Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

International Contenders Give VP Fair Run Its Strongest Field

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

International Contenders Give VP Fair Run Its Strongest Field

Article excerpt

With some of the best American athletes in town for the U.S. Olympic Festival, the VP Fair Run has taken on an international look.

Runners from Mexico, Morocco, Belgium, Kenya, Poland and New Zealand are among the top contenders in Sunday's 10,000-meter race.

Their presence helps create arguably the strongest field ever to compete in a road run here.

Twenty-one male entrants have covered the 6.2-mile distance in less than 31 minutes in the past year.

The men's course record - 29 minutes 36 seconds by Brian Radle in 1991 - appears to be in jeopardy.

The women's mark - 33:40 by Janis Klecker in '91 - also is facing a challenge. Two women have gone under 34:00; seven others have bettered 36:00.

The 10K begins at 7:35 a.m. at Kiener Plaza, five minutes after the start of the accompanying 3K. The finish is on Fourth Street, near the Old Courthouse. About 1,800 are expected to participate in the two races.

The 10K runners will compete for $10,000 in prize money. The male and female winners will collect $2,000 each - plus $200 for a course record.

Here are the top men's contenders:

Steve Taylor, 28, of Blacksburg, Va. His recent best is 29:05, but his personal record is an eye-popping 27:59.

Brad Barquist, 26, of Bainbridge Island, Wash.: 28:36 in the past year.

Gabino Apolino, 23, of Mexico: 28:50.

Sean Wade, 26, formerly of New Zealand, now living in Houston: 28:52.

Khalid Khannouchi, 22, of Morocco: 29:10.

Jimmy Hearld, 26, of Bowling Green, Ky.: 29:11.

Juan Carlos Chavez, 24, of Mexico: 29:20.

Radle, 27, of Chattanooga, Tenn. (formerly of Arnold): 29:23.

Joe Leuchtmann, 29, of St. Louis: 29:30.

Gavin Gaynor, 28, of Raleigh, N.C.: 29:30.

Eddy Hellebuyck, 33, of Leopoldsburg, Belgium: 29:55.

John Kipkoskei, 25, of Keyna, and Leszek Stekiosa, 24, of Poland: neither submitted recent 10K times but should be among the leaders, based on performances at other distances. …

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