(Course Record: Gilbert Okari, Kenya, 27:28 – 2003)
Best 10K: 27:01
Of note: The defending champion and an Olympic bronze medalist at 10,000m, Micah has utilized his track speed to win the TD Beach to Beacon in two of the past three years – 28:03 in 2013 and 27:47 in 2011. He once ran 27:01 in a 10K road race to set a world record and finished second (2:10:27) in his marathon debut at the 2013 Boston Marathon.
Best 10K: 27:41 (track)
Of note: A race favorite, Ben is set to make triumphant return to his native Maine. He last ran the TD Beach to Beacon in 2009, when he shattered the Maine Resident course record (29:10) and placed 10th overall. The former All-American at Greely High School and Dartmouth College has seen his professional career grow ever since. He turned heads last August when he battled TD Beach to Beacon champ Micah Kogo to the finish at the 2013 Falmouth Road Race to place second, which capped off a year in which he placed sixth at the World Cross Country Championships – the highest finish for an American since 1995 – and narrowly missed making the U.S. team for the World Championships by finishing fourth in both the 5000m and 10,000m at the USA Track & Field Championships. Ben won the 2014 USA 15K Championship at the Gate River Run for the second year in a row, and in May set a PB 13:02.74 to win the 5,000m at the Payton Jordan Invitational at Stanford. He has a PB 27:41.17 at 10,000m.
Best 10K: 27:58
Of note: Meb rode a wave of emotion to win the 2014 B.A.A. Boston Marathon (2:08:37) to become the first American to win at Boston since 1983. At 38, he was the race’s oldest male winner since 1930. Meb is the first American man in history to win the New York and Boston marathons and an Olympic medal – he won silver at the 2004 Olympics in Athens. He also placed 4th at 2012 London Games. His impressive sub-28:00 at the 2007 TD Beach to Beacon (27:58) was good enough for fourth in a strong field – the highest ever placing for an American man in Cape Elizabeth. He placed 5th in the race last year.
Best 10K: 27:27
Of note: Patrick is a former world record holder in the marathon (2:03:38) and two-time Berlin Marathon champ whose 58:52 half marathon in 2009 is one of the fastest ever. He ran a PB 27:27 10K in Berlin in 2007.
Bedan Karoki Muchiri
Best 10K: 26:52.36 (track)
Of note: Bedan is a Japan-based Kenyan who finished fifth at 10,000m at the 2012 London Olympics and recorded an impressive sub-27 on the track at the Prefontaine Classic in May (26:52.36).
Best 10K: 27:08.49 (track)
Of note: An All-American middle distance runner at Liberty University, Sam holds the NCAA record for the 10,000m (27:08.49), set in 2010. Born in Kenya, he moved to the U.S. on a sports scholarship and won the 2009 (course record 28:41.3) and 2010 NCAA Men’s Cross Country Championship, the 11th two-time champ in NCAA history. He won the 2013 Manchester (CT) Road Race and in January placed second at 5000m in a PB 13:04.35 at the BU Multi-Team Meet behind Galen Rupp, who set a new American indoor record.
Best 10K: 28:07
Of note: A late-blooming elite athlete who made his professional debut in 2010, Emmanuel displayed blazing track speed in 2012 by recording the fastest 10,000m in the world for the year – 26:51.16.
Afawerki Berhane Hidru
Best 10K: 28:26
Of note: A bronze medalist at the 2014 African Cross Championships, the gifted teen arrived on American soil for the first time earlier this year and so far has chalked up a win at the Bolder Boulder 10K, a 4th at Bay to Breakers and 10th in his half marathon debut (1:02:02) at the Rock n Roll San Diego Half Marathon.
Best 10K: 28:25:62 (track)
Of note: Fernando is the former holder of the 25K American Record (1:14.21) and ran a PB 2:11:53 to finish 7th at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Marathon trials.
Best 10K: 26:59.60 (track)
Of note: Chris is the former American 10,000m record holder with a time of 26:59.60 in 2010, which also made him the first non-African to break the 27-minute barrier at that distance on the track. He also ran a sub-13 (12:55.53) in 2010 at 5,000m, at that time the second fastest American ever in that event. But more recently, the former University of Wisconsin standout (five NCAA track titles, 14-time All-American) has battled injuries and setbacks. He is now healthy as he transitions to the marathon, with his sights set on making the 2016 Olympic team.
Best 10K: 28:41.96 (track)
Of note: Michael placed 4th at the 2012 USA Half Marathon Championships in PB 1:03. He ran collegiately at the University of Louisville.
Of note: A former University of Virginia track standout who now works 80-hour weeks in finance in Boston, Taylor has rekindled his running career, recording his first sub-4 mile (3:58.77) in the mile run at BU Multi-Team Meet in February. He is a member of Alberto Salazar’s racing team.
Best 10K: 27:52
Of note: Runner up (28:01) at 2012 TD Beach to Beacon, Stephen also set a PB 27:52 to place 4th at the 2010 TD Beach to Beacon. His half marathon PR of 58:54 ranks him in the top 10 all-time for the distance.
Best 10K: 30:39.07 (track)
Of note: Based in Somerville, Mass., Mike was the first American, and sixth overall, at Stratton Faxon Half Marathon in June (1:06:37). Ran collegiately at Notre Dame.
Of note: Markos is a former track standout (3rd in 3000m at 2004 IAAF World Championships) who has made a successful transition into road racing. In 2011, he set a course record (2:06:35) to win the L.A. Marathon in his marathon debut, then followed up with a PB 2:04:54 at the Dubai Marathon in 2012. He took second at the 2012 Honolulu Marathon.
(Course Record: Lineth Chepkurai, Kenya, 30:59 – 2010)
Best 10K: 30:37
Of note: Joyce is in peak form, winning gold at the 2014 Commonwealth Games on Tuesday (July 29) at 10,000m. She won the 2013 TD Beach to Beacon (31:23) still smarting from her exclusion from Kenyan national team at IAAF World Championships and took it out on field, setting the pace and maintaining a lead throughout. The win propelled the African Cross Country champ to a plethora of victories last fall, including a personal best 30:37 at the 2013 ASICS Grand 10 in Berlin, the fastest-ever 10K on German soil. In April, she set her personal best (1:06:19) and a course record at the Prague Half Marathon. She used her track speed to take silver in 1,500m at the 2011 All-Africa Games.
Best 10K: 31:13
Of note: Emily earned bronze, finishing less than two seconds behind Chepkirui, in a hotly contested 10,000m at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glascow. She was the runner up at the 2012 TD Beach to Beacon (31:52) by .6 of a second. A two-time winner of the IAAF World Cross Country Championships, she earned bronze at 2012 African Cross Country Championships. Her 31:18 in late 2011 was one of fastest 10K’s of year – she set her PR 31:13 in 2010. She is the wife of two-time TD Beach to Beacon 10K champ Ed Muge.
Best 10K: 31:41
Of note: America’s top distance runner and a bronze medal winner at 10,000m in the 2008 Olympics, Shalane is returning to the TD Beach to Beacon for the first time since high school in Marblehead, Mass. She is coming off a win in the half marathon (1:09:45) at the Rock ‘n’ Roll Running Festival in Chicago – her time is the second fastest half-marathon by an American woman so far in 2014. In April, with the world watching, Shalane charged to the lead at the 2014 B.A.A. Boston Marathon and held on for 19 miles, ultimately finishing seventh in a personal record 2:22:02 – the fastest time ever recorded by an American woman in Boston’s 118-year history. She is now the third fastest female American marathoner ever, after Deena Kastor and Olympic champion Joan Benoit Samuelson, founder of the TD Beach to Beacon. Her career includes setting American records in the 3000m (indoor), 5000m (indoor), 10,000m and 15K road race, finishing second at the 2010 New York Marathon and winning the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials. She is presently training for the fall marathon season, with her stated goal to run a sub 2:20.
Best 10K: 31:57
Of note: The young Ethiopian distance runner, part of the silver medal team at the 2014 African Cross Country Championships, finished just a few steps behind record-setter Chepkirui at the Berlin 10K last fall in a personal best 30:38.
Best 10K: 31:25
Of note: Aselefech is one of the top all-time marathoners with a personal best 2:19:31, a former Ethiopian record. She won bronze in the marathon at the 2009 IAAF World Championships. Aselefech is a two-time winner of the Dubai Marathon and has finished in the top three at the Paris and London marathons.
Country: Great Britain
Best 10K: 31:26
Of note: Gemma recorded a personal best 31:26 to finish second in her TD Beach to Beacon debut in 201. She duplicated that second-place performance at the Falmouth Road Race a week later. She also won bronze at the European Cross Country Championships in 2011.
Best 10K: 31:37.14 (track)
Of note: One of the America’s top marathoners, Desiree finished 10th at the 2014 B.A.A. Boston Marathon (2:23:54), the second fastest American behind Shalane Flanagan. In 2011, she placed second at Boston with a personal best time of 2:22:38, then the fastest time ever run by an American woman in that event. Desiree represented the U.S. at the 2012 Olympics, but did not finish the marathon due to injury. Her resume also includes a fourth at the Chicago Marathon (2010) and fifth at the Berlin Marathon (2013).
Best 10K: 31:39.67 (track)
Of note: A high school phenom from California turned 16-time All-American at Oregon, Jordan ran a personal best 10,000m (31:39.67) at the Payton Jordan Invitational in May – the 5th fastest in the world in 2014. In June, she placed second in the 10,000m at the 2014 USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships, duplicating her 2013 finish. Jordan started running in elementary school, and she quickly gained acclaim around the nation as the fast young girl with the long blond ponytail. She started by rewriting the Junior Olympic record books and quickly moved on to winning USA Junior championships and making international teams for youth and juniors. In 2008, Hasay ran in the 1500m finals of the Olympic Trials as a high school junior, and in 2009 she graduated as one of the most decorated high school distance runners of all-time. She became only the ninth high school athlete ever (and third woman) to grace the cover of Track and Field News magazine, on its March 2009 issue. While at Oregon, Jordan recorded nine top-three finishes at the NCAA track & field championships. After graduating, she joined Alberto Salazar’s Oregon Project and qualified for her first senior world team in the 10,000m.
Best 10K: 32:55
Of note: A five-time All American at Dartmouth and Oregon, Alexi made her professional road racing debut at the TD Beach to Beacon last year, finishing 10th in a personal best 32:55. A member of the Oregon Track Club, she is known as well for her eclectic fashion sense and personal style. She told Women’s Running, “I want to contribute to the sport as a personality, not just a set of legs. Leaving running sassier and better than I found it is a definite goal.”
Best 10K: 31:35.25 (track)
Of note: After finishing third at the 2008 U.S. Olympic trials, she was the lone American woman to finish the marathon at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, finishing 27th. An All-American middle-distance runner at North Carolina, she actually began her marathon career on a whim and surprisingly won the Twin Cities Marathon in 2003 in 2:30:41, the 3rd fastest debut by an American at the time and qualifing her for the 2004 Olympic Trials, where she just missed a spot on the Olympic team.
Best 10K: 33:40
Of note: Megan was the top American finisher (15:50) at the Freihofer’s Run for Women in June, placing sixth overall. She won the Jones Group 10 Miler in February. A two-time All American at George Washington University, she finished eighth at the 2010 NCAA Cross Country Championships and sixth at 10,000m at the 2010 USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships (32:34.95).
Best 10K: 32:36
Of note: Diane won Bay to Breakers in May. She is a two-time Olympian who finished fourth at the 2011 TD Beach to Beacon and eighth in 2013 (32:36). After competing for Burundi in the 2000 Sydney Olympics as a 15-year-old, Diane fled the country a year later to escape civil war. She learned English and eventually received a scholarship to Iowa St., where her athletic career continued to flourish. Diane also competed in the 2012 London Olympics, representing Burundi.
Best 10K: 32:21.29 (track)
Of note: Hanae recorded a personal best 32:21.29 at 10,000m on June 25 in Fukagawa. She finished third at 2013 Rock n Rock Half Marathon in Philadelphia.
Best 10K: 32:24.73 (track)
Of note: Kaho clocked a personal best 32:24.73 at 10,000m on June 25 in Fukagawa.
Of note: A 10-time All-American at Villanova, Frances finished second at the 2009 NCAA Indoor Track 5000m race and third at the 2009 NCAA Outdoor Track 5000m.
Best 10K: 32:16
Of note: A three-time Olympian, Jennifer’s 32:21 at the 2003 TD Beach to Beacon is the third-fastest ever for an American woman in the event. One of the nation’s most versatile distance runners, she came into her own on the elite track scene when she placed second in the 10,000m at the 2000 Olympic Trials. Jennifer has won national titles on both the track and the roads and represented the USA at 5,000m, 10,000m and the marathon in the Olympic Games.
Best 10K: 32:44.58 (track)
Of note: Katie is a five-time All-American at Boston University.
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* Primary sources for information on athletes from Wikipedia and IAAF website.