(05-Jun) -- Seven American Olympians have been confirmed for the 45th edition of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Peachtree Road Race in Atlanta, Ga., which will host the USA 10-K road racing championships on July 4th. The Atlanta Track Club, which is organizing what is the America's largest fully-timed 10-K, is offering a $100,000 prize money purse with $15,000 going to both the men's and women's winners.
Leading the men's contest is two-time Olympian and USA half-marathon record holder Ryan Hall (Asics) of Redding, Calif., who holds five national titles.
"A national championship is the place where every U.S. athlete wants to put it on the line," Hall said through a statement. "I couldn't be happier that the AJC Peachtree Road Race is hosting the USA 10-K Championships, with the best American distance runners in the country going after a big prize on the Fourth of July. It's perfect."
Four-time Olympian Abdi Abdirahman (Nike) of Tucson, Ariz., is also in the race. The 37 year-old veteran already holds 13 USA titles. Other challengers for the podium are reigning USA 10-mile champion Christo Landry (Mizuno) of Ann Arbor, Mich., and overall 2013 USA road running champion Aaron Braun (adidas) of Alamosa, Colo.
Three 2012 American Olympians -- Desiree Linden (Hansons-Brooks), Amy Hastings (Brooks), and Julie Culley (Asics)-- lead the women's field. Linden, of Washington, Mich., was the runner-up at the 2012 USA Olympic Trials Marathon. Hastings, of Providence, R.I., was the 2012 USA Olympic Trials 10,000m champion. Culley, of Arlington, Va., was the 2012 USA Olympic Trials 5000m champion.
Athletes also hoping to contend for a top finish place are three-time Olympian Jen Rhines (B.A.A.) of Boston, Mass.; 2008 Olympic marathoner Blake Russell of Marina, Calif.; 2012 USA cross country champion Sara Hall (Asics) of Redding, Calif.; reigning USA half-marathon champion Serena Burla (Mizuno) of Stafford, Va.; two-time USA 5000m champion Lauren Fleshman (Oiselle) of Bend, Ore.; and two-time USA 10,000m champion Katie McGregor (Team USA Minnesota) of Savage, Minn.
The Peachtree Road Race hosted the men's and women's national 10-K championships last year, too, when Matt Tegenkamp (Nike Bowerman TC) and Janet Bawcom (Nike) were crowned national champions. However, this is the first year that the race is only offering prize money for Americans. Last year's Peachtree also hosted international athletes and the national championships were held as races within the overall race.
NOTE: Assistant Editor Chris Lotsbom will be in Atlanta covering the AJC Peachtree Road Race for RRW --Ed.
PHOTO: Ryan Hall being interviewed by NBC Sports prior to the 2012 Olympic Marathon in London (photo by Jane Monti for Race Results Weekly)