Saturday, October 2, 2010

Four national titles on line in Twin Cities

By Chris Lotsbom

A championships-packed day of racing is set to take place Sunday in Minnesota's Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul as four USA Championship events will be contested as part of the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon race festival.

To begin the day, the USA Women's 10 Mile Championship will be held as part of the Medtronic TC 10 Mile. Local favorite and Team USA Minnesota member Katie McGregor will aim to capture her seventh USA championship title. Having won the Medtronic TC 10 Mile five times, though never when it was a USA Championship event, the 33 year-old McGregor will seek to use her experience to her advantage. Challenging her will be three-time Olympian and two-time USA 15 km Champion Jen Rhines. Rhines, who trains with the Mammoth Track Club in Mammoth Lakes, Calif., placed second to McGregor in the USA 15 km Championships earlier this year. Also toeing the line will be Sally Meyerhoff and Renee Metivier Baillie. The winner of the USA Women's 10 Mile Championship will earn $10,000.

The Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon will play host to three national championships: the USA Men's Marathon Championship, and the USA Masters Marathon Championships for both men and women. Headlining the men's championship event is Fernando Cabada, the 2008 champion and current 25 km American record holder. Joining Cabada and making his marathon debut will be Mo Trafeh, the current leader of the USA Running Circuit (USARC), which concludes this weekend in Minneapolis. Trafeh, who moved to California from Morocco when he was 14 years old, will be aiming for his second USA title of the year. In March, he won the Gate River Run in Jacksonville, Fla., which served as the U.S. 15 km Championships. Other notables competing for the marathon title will be Sergio Reyes, Jeffrey Eggleston, David Jankowski, and local favorite Josh Moen of Team USA Minnesota. The winner of the event will take home $25,000.

For the 20th consecutive year, the USA Masters Marathon Championships will be part of the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon. The 2005 and 2006 men's overall and masters champion Mbarak Hussein of Albuquerque, N.M., returns to the race looking to make it three titles in five years. Hussein, 45, could be challenged by Michigan's Carl Rundell and Paul Aufdemberge, as well as Texas's Sean Wade.

The women's masters competition will see three-time champion Susan Loken of Phoenix, Ariz., try to get her fourth title in six years. Winning titles in 2005, 2006, and 2007, the 47 year-old will have to contend with Jill Boaz, who was the second-place finisher and USA champion in 2002, and Meghan Arbogast, runner-up in 2008. New to the masters scene is Tamara Karrh, Heather May, and Lucie Mays, all who could take home the $7,500 first prize.

The USA Women's 10 Mile and Men's Marathon Championships will be webcast live on, starting at 7:03 a.m. Central Time (8:03 Eastern Time) on Sunday.