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Returning Champions Seek Repeats at 2017 DICK’S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon and UPMC Health Plan Pittsburgh Half Marathon

2016 Marathon champions Kipkoech Ruto and Ayantu Dakebo Hailemaryam ready to defend titles; Half Marathon champions Julius Kogo and Etaferahu Temesgen also return to Steel City; $132,000 guaranteed prize purse available plus $40,000 U.S. bonus money

PITTSBURGH – Defending race champions will be seeking repeats against top international fields at the 9th DICK’S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon and UPMC Health Plan Pittsburgh Half Marathon, set for Sunday, May 7. The year’s event features a $132,000 prize purse, including $40,500 American Development Program bonuses. 

In the men’s Marathon, defending champion Kipkoech Ruto, 28, leads one of the largest invited fields in recent history. The Kenyan won last year’s race in 2 hours, 17 minutes, 27 seconds. Challenging him at the front will be American frontrunners Nick Arciniaga and Craig Leon. Arciniaga was a member of the 2011 IAAF World Championship team and the 2013 USA Marathon national champion. Leon has a personal best of 2:13:52, and most recently was 11th at the TCS New York City Marathon. Top American last year Tyler Jermann also returns.

For the women, Ayantu Dakebo Hailemaryam, 20, also will defend her 26.2 mile title. Last year, the Ethiopian’s winning time was 2:39:18. Phebe Ko, who was last year’s top American woman, also returns to the Steel City. 

In the UPMC Health Plan Pittsburgh Half Marathon, defending champion and event record holder Julius Kogo, 31, will face Kenyan countrymen Kimutai Cheriyout and Nelson Oyugi plus returning top American Rob Molke. Americans Ben Bruce and Danny Mercado of Flagstaff, AZ should also be in the top placement mix. Bruce is a 4-time USA World Championship team member and boasts the fastest American PR of 1:02:28 in the field.

For the women, defending UPMC Health Plan champion Etaferahu Temesge of Ethiopia, 27, leads a deep field against event record holder and 2014 champion Sophy Jepchirchir and 2015 champion Susan Jerotich. Fellow Kenyan Gladys Kipsoi also looks to be a threat, and could take the field under the 70 minute mark. Bria Wetsch headlines the American women along with 2016 Philadelphia Marathon champion Taylor Ward

The 9th event edition offers $132,000 overall in guaranteed prize money with $8000 for the Marathon champions and $6500 for the Half Marathon winners. In addition, there is $40,500 in U.S.-only bonuses at both events as part of the event organizer P3R’s American Development Program (ADP).

Overall Open prize money goes 7 deep for the Marathon and Half Marathon, respectively: $8000, $6000, $4000, $2500, $1500, $1000 and $500 and $6500, $4000, $3000, $2000, $1000, $500 and $250.

The ADP prize purse goes 5 deep per gender – provided race time standards are met:
Marathon (Men 2:25 or faster and Women 2:50 or faster): $4500, $3500, $2500, $1500 and $1000
Half Marathon (Men 1:12 or faster and Women 1:22 or faster): $3000, $2000, $1000, $750 and $500

In addition, this year, the elite field in the Half Marathon will start at 6:55 a.m., ten minutes before the mass Half Marathon and Marathon races. 

MEN’S MARATHON
Kipkoech Ruto, KEN, Unattached, 2:14:45
Betram Keter, KEN, Unattached, 2:09:27
Fikadu Girma Teferi, ETH, West Side Runners - WSX, 2:09:34
Musa Babo Ido, ETH, West Side Runners - WSX, 2:10:28
Jacob Chemtai, KEN, Unattached, 2:11
Senbeto Geneti Guteba, ETH, West Side Runners - WSX, 2:11:12
Nick Arciniaga, USA, Under Armour, 2:11:30
Werkuneh Seyoum Aboye, ETH, West Side Runners - WSX, 2:11:43
Craig Leon, USA, Mizuno, 2:13:52
Sammy Too, KEN, Unattached, 2:15:15
Tyler Jermann, USA, Team Run Flagstaff, 2:18:35
C Fred Joslyn, USA, Fleet Feet Racing, 2:18:49
Nick Edinger, USA, Up-N-Running, 2:20:32
Evan Gaynor, USA, Dave’s Racing Team, 2:20:35
Travis Morrison, USA, Unattached, 2:23:30
Bryan Flynn, USA, Unattached, 2:25:00
Zachary Hoagland, USA, North Wales Running Co., 2:27:54
James Hommes, USA, Pittsburgh Pharaoh Hounds, 2:28:44
Matt Herring, USA, S.W.I.F.T. Racing, 2:30:56
Seth Marcaccio, CAN, Unattached, Debut
Samuel Deme, ETH, Unattached, 2:09:44
Derege Mengesha, ETH, Unattached, 2:18:33


WOMEN’S MARATHON
Ayantu Dakebo Hailemaryam, ETH, Unattached, 2:33:51
Autumn Ray, USA, Sonoran Distance Project, 2:41:09
Phebe Ko, USA, Under Armour, 2:41:42
Loice Kangogo, KEN, Unattached, 2:41:44
Laura Harnish, USA, Pittsburgh Pharaoh Hounds, 2:42:09
Bizuwork Getahun Kasaye, ETH, West Side Runners - WSX, 2:42:17
Mindy Sawtelle Zotolla, USA, Get Running, 2:46:41
Kate Hails, USA, Pittsburgh Pharaoh Hounds, 2:54:08

MEN’S HALF MARATHON
Julius Kogo, KEN, Unattached, 1:01:47
Nelson Oyugi, KEN, Unattached, 1:01:53
Ben Bruce, USA, HOKA ONE ONE NAZ Elite, 1:02:28
Kimutai Cheruiyot, KEN, Unattached, 1:02:45
Rob Molke, USA, Brooks, 1:03:27
Simion Chirchir, KEN, Unattached, 1:03:36
Danny Mercado, USA, Team Run Flagstaff, 1:04:02
Abu Kebede Diriba, ETH, West Side Runners - WSX, 1:04:22
Jonathan Peterson, USA, Team USA Minnesota, 1:04:26
Andy Weaver, USA, Fall Road Running, 1:04:27
Kurt Ward, USA, Unattached, 1:09:00
Trevor Van Ackeren, Aardvark Sports Shop, 1:09:32
William Appman, USA, Garden State Track Club, 1:09:47
Charlie Ban, USA, Pacers Running, 1:10:10
Colt Mack, USA, USATF - Three Rivers Association, 1:11:10
Cyrus Korir, KEN, Unattached, Debut
Joseph Whelan, USA, Unattached, Debut

WOMEN’S HALF MARATHON
Etaferahu Temesgen, ETH, adidas, 1:10:56
Gladys Kipsoi, KEN, Unattached, 1:09:11
Bose Gemeda Assefa, ETH, West Side Runners-WSX, 1:11:00
Joan Aiyabei, KEN, Unattached, 1:11:16
Hellen Jemutai, KEN, Unattached, 1:11:27
Sophy Jepchirchir, KEN, Unattached, 1:11:36
Susan Jerotich, KEN, Unattached, 1:11:50
Jennifer Bigham, USA, Pittsburgh Pharaoh Hounds, 1:15:00
Bria Wetsch, USA, Boulder Track Club, 1:15:35
Sarah Vergete, USA, Unattached, 1:16:48
Autumn Ray, USA, Sonoran Distance Project, 1:16:50
Emily Hulme, USA, Unattached, 1:16:51
Kelsey Markham, USA, Unattached, 1:20:33
Natalie Bower, USA, Unattached, Debut
Taylor Ward, USA, Brooks I.D. Elite, Debut

For more information about the 2017 DICK’S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon, go to: ThePittsburghMarathon.com

About P3R
P3R is a nonprofit organization that is passionate about promoting the love of running and enhancing community access to health & fitness education and activities. Best known for organizing the acclaimed annual DSG Pittsburgh Marathon, we also run a variety of other high-quality races, events and health & fitness programs throughout the Pittsburgh region. While many of our races attract some of the nation’s highest-profile professional athletes, we offer activities for all ages and ability levels. The only criterion for participation is a desire to be happy, healthy and active! Learn more at: www.P3R.org

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