Friday, January 15, 2010

2010 US Season Set to Kick Off in Houston, Phoenix

Tim Nelson at Stanford 2009The domestic professional season kicks off this Sunday with the American southwest serving as ground zero.  The US Half Marathon Championships will run through the streets of Houston and feature a handful of KIMbia athletes, while the Rock and Roll Arizona Half Marathon goes off in Phoenix, with Simon Bairu taking on American Record Holder Ryan Hall.

There is plenty to be watching and a couple of Running Times pieces have gone inside the KIMbia stories that will be playing out this weekend. Chief among them? The half marathon debuts of Tim Nelson and Brent Vaughn. Vaughn expressed his confidence as he looks ahead with a new coach and new training approach:

“I’m training harder. I’m doing a lot more general strength stuff. My coach now is Jay Johnson. I think he’s a great coach. One of his strengths is knowing how hard I can push once the running is done.”

The full interview can be found hereGetting ink in a full feature piece is Boaz Cheboiywo, who discusses his desire to become the next great American marathoner, with his naturalization scheduled for early this summer.  Entered in the full marathon in Houston, Boaz explained that the marathon has long been a goal of his:

“The marathon is really what I wanted to do even back in college,” he says. “I’m not a young guy anymore, so now is the time to do it. I think I will be among the very best in the marathon if all goes well.” If Cheboiywo becomes the marathoner he and Hudson think he can be, then come June 16, when he’s scheduled to take his citizenship oath, the U.S. will suddenly find itself with another world-class runner at the distance.

The full Scott Douglas-penned piece can be read here.  (Even more background from the feature’s photographer here.) More to come once the results are in!

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