It’s Lincoln Marathon Week!!! This week has got to be one of my favorite weeks of the year. Everything from Tuesday night packet stuffing at the National Guard at 6:30pm (you can still show up) to the LRC team pasta feed on Friday night to packet pickup Saturday to the 6am warm-up Sunday morning before the race. The entire week builds up to what I would argue is one of the best ran races in the nation (how often can you find an entire volunteer organization putting on an event for this many people?). For the next four days, I will post my personal predictions for Sunday, although I would put no weight behind them as I would not know if a runner has been injured or decided to move down from the full to the half. Without further adieu, here’s what the women’s marathon field looks like:
Kaci Lickteig: Kaci is a local ultra/trail runner who has been a mainstay in the Lincoln Marathon results over the past few years. She has ran the last four Lincoln Marathons, placing in the top 10 at all four, including a first place finish in 2012 (2:50:31) and a second place finish in 2014 (2:50:58). Kaci has recovered from an injury earlier this year that forced her out of the Black Rock Canyon 100k in February. Just last month, Kaci placed as the 5th woman at the Lake Sonoma 50m and plans to compete in the Silver State 50m on May 16th of this year. Kaci lives and trains in Omaha, NE.
Alexandrova Irina: Alexandrova appears to be the woman with the most recent marathon. She has ran consistently under 2:45 over the past couple years, including a 2:39:06 at the Philadelphia Marathon on 11/17/2013, and more recently at both the Columbus Marathon on 10/20/2014 (2:43:34) and the Anthem Richmond Marathon on 11/10/2014 (2:43:42). Alexandrova also appears to have run the fastest half time of the group, as she finished the 2014 Monumental Half Marathon in Indiana at 1:15:04 just two weeks after Columbus and a week before Richmond. Irina is based out of Kentucky.
Hirut Guangul: Hirut Guangul, based out of New York, should be another woman in the top pack. She has a personal best of 2:34:02 set in 2012, and won both the 2012 and 2013 Quad Cities Marathons in 2:35:07 (CR) and 2:38:50, respectively. So far this year, Hirut has shown some serious speed by running two half marathons under 1:16: the Cowtown Half Marathon in Forth Worth on 3/1/2015 (1:15:31) and the DC Rock and Roll Half Marathon on 3/14/15 (1:15:54). In addition, Guangul completed Shamrock Marathon in Virgina Beach on 3/22/15 in a time of 2:50:28.
Danna Kelly Herrick: Danna Kelly Herrick was a 2012 US Olympic Trials participant. She ran the 2013 New York City Marathon in 2:44:19, but more recently finished 4th overall at the Chicago Shamrock Shuffle last month (27:28). She followed that up with a 1:16:45 at Rock the Parkway Half Marathon a week later. She is based out of Ubrandale, Iowa and ran 2:44:12 at the Lincoln Marathon in 2013.
Emily Shertzer: Emily won the women’s race last year in 2:50:36. She has PR’s of 1:20:12 in the half and 2:45:55 in the full, both during 2011. This year, Shertzer has ran a 1:21:23 at the Birmingham Mercedes Half Marathon on 2/22/2015. Emily is based out of Pennsylvania.
Top 5 Predictions:
1. Hirut Guangul (NY)
2. Alexandrova Irina (KY)
3. Danna Kelly Herrick (IA)
4. Kaci Lickteig (NE)
5. Emily Shertzer (PA)
Other Women to Watch – Christy Nielsen (NE), Varinka Ensminger (KY)
Overall Master’s Winner – Liubov Denisova (NY)