Ben True was the first American to cross the line in fifth place.
From: Running USA
ATLANTA — The professional field at the 42nd AJC Peachtree Road Race proved strong as Kenyan Sammy Kitwara and Ethiopian Werknesh Kidane took home victories on Monday, the Fourth of July, with finish times of 28 minutes, 5 seconds and 31:23 respectively. Kitwara, the 2009 Peachtree champion, was also eligible for the Professional Road Racing Organization (PRRO) Championship and took home an additional $10,000 bonus bringing his total Peachtree earnings to $25,000.
“We knew we had a great field of competitors going into this year’s race and they didn’t disappoint, with an exciting finish in the Open Men’s race and four Americans in the top 10,” said Tracey Russell, Race Director for the AJC Peachtree Road Race and Executive Director of the Atlanta Track Club. “With 60,000 participants, we had the largest field in Peachtree history and are happy to report a successful event.”
Kitwara, 24, and fellow Kenyan Mathew Kisorio, 22, who ran 28:07, dominated the 6.2 mile point-to-point race from the start. Kisorio, who was running his first Peachtree, pushed the pace early on, but Kitwara’s knowledge of the course benefited him as he pulled ahead at the end for a tremendous finish.
“My strategy was to go out and win,” said Kitwara following the race.
Ben True of Hanover, NH was the first American to cross the finish line in 28:28, finishing fifth overall and claiming his first USA Men’s 10K crown and the accompanying $10,000. True, 25, used his superior strength and power to catch early leader, Brian Lee Olinger (28:35), and later, he broke away from the pack at the finish for the U.S. title, edging defending USA champion Ed Moran of Williamsburg, VA, who ran 28:29 as national runner-up, sixth overall.
“I just tried to stay in contention the whole way through,” said True, who was running his first Peachtree. “I knew that if I was there for the last couple hundred meters, I had a good shot at it.”
On the women’s side, Kidane, 30, broke away early and maintained her lead throughout the race. Kenyan Alice Timbilili and Ethiopian Belainesh Gebre finished second (31:48) and third (31:59) respectively. Adriana Nelson of Ft. Collins, CO was the top U.S. woman in 32:49, good for 6th overall.
In the Masters races, Vyacheslav Shabunin, 41, of Russia took the men’s title in 31:19, while Atlanta resident and 10th overall finisher in the women’s race, Stephanie Herbst-Lucke, 44, claimed Masters Female top honors in 33:29.
The morning kicked off with some exciting finishes in the Shepherd Center Wheelchair Division of the AJC Peachtree Road Race, where Krige Schabort of Cedartown, GA (19:47) and Tatyana McFadden of Champaign, IL (24:46) came in first in the Open men’s and women’s races.