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America's Finest City Half Marathon Professional Field Announced

Date: 
08/10/2009 - 11:26

afclogo-09.gifSAN DIEGO - (August 9, 2009) - Two-time defending women's champion Hiromi Ominami of Japan and an international field of world class athletes will take to San Diego's notoriously scenic streets for the 32nd America's Finest City Half Marathon
(AFC Half) on Sunday, August 16, announced Neil Finn Sports Management, Inc., the event organizer.

More than 9,000 runners are expected to participate in the sold-out half-marathon and accompanying AFC 5K road races.

The professional women's field also includes the event's 2008 runner-up Hyvon Ngetich, 24, of Kenya and Hiromi Ominami's identical twin sister, Takami Ominami, the 2008 fourth place finisher and 2007 runner-up.

Hiromi Ominami out ran Ngetich by 12 seconds in 2008, finishing in 1 hour, 12 minutes and 47 seconds and 1:12:59, respectively. Hiromi, the first born of the twins, has a half-marathon personal best of 1:08:45. Takami holds a 1:10:21 PR at the same distance.

If Hiromi Ominami, 33, wins the AFC half in 2009, she will be the first competitor in the race's history to claim victories in three consecutive years (three-peat).

The women's field also includes Zemedkun Gebre Belainesh, 21, of Ethiopia who placed third at the 2008 AFC Half (1:14:33), Leah Kiprono, 29, of Kenya who has a 1:09:45 half-marathon personal best and Daniela Cirlan, 28, of Romania. Cirlan ran her 1:12:14 half-marathon personal best at the 2007 IAAF World Half-Marathon Championships and clocked 2:36:18 at the 2008 Berlin Marathon, her debut at that distance.

Sylvia Mosqueda, 43, of Los Angeles, will headline the women's masters field. The 1988 NCAA 10,000m champion and 1988 and 2002 AFC Half champion (1:11:31 and 1:12:34 respectively) won the masters division (16:56) at the Carlsbad 5000 held last April.

The men's field will feature a strong contingent of Africans and Americans alike. Ethiopian Ezkyas Sisay and Kenyans Jynocel Basweti, Ernest Kebenei, Stephen Muange, Japheth Ngojoy and Elisa Korir Chumo will line up with four-time All-American Matt Downin, two-time All-American Kris Houghton, Jesse Armijo, Sergio Reyes and Mario Macias.

The AFC Half course records are 1:02:24 for the men and 1:10:37 for the women. Competitors in the half-marathon will vie for $13,700 in prize money and bonuses.

The AFC Half point-to-point course starts at the Cabrillo National Monument, runs along the San Diego Bay and through downtown and finishes in historic Balboa Park. The accompanying AFC 5K starts and finishes in Balboa Park.

Produced by Neil Finn Sports Management, Inc., the event weekend benefits the Cabrillo National Monument Foundation, the Lorenzen Cancer Foundation, New Children's Museum and numerous other non-profit organizations. For more information please visit www.afchalf.com or call (760) 692-2900.

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