Chris Solinsky Headlines 2013 Wharf to Wharf Race Elite Field
SANTA CRUZ, Calif. — The Wharf to Wharf Race is proud to announce its elite field for the 41st edition of the annual six-mile race from Santa Cruz to Capitola-by-the-Sea, contested on July 28, 2013.
Headlining the deepest American men’s field in the history of the race is former American record-holder Chris Solinsky, 28, of Portland, Ore.
As a member of the legendary Oregon Track Club Elite, Solinsky became the first non-African to break 27 minutes in the 10,000-meters (approx. 6.2 miles) when he set his American Record at the Payton Jordan Invitational on May 1, 2010 (26 minutes, 59.60 seconds).
It has been 18 years since an American was crowned champion of the Wharf to Wharf Race (Danny Gonzalez, 1995). Solinsky, a former world championship finalist in the 5,000m, brings an unprecedented level of accomplishment and prestige to challenge the modern era of East African dominance.
“It’s always exciting to be a part of history, to make history. Maybe this year I’ll be able to do both: be part of it and also make it by being the first American in 18 years to win it,” Solinsky says.
“I’m just going to go with the lead pack and do everything I can to stay with it. If I’m there, I’m going to make the move to go for the win.”
But Solinsky will not win easily: Returning is three-time WtW champion Shadrack Kosgei of Uasin Gishu, Kenya.
The 28-year-old Kosgei won his first WtW title in 2004, repeating in 2010 and again in 2012. During his spring campaign this year he has set personal bests in the 10-mile (47 minutes, 29 seconds) and half marathon (1 hour, 3 minutes, 15 seconds), showing he is sharper than ever.
If Kosgei wins, he makes his own history by becoming the first four-time champion in the race’s history.
But should both men falter, a deep field of American and international talent stands waiting in the wings. Top local and nationally ranked marathoner Brett Gotcher (Watsonville) returns, as do California natives Scott Bauhs (Danville) and Nick Arciniaga (Fountain Valley).
In the women’s race, 2012 WtW champion Risper Gesabwa, 24, returns to defend her title.
Gesabwa, originally of Kenya and now based in Marietta, Ga., has not had an idle spring, hammering wins in road races in Miami, Pittsburgh, and Green Bay, among others.
But even with these results bolstering her confidence, she faces a stiff test in last year’s runner-up and top American Stephanie Rothstein Bruce, who returns hungry for another chance at the win.
Adding a rogue element to the field, Emily Infeld, formerly of Georgetown University and now of the Oregon Track Club Elite, will make her road racing debut to challenge them on the road to Capitola.
Complete Men’s Elite Field:
Nick Arcianaga, Flagstaff, Ariz.
Scott Bauhs, San Diego, Calif.
Ben Bruce, Flagstaff, Ariz.
German Fernandez, Portland, Ore.
Brett Gotcher, Aptos, Calif.
Nicholas Kipruto, Kericho, Kenya
Shadrack Kosgei, Uasin Gishu, Kenya
Andrew Lemoncello, St. Andrews, Scotland
Aschalew Meketa Neguse, Ethiopia
Tonny Okello, Uganda
Chris Solinksy, Portland, Ore.
Complete Women’s Elite Field:
Steph Rothstein Bruce, Flagstaff, Ariz.
Maggie Conley, Portola Valley, Calif.
Stephanie Dinius, San Francisco, Calif.
Almaz Negede Fekade, Ethiopia
Risper Gesabwa, Kenya
Emily Infield, Portland, Ore.
Kellyn Johnson, Flagstaff, Ariz.
Meseret Kitata Tolwak, Ethiopia
About the Wharf to Wharf Race
Widely acclaimed “The best little road race in California,” Wharf to Wharf is the biggest summer event of its kind on the West Coast and a boon to local business, annually infusing more than eight million dollars into the Santa Cruz County economy. It is produced and administered by Wharf to Wharf Race, Inc., a California nonprofit corporation chartered to promote running as a means to health and fitness. In service of this mission, it has, since its inception, contributed more than four million dollars to Santa Cruz County youth sports programs in general and the running community in particular. For more information, see http://www.wharftowharf.com/home.