Some of the nation’s best runners will descend on the City of Champions on Sunday, May 6 for the 2018 USATF Half Marathon Championships. Headlining this year’s field are the defending USATF Running Circuit Champions Leonard Korir and Aliphine Tuliamuk.
For the first time, the UPMC Health Plan Pittsburgh Half Marathon, part of the 10th annual DICK’S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon weekend of events organized by P3R, will host a national road championship race.
Korir, 31, a U.S. Olympian in 2016, recently set a half-marathon personal record of 59 minutes, 52 seconds - the third fastest time by an American. The 2017 USATF Half Marathon Champion has had previous success on Pittsburgh roads, winning the EQT Pittsburgh 10 Miler in both 2014 and 2016.
“I plan to come well prepared for any challenge I may face. I want to use my experience and hopefully win the race,” Korir said. “I love being part of the competition, and I can’t wait to come there in May and run fast. People in Pittsburgh love running and watching elites. ”
Joining Korir in the top men’s field is Samuel Kosgei, who ran a half-marathon personal record of 59:36 in 2009 as a Kenyan citizen and now competes for the U.S. Army. Other challengers include Matt Llano, who has a half-marathon PR of 1:01:47 and represented Team USA at the 2014 IAAF World Half Marathon Championships, as well as Parker Stinson, who has a half-marathon PR of 1:03:17.
Aliphine Tuliamuk, 28, leads the women’s national championship field. She earned the 2017 USATF Running Circuit title that included four national crowns: Cross Country, 10K, 7 Mile and 25K. Tuliamuk has a half-marathon PR of 1:09:16 and she was the 2015 DICK’S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon runner-up.
“I love the fact that they brought the national championships to Pittsburgh because it’s an opportunity for me to come back to the city where I debuted in the marathon,” said Tuliamuk, a native of Kenya turned U.S. citizen who now lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico. “To come and win a national title would be so awesome. The course is not going to be easy, it’s going to be a challenge, but it’s going to be an honest race. When you win, you know you worked for it.”
Also toeing the line alongside Tuliamuk is Lindsay Flanagan, who was the silver medalist at the 2015 Pan American Games Marathon and later represented the USA at the 2017 IAAF Marathon World Championships. In addition, Rochelle Kanuho, who has a half-marathon personal best of 1:11:28, and Lindsey Scherf, who has a half-marathon PR of 1:11:45, are expected to compete for the national title.
This year’s USATF Half Marathon Championships offers an event record prize purse of $85,000. The top 15 finishers in the male and female open divisions will earn guaranteed prize money, including a record $15,000 each for the national champions. There will also be additional money available through performance time and record bonuses.
The full list of entrants will be released in late April. For more information about the USATF Half Marathon Championships, visit http://pittsburghmarathon.com/USATFHalfChampionships.