Sam Chelanga, Kim Smith Added To BAA 10K Field

Sam Chelanga, shown here running the BAA 5K in April, will line up for the 10K later this month. Photo:

Star-studded lineup will take to the streets of Boston later this month. 

(c) 2012 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved. Used with permission. 

The Boston Athletic Association announced ten new additions to their B.A.A. 10K field yesterday, an elite contingent which already included three Boston Marathon champions. On Wednesday, 14-time NCAA All-American Sam Chelanga and New Zealand Olympian Kim Smith were among the added entrants to the June 24 race.

Chelanga, who finished fourth in his professional road racing debut at last year’s B.A.A. 10K, returns to Boston as the leader of the inaugural B.A.A. Distance Medley series, which combines times from the B.A.A. 5K, B.A.A. 10K, and the B.A.A. Half Marathon, with the winner earning $100,000.

Having had past success in Boston –finishing second in both last April’s B.A.A. 5K and last October’s B.A.A. Half Marathon– Chelanga was anxious to take part in the 10K event again. As a young boy living in Kenya, Chelanga used to dream of coming to the city, for it is where his brother Joshua earned fame by finishing third in the 2001 Boston Marathon.

“The dream is only getting better. And to think, I mean, what if I win the $100,000 here [from the Distance Medley Relay],” said Chelanga in an interview with Race Results Weekly this past April.

New Zealand’s Smith will also be running the B.A.A. 10K; in last year’s inaugural edition of the race, Smith placed second in 32:06. In the Distance Medley standings, the 30-year-old ranks only behind Ethiopia’s Aheza Kiros.

Additionally, recent Bolder Boulder 10K winner Allan Kiprono, and reigning B.A.A. Half Marathon champion Janet Bawcom will be running for the $5000 first place prize.

Chelanga, Smith, Kiprono, and Bawcom join several previously announced competitors, including 2011 Boston Marathon champion Geoffrey Mutai. Mutai, the world’s fastest-ever marathoner, clocked the second fastest 10-K ever run on American soil with his 27:19 win here last year.

This year’s Boston Marathon women’s champion Sharon Cherop and 2011 Boston Marathon winner Caroline Kilel also return; Kilel won the 2011 B.A.A. 10K in 31:58.

Organizers expect close to 6,000 competitors, with the elites vying for a piece of the $30,000 prize purse.

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