Moroccan Olympian heads International Field at Stratton Faxon Fairfield 1/2 – Elite Athlete field finalized
Fairfield: This Sunday’s Stratton Faxon Fairfield Half Marathon features top athletes from Ethiopia, Morocco, Turkey, Kenya and the United States. With over 4,300 entries already taken, the ½ marathon race field limit of 4,500 should be reached by the end of the week. Over 1,500 are expected in this Saturday’s 5K and race entries will be accepted on race day. Both events take place at Fairfield’s Jennings Beach.
The men’s half marathon field features 2008 Moroccan Olympian, Marofit Mourad. Mourad competed for Morocco in the 5,000 meters and boasts a 1:01 ½ marathon best. Ethiopia’s Tesfaye Girma should challenge Mourad for the top spot. Girma recently won a 10K in Middletown, NY and has the fastest half marathon best in the field (1:00). Also expected to finish near the top are Ethiopia’s Ketema Nigusee and Demesse Tefera. Nigusee was 2nd in last year’s Stratton Faxon Fairfield Half Marathon. Tefera was the 2011 Stratton Faxon Danbury Half Marathon champion and has a half marathon best of 1:02. Kenya’s Nelson Kiplagat, 3rd in last month’s Pittsburgh Marathon, can also challenge for the top spot. New London’s Scott Mindell, CT’s top finisher in this year’s Boston Marathon, will likely be the top American finisher.
Last year’s Stratton Faxon Fairfield Half Marathon Champion, Morocco’s Malika Mejdoub, returns to defend her title against last year’s runner-up Turkey’s Tertza Dengersa. Ethiopia’s Asha Gigi will challenge for the top spot. Gigi has a 2:26 marathon best. Turkish runners Meryem Erdogan and Hirut Mandefro could also win the event. Erdogan boasts a 1:11 ½ marathon best and Mandefro has a 1:13 ½ marathon best. Burlington’s Mary Currier, 2000 Stratton Faxon Fairfield Champion, is expected to be the top Connecticut finisher.
Event Coordinator John Bysiewicz states, "This year’s race should be very exciting. Both the men’s and women’s races could be decided in the last few steps."
A record crowd of about 6,000 runners (from 11 countries, 36 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico) will participate in the Stratton Faxon Fairfield Road Races this weekend. For event information, visit fairfieldhalf.org or call (203) 481-5933. The Stratton Faxon Law Firm became the event’s Title Sponsor in 2007. The Stratton Faxon Fairfield Road Races are hosted by the Fairfield Firefighters and presented by Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield. Crystal Rock, The Connecticut Post, 95.9 The FOX, News 12 Connecticut, Connecticut Sports Massage Team, Whole Foods, The Boston Company, Integrated Medical Center of Fairfield, Kayem Foods, Inc., Iridian Asset Management, The John Patrick Flanagan Foundation, Wade’s Dairy, Seix Advisors LLC, Optimum, Blue Buffalo, Bridgeport BMW and Robeks Premium Fruit Smoothies also support the Fairfield Road Races.
Bib Sex Athlete Country
3 M Marofit Mourad Morocco 2008 Olympian 5,000 Meters.
4 M Demesse Tefera Ethiopia Winner '11 Stratton Faxon Danbury 1/2 Marathon.
5 M Tesfaye Girma Ethiopia 1/2 marathon best of 1:00.
2 M Ketema Nigusee Ethiopia 2nd in '11 Stratton Faxon Fairfield 1/2 Marathon.
6 M Nelson Kiglagat Kenya 2:14 1/2 Marathon best.
7 M Scott Mindel USA Top CT finisher in '11 Boston Marathon.
8 M Joseph Darda USA One of CT's top distance runners.
9 M Boniface Kipkosgei Biwott Kenya 1/2 marathon best of 1:02.
10 F Tertza Dengersa Turkey 2nd '11 Stratton Faxon Fairfield 1/2 Marathon.
1 F Malika Mejdoub Morocco Winner '11 Stratton Faxon Fairfield 1/2 Marathon.
12 F Asha Gigi Ethiopia 1:10 1/2 marathon best.
13 F Mary Currier USA Winner 2001 Stratton Faxon Fairfield 1/2 Marathon.
14 F Ilona Barvanova Ukraine 1:13 1/2 marathon best.
15 F Mekides Bekele Ethiopia 2:47 marathon best.
16 F Meryem Erdogan Turkey 1:11 1/2 marathon best.
17 F Hirut Mandefro Turkey 1:13 1/2 marathon best.