Defending Champions, Olympians Headline 1 Mile Road Championship

USA 1 Mile Championships prize purse equals $20,000 plus $10,000 “bounties” for winners breaking 4 minutes and 4:32

MINNEAPOLIS – (May 10, 2010) – Defending men’s champion David Torrence, 2008 Olympians Lopez Lomong, Anna Pierce and Christin Wurth-Thomas and an intriguing mix of emerging local stars headline Thursday’s Medtronic TC 1 Mile, which will again serve as the USA 1 Mile Road Championships for men and women.

A total race prize purse of $22,500, plus $4000 for each U.S. champion and a pair of $10,000 “Time Bounties,” if the men’s and women’s champions better four minutes and 4:32, respectively, will await the top competitors racing down Minneapolis’ Nicollet Mall on May 13. The national championship contests will culminate a full evening of racing for more than 3,200 runners and hundreds of spectators lining the course.

“We’re excited about the field we’ve gathered for this year’s Medtronic TC 1 Mile,” Twin Cities In Motion executive director Virginia Brophy Achman said. “With the USA Championship on the line and prize money we’re offering, I think spectators will be in for a treat on Thursday night. Nicollet Mall should be electric when these athletes are racing down the street.”

Torrence (left, PhotoRun), 24, the Oakland, California resident who stormed to a lucrative sub-4 minute victory last year, returns in top form. He’ll be challenged by Olympian Lopez Lomong, a former “Lost Boy of Sudan” who has built a triumphant running career out of a desperate childhood. Among the contenders vying for a national championship will be Winona native Garrett Heath, a finalist at the World Indoor Track & Field Championships in Doha, Qatar earlier this year.

In the women’s U.S. championship race, Anna Pierce and Christin Wurth-Thomas are expected to battle and set their sights on Shannon Rowbury’s event record of 4:33.4 on race night. Pierce, 26, a 2008 Olympian in the steeplechase and the #2 ranked 800 meter runner on the planet last year, has run 4:28.37 for the mile. Wurth-Thomas, 29, a 1500 meter Olympian in 2008, has run 4:27.18 for the distance. Wurth-Thomas and Pierce ranked #5 and #6 in the world at the 1500m / mile distance last year. Sarah Bowman and Amy Mortimer should also be contenders for the national crown.

Three rising local runners also hope to play a significant role in the women’s race. University of Minnesota alumnus Heather Dorniden, former Burnsville High School star Laura Januszewski and Team USA Minnesota’s Meghan Armstrong are all eyeing fast times and strong finishes. Dorniden began her professional career this winter with a 3rd place finish at the USA Indoor Championships at 800m. Januszewski was the runner-up in the invitational 1500 meters at the Drake Relays last month, and Armstrong, fresh off a 10,000m personal record, looks to improve upon her 5th place finish at the Medtronic TC 1 Mile last year.

In its 6th year, the Medtronic TC 1 Mile will kick-off at 6:50pm with over 1,000 participants of all ages and abilities running first. The Corporate Team Challenge and age group waves will follow, with the general fields finishing just before the women’s professional field hits the mall for the USA 1 Mile Road Championship at 7:53pm and the professional men will start at 8:03pm.

For more information including the complete USA 1 Mile Championship field, go to: www.usatf.org/events/2010/USA1MileRoadChampionships

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