Kenyan Chirlee to make marathon debut in Huntsville
Sunday, December 03, 2006
By BRUCE McLELLAN
Associate Sports Editor email@example.com
Most runners undertaking a marathon for the first time just hope to finish.
Joseph Chirlee will hope to win.
A Kenyan who has run a 62-minute half marathon, Chirlee has confirmed that he plans to compete in his first 26.2-mile race in Saturday's 30th annual Rocket City Marathon.
"After talking to him and his manager, he's primed to run a real good marathon and wanted a flatter course, which Rocket City is, to debut for his marathon," said Craig Armstrong, coordinator of invited runners for the Rocket City race.
Chirlee, 26, finished ninth in the 13.1-mile Jefferson Hospital Philadelphia Distance Run earlier this year in 62 minutes, 18 seconds. A rule of thumb for calculating a potential marathon time for an average runner is to double his half marathon time and add 10 minutes.
That would put Chirlee finishing in 2:14:36, which would threaten the course record.
"Guys like this are looking at it like 'OK, I'm ready to take the next level at a very elite level,' " Armstrong said. "With his credentials, he's definitely ready to pop a good time.
"He's a definite contender."
About half of the runners
will attempt a full marathon, with the other half participating as part of two-
or four-runner teams in
Runners in the full
marathon will complete four laps on a 6.5-mile course, according to an e-mail
from 1st Lt. Sarah C. Destremps, director of the
She said they will hold
their marathon on Saturday, too, but
Suzanne Taylor, co-director
of the Rocket City Marathon, said the Huntsville Track Club is supplying the
same T-shirts and hats that will be awarded here to the troops running the
Defending champ not back: Sammy Nyamongo, winner of
Garick Hill, the 2004 champ and runner-up
last year, also isn't entered this year. But his brother, Kevin Hill, 29, of
The fifth-place runner from 2005, Dewayne Miner, 35, of Vestavia Hilles, also is entered.
Two other Kenyans who will
be serious contenders in the
Top woman: The top women's seed also will be making a marathon debut.