Bogata Barnburner: Merga vs. Mutai, LIVE Sunday, release, by Larry Eder

Merga-MutaiPC-Bogota11.JPGMerga vs Mutai, Bogata, Columbia, photo by

Check this one out! Victah, our photographer, sent this from Bogata, Columbia this morning!
Defending Champion Deriba Merga of Ethiopia will face a stern challenge from the world's fastest marathoner Geoffrey Mutai in Sunday's Media Maratón de Bogotá, South America's only IAAF Gold Label Road Race event.
Merga ran away from the field last year, taking off on his own at 4 km and running solo to a course record 1:02:31 win.  But he isn't likely to get away from Mutai so easily.  Mutai is undefeated on the road this year, winning the Boston Marathon in April in an astonishing 2:03:02, the fastest time ever recorded for a marathon, then returning to Boston this June to win the inaugural BAA 10K in 27:19 and then capturing the historic Castelbuono 10K in Italy on Tuesday of this week over a field that included both the Virgin London and ING New York City Marathon Champions, Emmanuel Mutai and Gebre Gebremariam.
Challenging both in a strong international field will be four-time Bogota champion Isaac Macharia and 2011 Rotterdam Marathon champion Wilson Chebet, both of Kenya.  Add 2011 Bay to Breakers 12K champion Ridouane Harroufi of Morocco and USA Half Marathon champion Mohamed Trafeh to the mix, and the course record from last year will be under serious threat.
On the women's side,  Shewarge Alene of Ethiopia is back to try to defend her title, but will face opposition from both her Ethiopian team mates and a strong Kenyan contingent.  Mare Dibaba has the fastest half marathon best in the field at 1:07:13, and is coming off a win in her last race, the Yangzhou Half Marathon in China.  But Kenyan Peninah Arusei has run almost as fast at 1:07:48, and has a bronze medal from the 2010 IAAF World Half Marathon Championships in Nanning, China and won the Paris half Marathon this year.
But both will be challenged by Joyce Chepkirui of Kenya.  Chepkirui is coming off a course record wins in the Lago Maggiore Half Marathon in Italy April and the Goteborg Half Marathon in Sweden May, and then a 30:43, world-leading, 10K in  Appingedam , Netherlands just two weeks ago.
The race will broadcast live in Colombia on the Caracol TV and is available worldwide  as a live webcast beginning at 10:15 AM Sunday, EDT a this web address:

Men Bibs
1. Deriba Merga(ETH)
2. Issac Macharia(KEN)
3. William Naranjo(COL)
4. Geoffrey Mutai(KEN)
5. Jason Gutierrez(COL)
6. Marlinson Dos Santos(BRA)
7. Stephen Mokaka(RSA)
8. Juan Carlos Cardona(COL)
9. Constantion Leon(PER)
10. Mo Trafeh(USA)
12. Wilson Chebet(KEN)
16. Ridouane Harroufi(MOR)
19. Abderrahim Bouramdane(MOR)

Women Bibs
61. Shewarge Alene(ETH)
62. Emily Chebet(KEN)
63. Yolanda Fernandez(COL)
64. Yulia Gromova(RUS)
65. Gladys Tejada(PER)
66. Erika Suarez(COL)
67. Peninah Arusei(KEN)
70. Joyce Chepkirui(KEN)
71. Atsede Baysa(ETH)
72. Mare Dibaba(ETH)

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