Reigning U.S. half marathon champion first American invited to prestigious Japanese race since 2002.
Team USA Minnesota’s Antonio Vega, the 2010 USA Half Marathon Champion, heads to Japan this week for the 53rd edition of the Sapporo Half Marathon on July 4th.
The Sapporo Half Marathon will be held on the Japanese island of Hokkaido with the race beginning at 1:32 p.m. Despite hot and humid conditions, the event attracks nearly every top distance runner out of Japan and a host of Japan-based Kenyan athletes. According to a release issued by Boulder Wave, Inc., Vega is the first American man invited to Sapporo since Khalid Khannouchi in 2002.
“I am very excited for my first race in Japan,” said Vega, who most recently was the top American at the Steamboat Classic 4 Mile on June 19. “I am excited to get this opportunity to gain some international racing experience. After a short break following the Boston Marathon (where he set a personal best of 2:13:47), I feel like my training is once again on track for a great summer racing season.”
So far in 2010, Vega has posted six personal bests on the track and in road races, including his USA Half Marathon win in 1:01:54. He currently leads the USA Running Circuit standings. In addition, Vega finished eighth at the USA Cross Country Championships and third at the USA 15k Championships in a personal best time of 43:55.
Contact: Pat Goodwin, 952-924-1081; firstname.lastname@example.org