So far, these are the competitors I know of:
Tirunesh Dibaba – reigning 5000 & 10000 Olympic Champ
Aheza Kiros – defending Carlsbad champion (also won in 2009)
Werknesh Kidane – former World Cross Country Champion, owns a 67:28 half marathon best
Pauline Korikwiang – former World Junior Cross Country Champion, 7th at last years World Cross Country Championships, second at Carlsbad last year
Mercy Cheronon – gold medalist at the 2011 African Cross Country Championship
Meselech Melkamu – five time bronze medalist at the World Cross Country Championship
I’m a little out of my league.
A new PR, a win against one of the names listed above, a walk along the beach, and prize money are what I seek. I’m not sure who else is in the race, as a full press release for the women’s race hasn’t been released yet, but ultimately that doesn’t change my game plan. Listen to my body for the first 3/4 of the race and believe that my fierce, competitive edge will get me to the finish line ahead of anyone within reach.
This race will be the first of 2012 to challenge my mental strength. It’s an entirely different game when you’re not at the front of the pack. Even when racing well for yourself it’s easy to lose sight of the positives when you’re 30 seconds behind the leaders, wheezing just to stay within sight.