Turkey Trot Announces Elite Field
After an anticipated 28,000 recreational runners burn off pre-holiday-dinner calories at the Applied Materials “Silicon Valley Turkey Trot” on Thanksgiving Day in downtown San Jose, more than 60 elite runners will compete in one of the fastest and most competitive 5-kilometer (3.1 miles) races in the world. Elite athletes representing five countries will toe the starting line including a half dozen current and former Olympians, 10 women with 5K personal bests under 15:30 (5-minutes per mile pace), and nine men with personal bests under 13:45 (4:26 per mile pace).
Lightning fast times are expected in the elite races, bolstering the Silicon Valley Turkey Trot’s reputation as a global standout that showcases top athletic talent. The Association of Road Race Statisticians ranked the elite men's race at the Applied Materials Silicon Valley Turkey Trot among the four most competitive road 5Ks in the world for the past three years. The elite women's race at the Turkey Trot was ranked as the ninth most competitive in the world in 2012.
Separate 5K races for elite men (presented by Amgen) and elite women (presented by SVB Financial Group) are the concluding events on a slate that includes a 10K run and 5K run/walk for mass participants, kids fun runs, and an array of other races within the event. The race schedule allows recreational participants to complete their races and then watch elite runners compete. The elite 5K races also include the Pacific Association/USA Track & Field Open Men's 5K Championship (presented by Pacific Gas & Electric) and Open Women's 5K Championship (presented by El Camino Hospital).
Last year, new elite course records were set by both men and women at the event. 2012 U.S. Olympian Kim Conley (West Sacramento, Calif.) eclipsed the former women’s course record held by Kenya’s Sally Kipyego, breaking the finish line tape in 15:40. Kenya’s Stephen Sambu set a new men’s course standard with a fast 13:28.
Conley is returning to this year’s race to defend her title, however, she will face some swift competition. Additional notable female entrants include:
• Kipyego who earned the silver medal for 10,000 meters at the 2012 Olympic Games in London
• Rkia El Moukim (Morocco) who set a fast personal best of 15:21.88 at 5,000m on the track last year
• Betsy Saina (Kenya), the 2013 NCAA 10,000m champion who recently turned pro (15:12.05 5,000m personal best)
• Sarah Kiptoo (Kenya) who has a swift 2:26:32 marathon on her resume and is also skilled at shorter distances
• Steeplechaser Bridget Franek (USA/Oregon), a member of the 2012 U.S. Olympic team and 2011 and 2009 IAAF World Track and Field Championship teams
• Chelsea Reilly (USA/Tiburon, Calif.), who won the USA 10K road championship title during her first year as a professional racer in 2012 (15:10.14 5,000m personal best)
• Katie Mackey (USA/WA) who recorded a 5,000m personal best of 15:23.65 this year and was a seven-time NCAA All-American at the University of Washington
• Kellyn Johnson (USA/AZ), 15:31.66 (5,000m) and 32:30.40 (10,000m) personal records
Top runners in the men’s field for this year’s event include:
• Leonard Korir (Kenya) who was the men’s runner-up at last year’s Silicon Valley Turkey Trot in 13:30 (13:15.45 5,000m personal best)
• Alan Webb (USA/Oregon), the current U.S. 1-mile record holder on the track in 3 minutes, 46.91 seconds (13:41.90 5,000m personal best)
• Shadrack Biwott (USA/Folsom, Calif.), who placed first male in the 2013 USA Running Circuit standings—a USA Track & Field road race series featuring USA Championships from one mile to the marathon. He also boasts a 13:36.25 personal record at 5,000m on the track
• Diego Estrada (Mexico/USA) who grew up in nearby Salinas, Calif. and represented Mexico at the 2012 London Olympic Games (13:15.33 5,000m personal record)
• Monder Rizki (Belgium), a two-time Olympian at 5,000 meters who holds an excellent 5K personal best of 13:04
• Nicholas Kipruto (Kenya), seventh at last year’s Silicon Valley Turkey Trot (13:41.90 5,000m personal record)
• David Torrence (USA/Oakland, Calif.), a former University of California, Berkeley standout and three-time USA Road Mile champion (2009-11) with a 1,500m personal best of 3:33.23 set this year on the track (13:16.53 5,000m personal record)
• Nelson Oyugi (Kenya), 21, who made his U.S. road racing debut last July with a win at the Wharf to Wharf 6-mile race in Santa Cruz, Calif. and followed with a victory at America’s Finest City Half Marathon (San Diego) in a course record of 1 hour, 1 minute, and 59 seconds
The Applied Materials Silicon Valley Turkey Trot is attractive to world-class competitors because it includes a total prize purse of $25,000, a fast, spectator-friendly four-loop course that is certified by USA Track & Field for accurate distance, and a top-flight international field. Any American man or woman setting a new U.S. record (13:24-men, 14:54-women) wins a $5,000 bonus. The event’s popularity among general participants has increased dramatically each year. There were 20,159 finishers at last year’s event, making it the largest and fastest growing Thanksgiving Day race in the U.S. according to a 2012 survey conducted by Race Results Weekly, a subscription service that annually publishes results from more than 2,000 races worldwide.