MOLINE, IL - The 2017 Quad Cities Marathon, presented by Triumph Community Bank, will feature a women's field with added depth. The 20th Anniversary race is slated for 7:30-am, Sept. 24th, with a start and finish at John Deere Commons. The 26.2-mile course features a mostly flat route along the Mississippi River.
The field will chase after a 2:35:07 course record, set in 2012 by Ethiopia's Hirut Guangul. Guangul, a four-time champ at the QCM and last year's winner in 2:44:25, is unable to compete this year due to injury.
Six other Ethiopians are slated for the women's event. Meseret Gebre Dekebo has run well lately, she placed third in 2:33:28 at this year's Riga, Latvia, Marathon. Eyerusalem Kuma ran 2:42:20 to place fifth at the Dongguan, China, Marathon. Kuma has a personal best of 2:24:55 from a second-place finish at the 2011 TCS Amsterdam Marathon. Another career highlight was a 2:33:22 at the 2012 Toronto Waterfront Marathon. Letebrhan Gebreslasea owns a 1:09:45 effort from the 2014 Paderborn, Germany, Half Marathon and placed first at this year's Yellow River Dongying, China, Marathon in 2:25:01. Meseret Ali Basa won this year's Hamilton, Bermuda, Marathon in 3:02:40 and was third at last year's QCM (3:03:09). Two other Ethiopians have solid performances at the half-marathon distance and are moving up to the full distance: Bose Gemeda Assefa (1:16:52 at 2016 Hartford) and Belayinesh Fikadu (1:20:57, 2016 Fairfield).
Three Kenyan runners look to challenge for the women's title. Joan Massah placed 16th at Seoul, South Korea, this year in 2:43:43 and was third at the 2016 Lima, Peru, Marathon in 2:43:19. Doreen Kitaka was eighth at this year's Lagos, Nigeria, Marathon (2:43:50) and ran a 2016 half-marathon in 1:18:31. Cynthia Jerop was a winner at last year's Albany Marathon (2:50:34) and ran 2:44:58 at the 2015 Twin Cities Marathon.
Carrie Weldy (Phoenix, AZ) and Elena Shemyakina (Geneva, IL) round out the elites in the full marathon. Weldy owns a 2:56:48 marathon best from the 2017 BMO Harris Bank Phoenix race. Shemyakina is a master's runner with a 3:09 effort at the 2015 London Marathon. She also placed ninth overall and second in master's at the 2012 QCM.
Five Runners in Mel Foster Half Marathon Elite Field
The Mel Foster Half Marathon features five elite runners this fall. The athletes will look to challenge the 1:14:23 course record, set by Laura Batterink (Evanson, IL), from 2014. Last year's winner, Andrea Rediger (Minneapolis, MN), will not defend her title. She ran 1:21:00 to place first.
Viola Chepchumba (Kenya) will be a favorite in the field. She placed second in two big half-marathons this year: Prague, Czech Republic (1:05:22) and Goteborg, Sweden (1:08:11).
Julie Crutchfield (Wilmington, IL) placed third in the 2013 QCM Half. In 2016, she ran 1:23:31 at the Cellcom Green Bay Half Marathon. Chelsie Heesch (Wilton, WI) placed fifth in last year's Green Bay Bellin Run and ran a 1:26:42 at this year's San Jose Half. Hannah Reese (Denver, CO) has a 5K best of 17:20 and a Half Marathon best of 1:26. Brendelyn Juergens (Coal Valley, IL) rounds out the elite half field, she ran 1:27:34 at the St. Louis Rock-n-Roll Half.
2017 QCM ELITE WOMEN'S FIELD:
FULL MARATHON WOMEN, 11 (with bib numbers)
14. Meseret Ali Basa, Ethiopia
18. Belayinesh Fikadu, Ethiopia
2. Meseret Gebre Dekebo, Ethiopia
6. Letebrhan Gebreslasea, Ethiopia
16. Bose Gemeda Assefa, Ethiopia
12. Cynthia Jerop, Kenya
10. Doreen Kitaka, Kenya
4. Eyerusalem Kuma, Ethiopia
8. Joan Massah, Kenya
22. Elena Shemyakina, Geneva, IL*
20. Carrie Weldy, Phoenix, AZ
HALF MARATHON WOMEN, 5 (with bib numbers)
7000. Viola Chepchumba, Kenya
7001. Julie Crutchfield, Wilmington, IL
7002. Chelsie Heesch, Wilton, WI
7003. Brendelyn Juergens, Coal Valley, IL
7004. Hannah Reese, Denver, CO
Note, field as of 9/11/17 (Subject to Change)