Having won the previous two USATF 25 km titles, Aliphine Tuliamuk will be back again on Saturday to chase a three-peat at the Michigan event. Fresh off her first place finish at the USATF Half Marathon Championships this past Sunday, the Hoka One One runner will be facing off against competitors: Esther Atkins, Emma Bates and Lindsey Scherf.
In 2015, Scherf took the top spot at the USATF 25km and two years ago finished second behind Tuliamuk. She’ll be bringing with her Grand Rapids experience which may play out well for her in the final parts of the race. Having placed 27th at the IAAF World Half Marathon Championships earlier this season, and second in the Vancouver Sun Run 10K, Bates will no doubt be putting up a fight to break the tape.
Although Atkins has not raced a USATF championship yet this season, she placed 12th at the Osaka International Ladies Marathon in January in 2:36:57. Atkins also ran the Grand Rapids course in 2016 and placed fourth overall.
In the men’s open division, Saucony runner Parker Stinson will make his way to the starting line for the second time this week following his second place finish at the USATF Half Marathon Championships in Pittsburgh. Sitting in eighth overall in the USATF Running Circuit standings, a win here could give him a big push up the ladder. Challenging him will be Hoka One One runner Scott Fauble who placed fifth at the United Airlines NYC Half earlier this season and 10th in the 10,000m at the Payton Jordan Invitational.
Other top challengers in the women’s elite field include Alexandra Niles and Melissa Gacek—the eighth and tenth place finishers at the 2016 USATF 25 km Championships—and Lauren Totten and Mara Olson who took third and fourth place at the Credit Union SACTOWN Run this past April. For the men, Jared Ward, Tyler McCandless and Nathan Martin will vie for the top spots with Ward having won the same event back in 2016.
The USATF 25 km Championships will take place at on May 12 and are the fifth stop on the 2018 USATF Running Circuit. The price purse is $50,700.