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Who will win 2014 Austin Marathon?

Pam LeBlanc
pleblanc@statesman.com

Editor’s note: This article was originally published February 5, 2014

Expect a speedy marathon this year.

It’s been five years since organizers of the Austin Marathon and Half Marathon (now presented by Freescale) have dangled a carrot of prize money in front of the pack, but this year 26 elite runners will have something to race for beyond a finisher’s medal.

The top three finishers in both the women’s and men’s half and full marathon will be awarded a cash prize. If anyone breaks the course record in the full (that’s 2:14:02 in the men’s race and 2:26:26 in the women’s race), they’ll also nab a $5,000 bonus.

The rest of the field, which is expected to total nearly 20,000 runners from 25 countries, will have to settle for a pat on the back and perhaps a swing at that new PR gong at the finish line.

Here’s who’s expected to contend for the 2014 title …

Women’s Half Marathon:

  • Nicole Aish of Colorado, personal best of 1:12:30
  • Kristen Fryburg-Zaitz of Colorado, personal best of 1:12:57

Men’s Half Marathon:

  • Craig Leon of Eugene, Oregon, 2013 time of 1:04:01
  • 2012 3M Half Marathon champion Sammy Cheptoo of Kenya, personal best of 1:03.14

Women’s Full Marathon:

  • Lyudmila Stepanova of Russia, personal best of 2:39.18

Men’s Full Marathon:

  • Toyoyuki Abe of Japan, 15th at the 2013 Boston Marathon in 2:15.48
  • Masaki Hori of Japan
  • 2012 Austin Marathon champion Edward Kiptum of Kenya, personal best of 2:14:46
  • Kimutai Cheruiyot of Kenya, personal best of 2:11:30
  • Joseph Mutinda of Kenya, personal best of 2:13:19