MOLINE, IL - Hirut Guangul (Ethiopia) and Mary Akor (Hawthorne, CA) are preparing for a re-match, in the women's division, at the 2013 Quad Cities Marathon, presented by THE National Bank. The runners finished 1-2 at last year's event, with Guangul setting a new course record in 2:35:07 and Akor close behind at 2:36:27. The duo will be challenged by one of the deepest women's fields in QCM history. The race is set for Sun. Sept. 22nd, with a start/finish in downtown Moline.
Guangul and Akor have posted solid results in 2012 and 2013. The two rivals have raced each other four times, with each runner besting the other twice.
Guangul's 2013 best is a 2:35:29 at Grandma's (6th), she also clocked 2:38:05 at Pittsburgh (2nd) and 2:41:12 at Donna (3rd). In 2012, she ran 2:34:02 at Twin Cities (2nd), 2:35:49 at Des Moines (2nd), 2:39:56 at Pittsburgh (3rd), 2:46:29 at Grandma's (9th), and her 2:35:07 at the QCM (1st).
Akor's 2013 best is a 2:36:04 at Cleveland (2nd), she ran 2:37:35 at Pittsburgh (1st), 2:41:15 at Woodlands (1st), and 2:41:24 at Donna (4th). In 2012, Akor ran 2:35:01 at Des Moines (1st), 2:39:49 at Cleveland (1st), 2:46:01 at Vancouver (2nd), and her 2:36:27 at the QCM (2nd).
Akor will have her first opportunity to qualify for the 2016 USATF Olympic Trials at the QCM. The A Standard is 2:37:00 and the B Standard is 2:43:00. She was 17th in 2004 at the Trials and 19th in 2008.
Tezata Dengersa (Ethiopia) also looks to be a top contender. In 2013, she ran 2:43:30 at Grandma's (10th) and 2:49:39 at Shamrock (1st). In 2012, Dengersa had a 2:40:35 at Baltimore (6th), 2:46:10 at Pittsburgh (5th), 2:50:01 at Shamrock (1st), and 2:50:06 at Donna (7th).
Muliye Gurmu (Ethiopia) is another top QCM returner. Gurmu placed 5th at the 2012 QCM in 2:47:05. Her best, this year, is a 2:51:15 from her win at Buffalo.
Kenemi Chala Orgesa (Ethiopia) is the fourth Ethiopian in the field, she is an up and comer on the racing scene.
Faith Stephan (Colorado Springs, CO) also is entered in the open elite field. She won this year's Leadville Trail Marathon.
Four elites look to contend for the master's title. They include: Kristina Pham (Phoenix, AZ), Bonnie Ritchotte (Littleton, NH), Jennifer Smith (Novi, MI), and Nancy Schubring (Novi, MI).
NINE ELITES ENTERED IN 2013 RUHL & RUHL WOMEN'S HALF MARATHON
Nine elites have entered the 2013 Ruhl & Ruhl Women's Half Marathon. The runners will be chasing the 1:16:16 course record set by Pauline Mutwa (Kenya) in last year's race. Mutwa is not returning for this year's race.
Kristy Harken (Ankeny, IA) is the top returner. She was third last year in 1:23:42.
Doreen Kitaka (Kenya) has the top seed teams. She ran 1:15:58 at the 2012 Park to Park and sports a marathon best of 2:32:31 from the 2011 Grandma's race. She will be joined by her Duma Racing teammates Cynthia Jerop (Kenya) and Bilah Kamau (Kenya). Jerop ran 1:19:05 in Santa Barbara last year, while Kamau posted a 1:04:26 at the Crim 10-Miler this year.
Marron Burke (Chicago, IL), Vanessa Mereses (Peoria, IL), Julie Ralston (Dwight, IL), and Lauren Versweyveld (Janesville, WI) round out the open event competitors in the half. Deb Deren (White Lake, MI) will compete as a master's runner.