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Jeff Fedorko, Race Director


September 23, 2018

$10,000 Bonus For Course Record Brings Deep Elite Runner Field 

LYNCHBURG, VA – The excitement is building for the 45th Anniversary of the Genworth Virginia 10 Miler.  The addition of a $10,000 bonus to the Man and /or Woman who sets a new course record will bring out the best in an elite field of over fifty top runners.  This is the largest and deepest elite field since the 1980s.

Defending champion Benard Ngeno, a Kenyan runner, who trains out of Chapel Hill North Carolina returns to defend his crown and chase the record.  Benard ran 47:25 in 2017, 35 seconds off the course record (46:50) set by Rod Dixon in 1981.  The weather conditions were less than ideal last year so with hopefully better conditions this year and with Benard (age 22) a year stronger, the record could be in jeopardy.

Benard will be challenged by his teammate Julius Kogo, second most winningest male runner with four 10 Miler victories to his credit.  Julius showed he is in fine form by winning the Bobby Crim 10 Miler in August for the 6th time.  Also challenging will be Emmanuel Chamer, a Kenyan training in Mexico.  Emmanuel won the 2016 Mexico City Marathon with a time of 2:19:30 which is exceptional considering Mexico City’s altitude of over 7,000 feet.

Top American Men include Fernando Cabada (Colorado Springs CO), Will Christian (Top American in 2014) and former Indiana State University Star, John Mascari who placed 2nd at this year’s Indy Mini-marathon (13.1 miles1:04:18). Fernando, an NAIA College Champion from Virginia Intermont, states that he has “unfinished business” after placing as the third American in 2017.  Breaking 50 minutes and being the top American is his goal this year.

The Women’s winner has the possibility of challenging six time winner Anne Audain’s 1984 record of 53:47.  Kenya’s Celliphine Chespol is one of just three women ever to break 9 minutes for the 3,000 meter Steeplechase.  Earlier this year, she ran the fastest time ever run in the United States.  While 3,000 meters (nearly two miles) is a long ways from 10 miles, the strength required for the steeplechase should translate well to the hills of Lynchburg.  At age 19, she is a former World Junior Champion.

Pushing Celliphine Chespol through the streets will be Polish Olympian, Karolina Jarzynska, South African Letitia Saayman (NCAA Cross Country All American) and Kenyans: Susan Jerotich (2nd in 2013), Vicoty Chepngeno (53:29 in the 2018 Cherry Blossom 10 Miler) and Jacquline Nyetipei.  Karoline competed in the marathon at the 2012 Summer Olympics, placing 36th with a time of 2:30:57.  Last year, she broke 54 minutes in the Pittsburgh 10 Miler showing that our record is within range.  She is currently training at high altitude in Alamosa, CO.

The Raleigh Distance Project, which was formed at last year’s 10 Miler, returns five runners this year, including the 1st (Sarah Rapp), 3rd (Tristen Van Ord) and 5th (Andie Cozzarelli) Americans from 2017.  Sarah Rapp, a former Virginia Tech Standout, will be challenged by her teammates as well as Kelsey Bruce (2nd in 2017), former Oklahoma University star Britanny Tretbar (1:14 Half Marathon best), and Jen Zwick (2:47 Marathoner).

The Men’s Masters looks to be a three way battle between Kenyans Julius Kiptoo (last year’s top Master in 52:33), Eliud Kirui, and American Ryan Parrish.  On the Women’s Master’s side, Roanoke’s Sarah Glenn will be tested by Zimbabwean Tsitsi Merritt, from NYC who has battled back from many issues including a severe bike accident which required an 18 month recovery.

The 45th running of the world famous Genworth Virginia 10 Miler will take place Saturday September 29, 2018. More than 5,000 entrants from 20 states and 5 countries plan to participate in either the Virginia 10 Miler, Virginia 4 Miler, Virginia 4 Mile Walk, Virginia 10 Miler Relay and the Amazing Mile Children’s Run. The event is organized by the Lynchburg Road Runners and has been selected by the RRCA as a State Championship for 2018.

For more information please visit www.virginia10miler.com and www.raleighdistanceproject.com