Balanced Elite Women’s Field Lining Up in Full, Half Marathons

September 2, 2012

MOLINE, IL - Balanced women's fields are taking shape in this fall's Quad Cities Marathon, presented by THE National Bank, and Ruhl and Ruhl Half Marathon. The events will take place at 7:30-am, Sept. 23rd, with a start/finish at the John Deere Commons in downtown Moline. The two prize-money runs are part of a race day that also includes a 5k run/walk, and marathon relay. The field remains open and is subject to change.

In the full marathon, Muliye Gurmu (Ethiopia) who placed second in 2011, is the top returner. She covered the 26.2-mile course in 2:47:13 last year. 2011 winner, Caroline LeFrak (New York, NY) ran 2:41:11, but will not be in this fall's field. Gurmu will be one of the top contenders in a deep and balanced field that features six runners with a sub 2:48 seed time. 

Mary Akor (Hawthorn, CA) is a favorite with three recent  sub 2:40 finishes. Akor won this year's Cleveland Marathon (2:39:49), was 5th in the 2011 Twin Cities Marathon (2:37:22), and placed 7th in the 2011 Los Angeles Marathon (2:37:21). Akor ran in the Quad Cities once before, placing 2nd back in 2005. Fellow Californian Julia Stamps Mallon (Santa Rosa, CA) set the QC half marathon record with her win last year in 1:19:31 and will make the move to the full distance this year. Mallon ran 2:44:07 to place 68th at this year's Olympic Trials. She also won the 2011 Santa Rosa Marathon in 2:44:17.

Master's runner Tatyana Byelovol (Ukraine) has a solid seed time of 2:43:54 from the 2011 Donna Marathon (1st master's, 7th overall). Kaci Lickteig (Omaha, NE) returns this fall, she placed 4th at the QCM last fall in 2:54:22, before improving to a 2:44:15 at the 2011 California International Marathon (13th). She ran 2:48:05 at the 2012 Olympic Trials (105th). Hirut Beyene Guangul (Ethiopia) is another top contender. She placed 9th at this year's Grandma's Marathon in 2:46:29. 

Anna Keith (Waverly, IA) and Amanda Paige Edwards (North Liberty, IA) are two up and coming regional runners in the field. Keith ran a 1:26:12 at the 2012 Sturgis Falls Half Marathon, while Paige ran a 1:25:56 at this year's Drake Relays Half Marathon. Two master's runners close out the full marathon field to date: Karen Plucinski (Carl Junction, MO) and Elena Shemyakina (Geneva, IL). Plucinski ran 3:14:29 in Little Rock this year, while Shemyakina won the 2006 QCM master's and placed 2nd in the 2008 and 2009 QCM master's.

The women's course record in the full marathon belongs to Halina Karnatsevich (Belarus) from 2004 at 2:36:26.

QCM Women's Full Marathon Field - Top Seeds At a Glance:
Name, From, Notes
 Mary Akor, Hawthorn, CA, 2:37:21 (2011)
Tatyana Byelovol*, Ukraine, 2:43:54 (2011)
Julia Stamps Mallon, Santa Rosa, CA, 2:44:07 (2012)
Kaci Lickteig, Omaha, NE, 2:44:15 (2011)
Hirut Beyene Guangul, Ethiopia, 2:46:29 (2012)
Muliye Gurmu, Ethiopia, 2:47:13 (2011)

* master's runner


A number of top elites will look to challenge Julia Mallon's 1:19:31 course record in the 2012 race. Nine runners have solid credentials and should make for the deepest women's half field in QC history.

Local standout Jen Paul (LeClaire, IA) is the top returner in the Ruhl and Ruhl field. She was second in 2011, covering the 13.1-mile course in 1:21:59. Paul is a former Augustana College standout. Megan Herrick (Flagstaff, AZ), a member of McMillan Elite Arizona, is another top seed in the half field. She is a former Big-Ten track champ and cross country All-American from Minnesota. More recently, she was 9th at the 2011 USATF Cross Country championship and was the 2011 silver medalist at the 2011 NACAC Cross Country championship. Her 10,000 best sits at 33:40. 

Pauline Mutwa (Kenya) ran a 34:33 10k this summer at the Ames Midnight Madness and should contend with the front runners. Dorcus Chesang (Uganda) also should contend. Chesang ran 1:19:24 this year at the Moshi Half Marathon, while Kristy Feldman (Ankeny, IA) owns a 1:23:54 personal best. Feldman represents Run Ablaze Iowa. Blossom Marimpietri (Downers Grove, IL) placed 5th in the 2011 Full QCM and will enter the half this year. Theresa Brokaw (Madison, WI) notched a 1:20:19 20k this year at Lake Monona.

Holly Fearing (Madison, WI) and Melissa Mantel (Chelsea, MI) round out the half marathon top seeds. Fearing was 7th in the 2010 full QCM. Mantel has a 1:24:01 half PR from the 2012 Dexter Ann Arbor race.

Note, 2012 field updated at the following link: click here