He squares off against Sammy Kitwara this weekend.
From: Running USA
SAN FRANCISCO — As the Zazzle Bay to Breakers 12K kicks off its second century on Sunday, May 20, 2012, the City can bank on seeing the highest caliber of competition to grace this race in decades. Welcoming back an Olympic silver medalist, the course record holder and a former Boston Marathon champ, this race is sure to go down in the history books.
This year, the Zazzle Bay to Breakers footrace welcomes back 2004 Olympic Marathon silver medalist Meb Keflezighi for the second time. The ZB2B follows Keflezighi’s inspiring win at the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials in January, where he qualified for his third Olympic Games.
Standing in his way is course-record holder Sammy Kitwara. The Kenyan Kitwara is looking to capture his third title on the Great Highway and is one of the fastest men ever over the half-marathon distance. Kitwara set the course record of 33 minutes, 31 seconds in 2009.
Looking for a victory of his own is Ethiopian Deriba Merga. Merga was runner-up at the centennial race and hoisted the victor’s laurels at the 2009 Boston Marathon. Merga is a well-known front runner who is not afraid to push the pace and has declared the focus of his spring racing is to win the 101st Bay to Breakers in San Francisco.
This trio of men, along with athletes from Australia, Kenya, the United States and Ethiopia will vie not only for the champion’s trophy, but also for a $25,000 bonus if the winner can beat the top female to the finish line. There’s also a $5000 bonus for the first runner to crest the fabled Hayes Street Hill.