest performance ever at the QCM. The course record is 2:14:04 (2013) set by Kenyan Kiplangat Terer.
Hailemariam Kahsay (Ethiopia) is another top challenger, running 2:15:51 at the 2016 Wuhan, China, Marathon (8th). Kahsay's PR is 2:14:13 (2012). Joseph Amenya (Kenya) was fourth at this year's Green Bay race (2:20:37) and a winner at the 2016 Leon, Mexico, Marathon (2:19:12). Amenya's PR is 2:15:33 (2011). Luke Kibet (Kenya) ran 2:12:16 last year at Dongguan, China (7th) and owns a lifetime PR of 2:08:52 (2005). David Tuwei (Kenya) has two wins this year at Lincoln, NE, and Fargo, ND. Tuwei ran 2:19:57 at the 2015 Twin Cities Marathon.
Abu Kebede Diriba (Ethiopia) ran a 1:06:46 half-marathon this year (United Airlines NYC) and clocked a 2:22:04 at the 2016 Pittsburgh Marathon to place sixth. Birhanu Kemal (Ethiopia) placed seventh last year at Grandma's (2:17:31) and ran a quick 2:15:40 to place ninth at NYC Marathon in 2015. John Mania Njoroge (Kenya) has a 2:12:52 PR from 2011 and ran a 1:08:28 half-marathon in 2014.
Tsegay Hiluf Berhe (Ethiopia) ran 2:25:02 this year at the Dongying, China, Marathon. He has good speed with a 14:05 5K best. Josphat Chobei (Kenya) has a 1:04:16 half-marathon best (Green Bay, 1st). Patrick Jenkins (Waterloo, WI) returns to the QCM after placing sixth a year ago (2:34:03). Jenkins also placed fifth at the 2016 Green Bay Marathon. He was a nine-time NCAA All-American at UW-Stout. Blake Whalen (Dubuque, IA) is making his marathon debut. The former West Texas A&M runner has a half-marathon PR of 1:10:03 and a 10K PR of 30:07. Michael Cheptoo (Kenya) rounds out the open elite runners.
The master's field has three top contenders. Stanley Boen (Kenya) has three recent solid efforts: 2016 Utah Valley (2:23:41, 1st), 2017 Louisville (2:26:52, 1st), and 2017 Birmingham (2:27:11, 3rd). Francesco Arato (Bolingbrook, IL) captured master's wins at the 2015 QCM (2:37:30) and 2014 QCM (3:04:31). Arato's 2017 best is a 2:36:19 at Fargo. Chuck Engle (Lancaster, OH) rounds out the master's elite. He has a lifetime best of 2:31:01 and a recent best of 2:55:22. Engle is known as the "Marathon Junkie" for his numerous sub-3 hour finishes.
Large Elite Men's Field Ready for Mel Foster Half Marathon
A total of 18 men's elites are entered in the 2017 Mel Foster Half Marathon. They will set chase to a 1:05:03 course record from Kenyan Robert Wambua's 2012 effort. Brandon Mull (Chicago, IL) won last year's Half in 1:08:47, but will not be defending his title.
Sammy Rotich (Clive, IA) is one of the top contenders having recently run 1:03:32 in Waterloo this year. Benson Cheruiyot (Valpariso, IN) has a lifetime best of 1:02:51 (2014) and Richard Kandie (Kenya) has a lifetime PR of 1:03:20 (2011). Fellow Kenyan Esau Ambakwa (Minneapolis, MN) should also be a force in the lead pack.
Zach Baker (West Des Moines, IA) owns a 1:06:58 Half best and 30:40 10K PR. He represents the Runablaze Team. Tyler Pence (Springfield, IL) sports a 1:07 Half best, 29:35 10K PR, and 13:59 5K record. He was a seven-time NCAA Division II All-American.
Logan Beausoleil (Bettendorf, IA) is another top elite. He placed third in the 2016 QCM Half in 1:13:20 and was the top local finisher. Luke Padesky (Moline, IL) ran in college at SIU-Edwardsville and made his marathon debut at the 2016 QCM, finishing ninth overall and top local. Ethan Koch (Rock Island, IL) ran a 30:30 10K in 2016 at Augustana College, while Brian Lovejoy (Davenport, IA) also ran for Augustana and is in the field.
Coree Aussem-Woltering (Ottawa, IL) has been a regular in the Quad Cities. He owns a 1:10:21 Half best. He was fifth overall in the 2015 QCM Half and placed sixth overall in the 2014 QCM. Joe Niemiec (Jackson, MI) is in the field with a 14:41 5K best and 31:20 10K PR. Jordan Wildermuth (Elgin, IL) has run a 2:40:14 marathon and is in the field. Rounding out the open half field is QC regular Phil McNeal (Milwaukee, WI) and Jose Escoriza (Dubuque, IA).
The Half master's elite field includes: Pete Mathis (Tinley Park, IL), Julius Rotich (Des Moines, IA), and Rick Torres (Elizabethtown, KY).
2017 QCM ELITE MEN'S FIELD:
FULL MARATHON MEN, 17 (with bib numbers)
7. Joseph Amenya, Kenya
33. Francesco Arato, Bolingbrook, IL*
21. Tsegay Hiluf Berhe, Ethiopia
23. Stanley Boen, Kenya*
35. Michael Cheptoo, Kenya
25. Josphat Chobei, Kenya
31. Chuck Engle, Lancaster, OH*
1. Fikadu Girma Teferi, Ethiopia#
27. Patrick Jenkins, Waterloo, WI
5. Hailemariam Kahsay, Ethiopia
11. Abu Kebede Diriba, Ethiopia
15. Birhanu Kemal, Ethiopia
9. Luke Kibet, Kenya
17. John Mania Njoroge, Kenya
3. Hillary Too, Kenya
19. David Tuwei, Kenya
29. Blake Whalen, Dubuque, IA
HALF MARATHON MEN, 18 (with bib numbers)
7005. Esau Ambakwa, Minneapolis, MN
7006. Coree Aussem-Woltering, Ottawa, IL
7007. Zach Baker, West Des Moines, IA
7008. Logan Beausoleil, Bettendorf, IA
7009. Benson Cheruiyot, Valparaiso, IN
7010. Jose Escoriza, Dubuque, IA
7011. Richard Kandie, Kenya
7012. Ethan Koch, Rock Island, IL
7013. Brian Lovejoy, Davenport, IA
7014. Pete Mathis, Tinley Park, IL*
7015. Phil McNeal, Milwaukee, WI
7016. Joe Niemiec, Jackson, MI
7017. Luke Padesky, Moline, IL
7018. Tyler Pence, Springfield, IL
7019. Julius Rotich, Des Moines, IA*
7020. Sammy Rotich, Clive, IA
7021. Rick Torres, Elizabethtown, KY*
7022. Jordan Wildermuth, Elgin, IL
# Defending overall champion
Note, field as of 9/13/17 (Subject to Change)