Kenyan Sensation Limo Hopes to Add Bloomsday to Her Resume
Spokane, Washington—Last year's Bloomsday champion, Allan Kiprono, is back to defend his title this Sunday, and if successful he'll become only the second male to win three Bloomsdays. Kiprono was victorious in 2012 and again last year, and only Kenyan great John Korir has managed to win the race three times.
"Last year Allan cruised comfortably to a 29-second margin of victory, expanding his lead with each block on Broadway," said Elite Athlete Coordinator Jon Neill. "With a victory on Sunday, Kiprono has the opportunity to elevate his status to that of Bloomsday legend."
Kiprono's task won't be easy, though, as a group of topnotch road racers will be in the hunt, including 2014 runnerup Kevin Lochei and fellow Kenyans Lani Rutto, Leonard Korir, Phillip Langat, and newcomer John Muritu. Along with the Kenyans, Ethiopian Solomon Deksisa and Americans Patrick Smyth and Luke Puskedra promise to make the battle up front interesting.
While the men's race will focus on Kiprono's quest for a third title, the pre-race favorite in the women's field is newcomer Cynthia Limo of Kenya. Limo has been tearing up the roads this spring, with second place finishes at the World's Best 10K, Crescent City Classic, and Cherry Blossom 10 Mile, along with a stunning 31:08 10K en route to a 1:07 finish at the RAK Half Marathon.
"Since this is Limo's first Bloomsday and knowing the way she races, plan for her to bolt early," predicted Neill.
To add a Bloomsday victory to her resume, Limo will have to get by three-time champion Lineth Chepkurui, who finished second last year, as well as Risper Gesabwa, who finished third. American Blake Russell, who won the US National Marathon title at the LA Marathon in March, and Ethiopians Makida Abdela and Ruti Agi, as well as Kenyan Ann Wanjiru, should also be factors in the women's race, which boasts a slew of top road racers.
This year's elite wheelchair division is the best in Bloomsday history, with a stunning array of top competitors in both men's and women's divisions. Three former men's champions—Scott Parson, Aaron Gordian and Josh George—will grace the men's field, with 2014 winner George the pre-race favorite after winning the World Marathon Championship less than a week ago in London. In the women's field, past champions Amanda McGrory and Susannah Scaroni will have their hands full in battling recently crowned World Marathon Champion Tatyana McFadden, who will be racing her first Bloomsday. And to complete the World Marathon Championship theme, Quad-52 World Marathon Champion Ray Martin will try to outduel ten-time Bloomsday Champion Santiago Sanz.
"When you already have a stellar field coming to town and you're gifted with three newly crowned World Marathon Champions one week before the race," said Wheelchair Coordinator Bob Murphy, "You know it's incredibly special."
Nearly $100,000 in prize money is offered in the 2015 Lilac Bloomsday Run, including a $10,000 purse ($5,000 - $2,500 - $1,250 - $750 - $500) for the top male and female Americans who finish in the top 25. The Lilac Bloomsday Run is the fourth race in the Professional Road Running Organization (PRRO) series of major
A field of nearly 50,000 runners, joggers and walkers are expected to have entered by the time registration closes on Saturday evening. Procrastinators will have until 6:30 on Saturday to sign up.
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