Alexandria Elite runners from around the world will take to the streets of Alexandria Nov. 17 when the city hosts the .US National Road Racing Championships, a 12-kilometer race that will serve as the finale to the USA Running Circuit series.
“We are very proud to host America's best runners in Alexandria, as well as celebrate the many members of our local community who run for sport, fitness and fun,” said Mayor Bill Euille at a July 2 press conference in Market Square announcing the race. “Alexandria is home to outstanding running routes and trails and is a frequent setting for some of the region's favorite road races. We look forward to sharing our beautiful city with runners from across the country.”
USA Track & Field's Jill Geer officially announced the selection of Alexandria as the location of the race nearly five months after the creation of the inaugural event. Only athletes who have finished in the top 10 at USARC events will be eligible for part of the $100,000 prize purse, with $20,000 going to the top male and female finishers.
“When we were planning the launch of the road race, we had three key objectives,” said Geer, who attended the press conference on behalf of USATF. “We wanted to provide a race that welcomed road racers, joggers and professional athletes alike, to host it in a location with a robust community and to have the location be a 'destination' and a showcase for this national championship. We look forward to November.”
The race will be webcast on www.USATF.TV and include a 12-kilometer community division, 5km family run and children’s fun run. The event will begin and end at Oronoco Bay Park and feature a course that will take runners through the streets of Old Town and Del Ray.
Partnering with USATF on the race is the Alexandria Police Foundation, which will serve as the community outreach liaison and volunteer recruiter, and Pacers Events, which is managing local planning, logistics and promotion. The Alexandria Police Foundation currently is raising funds to build a police memorial at police headquarters to honor officers who have given their lives to protect the community.
“We are thrilled to be part of this press conference and appreciate the plaudits from Mayor Euille on the foundation and the work that we do,” said Willem Polak, chairman of the board of the Alexandria Police Foundation. “It's a real honor for us to be part of this national race.”
Presenting sponsor of the race is Neustar, an information and analytics company based in Northern Virginia that provides domain name registry services for the .US top level domain, the official country code for the United States.
“Neustar is thrilled to support the .US National Road Race Championships,” said Jim Rogers, vice president of marketing of Enterprise Services at Neustar. “Alexandria is the ideal place to promote the power of America's top level domain to the running community with this one-of-a-kind race in our own backyard and just a few miles from our nation's capital.”
Elite athletes currently qualified for the race include Olympic medalists Deena Kastor, Meb Keflezighi, Shalane Flanagan and Leo Manzano. Desiree Davila, Shannon Rowbury, Matt Tegenkamp and Abdi Abdirahman are also eligible to participate.
For more information on the .US National Road Racing Championships, visit www.nationalroadracingchampionships.us.
For information on the Alexandria Police Foundation, visit www.alexandriapolicefoundation.org.