Chris Solinsky will headline the deepest American menís field in Wharf to Wharf history, which will look to stop three-time champ Shadrack Kosgei from becoming the first four-time champ in the raceís history on July 28.
The former American record-holder and member of the legendary Oregon Track Club Elite, Solinsky, 28, became the first non-African to break 27 minutes in the 10,000-meters when he set his American Record at the Payton Jordan Invitational on May 1, 2010.
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.
ďItís always exciting to be a part of history,Ē said Solinsky in a press release, ďto make history. Maybe this year Iíll be able to do both: be part of it and also make it by being the first American in 18 years to win it.Ē
ďIím just going to go with the lead pack and do everything I can to stay with it. If Iím there, Iím going to make the move to go for the win.Ē
Solinsky first made his announcement that he would shift his focus to pavement for the near future through Twitter.
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 at 47 minutes, 29 seconds, and half marathon at 1 hour, 3:15, showing he is sharper than ever.
If Kosgei wins, he makes his own history by becoming the first four-time champion in the raceís 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 of Watsonville returns, as do California natives Scott Bauhs of Danville and Nick Arciniaga Fountain Valley.
In the womenís 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 yearís 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.
Share on Facebook