Training fields

RRW: Fast Fields Set for Publix Atlanta Half Marathon on Feb. 27

By David Monti, @d9monti
(c) 2022 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved

(Feb-15) – After a special pandemic edition in 2021 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, the Publix Atlanta Half Marathon returns to the streets of the city for the 2022 edition on Sunday, February 27. The race, part of the Publix Atlanta Marathon weekend hosted by the Atlanta Track Club (ATC), will feature an elite field, a $17,000 purse and a $5,000 bonus pool for passing the fastest times ever in the state of Georgia (1:08:29 for women and 1:03:59 for men).

Viola Cheptoo (center) will run the Publix Atlanta Half Marathon on Sunday, Feb. 27 (Photo by Jane Monti for Race Results Weekly)

Kenya’s Viola Cheptoo will lead the women’s elite field. When she competed as a middle distance runner for Florida State University in the NCAA system, she went by “Violah Lagat”. The younger sister of two-time Olympic medalist Bernard Lagat will race in her first race since her dramatic debut at the TCS New York City marathon last November, where she finished just behind compatriot and Olympic champion Peres Jepchirchir. His time of 2:22:44 was the third best time in race history. She will incorporate the Publix Atlanta Half Marathon into her Boston Marathon training.

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“I can’t wait to be there,” said Cheptoo, who had never been to Atlanta before. “I want to do well and build a relationship with the community because I appreciate all the good work that Atlanta Track Club does.”

Cheptoo, who ran a half marathon record of 1:06:47, will face another strong Kenyan, Dorcas Tuitoek, who ran just as fast: 1:06:33. Both of these women have an excellent chance of bettering the state record that was set by 2021 Olympic marathon bronze medalist Molly Seidel in last year’s race.

North American athletes will also be represented on the women’s side, including Dakotah Lindwurm of the Minnesota Distance Elite (1:09:36 PB), Maegan Krifchin of the Atlanta Track Club (1:09:51) and Canada’s Lanni Marchant (1:10 :47) a 2016 Olympian and the 2021 Honolulu Marathon champion.

The best participants on the men’s side are also from Kenya, and both exceeded 60 minutes for the half marathon. Benard Ngeno (59:07 PB) and Geoffrey Koech (59:36) are the fastest men on the field. The top North Americans will be Canadian record holder Rory Linkletter (1:01:08 PB), Jonas Hampton of Newtonville, Mass. (1:03:57) and Matthew McDonald of the Boston Athletic Association High Performance Team (1:04:48). McDonald, tenth in the 2020 U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon, formerly trained with ATC at Georgia Tech. He now works at MIT in Cambridge, Mass.

The full elite fields are below with personal best times:

Dorcas Tuitoek, KEN, 1:06:41
Viola Cheptoo, KEN, 1:06:47
Mary Munanu, KEN, 1:07:54
Tsige Haileslase, ETH, 1:08:30
Daisy Kimeli, KEN, 1:08:34
Dakotah Lindwurm, USA, 1:09:36
Maegan Krifchin, USA, 1:09:51
Ludwina Chepngetich, KEN, 1:10:34
Lanni Marchant, CAN, 1:10:47
Leslie Sexton, CAN, 1:11:21
Bridget Lyons Belyeu, USA, 1:12:24
Grace Kahura, KEN, 1:12:49
Janel Blanchett, USA, 1:13:43
Anne-Marie Comeau, CAN, 1:14:09
Joanna Stephens, USA, 1:14:23

Benard Ngeno, KEN, 59:07
Geoffrey Koech, KEN, 59:36
Raymond Magut, KEN, 1:00:00
Bayelign Teshager, ETH, 1:00:30
Bethwell Yegon, KEN, 1:00:57
Rory Linkletter, CAN, 1:01:08
Mike Cheshire, KEN, 1:03:45
Jonas Hampton, USA, 1:03:57
Matt McDonald, USA, 1:04:48
Chris May, USA, 1:04:50
Paul Hogan, USA, 2:15:51 (Marathon)

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