Meb, Desi Lead U.S. Charge At Bix 7

The 39th running of the annual race boasts strong elite fields.

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The 39th running of the annual race boasts strong elite fields.

(c) 2013 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved. Used with permission. 

Tomorrow marks the 39th running of the Quad-City Times Bix 7 Mile in Davenport, Iowa, and organizers have recruited a strong elite field.

Kenya’s Silas Kipruto, who will wear bib #1, will try to win the iconic race for the third consecutive time. In 2011 he clocked 32:36, then ran five seconds faster in last year’s contest, beating compatriot Allan Kiprono by three seconds. Kiprono is not scheduled to compete tomorrow, but Peachtree Road Race runner-up Belete Assefa of Ethiopia should give Kipruto a strong challenge, along with marathoners Dino Sefir (ETH), Deriba Merga (ETH), Meb Keflezighi (USA) and Peter Kamais (KEN).

The top athletes entered on the women’s side are also from Africa, led by Kenya’s Caroline Rotich, the reigning NYC Half and Volkswagen Prague Marathon champion. She was the Bix winner in 2011. Buzunesh Deba of Ethiopia, the runner-up from the 2011 ING New York City Marathon; Diane Nukuri-Johnson of Burundi, the 2013 Bay to Breakers 12K winner; Betsy Saina of Kenya, the former Iowa State star; and Kenyan Jane Murage of Kenya, who won last weekend’s Subaru Chase in Buffalo, N.Y., should be Rotich’s top challengers.

Also entered are American Olympian Desiree Davila, who will use the race as part of her training for the upcoming BMW Berlin Marathon in September, and Dutchwoman Adrienne Herzog, the 2012 European Cross Country Championships bronze medalist.

The course records for the out-and-back course are both held by Kenyans: 31:52 by John Korir (1998), and 35:24 by Susan Chepkemei (2004). Race winners will receive $12,500 in cash.