(04-Apr) -- Kenya's Allan Kiprono and New Zealand's Kim Smith have again committed to the three-race B.A.A. Distance Medley for 2013 which kicks off with the B.A.A. 5-K on Sunday, April 14, in Boston, the day before the 117th Boston Marathon.
And why not? Each won the $100,000 grand prize last year for amassing the lowest total time between the B.A.A. 5-K (April), B.A.A. 10-K (June) and B.A.A. Half-Marathon (October). The series, which also includes prize money for the individual races as well, is the richest trifecta in all of road running.
Neither athlete started off last year's series in the lead. At last April's B.A.A. 5-K, Kiprono finished fifth in 13:48, while Smith was third 15:26. Kiprono didn't make up any ground in last June's B.A.A. 10-K, finishing a distant fifth to Geoffrey Mutai in 28:37, but Smith established herself as the series leader with her 31:36 course record. In the B.A.A. Half-Marathon last October, both athletes recorded convincing victories to take the overall crowns. Kiprono easily erased his 6-second deficit to Ethiopia's Ali Abdosh and Kenya's Sam Chelanga by recording a course record 1:01:44. Smith won over Ethiopia's Aheza Kiros by some two minutes in 1:10:57.
Other athletes now want "in" on the Medley. On the men's side, Kiprono will face London Olympic Games silver medalist at 5000 meters Dejen Gebremeskel (ETH), three-time Olympian Alistair Cragg (IRL), 2012 B.A.A. Distance Medley runner-up Lani Rutto (KEN), six-time NCAA All-American Stephen Sambu (KEN), and 2010 Commonwealth Games 10,000m silver medalist Daniel Salel (KEN). Smith will have to contend with B.A.A. 5-K course record holder Worknesh Kidane of Ethiopia, 2011 B.A.A. 5-K champion Lineth Chepkurui (KEN); 2008 Bolder Boulder 10-K champion Millicent Kuria (KEN); and 2013 Crescent City Classic champion Alice Kimutai (KEN).
"Held the day before the Boston Marathon each year, the B.A.A. 5-K brings a surge of excitement and energy to the City of Boston, preparing competitors and spectators alike for the Boston Marathon," said B.A.A. Executive Director Tom Grilk through a statement. "It is an honor to welcome this outstanding field of competitors to Boston."
PHOTO: The contenders for the 2012 BAA Distance Medley (l. to r.), Ali Abdosh, Allan Kiprono, Sam Chelanga, Lanni Rutto, Aheza Kiros and Kim Smith (photo by Jane Monti for Race Results Weekly)