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Bloomsday Forecasting 

Helping you pick winners even faster than the Kenyans run

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Jon Neill is in his seventh year as Bloomsday’s elite field coordinator, and every year, it’s a crap shoot: Who’s running this year? Can she duplicate her fast time from that race three weeks ago? Will his agent pull him out at the last minute? Which runners will have to scratch because of injuries?

It’s a crazy business, this Bloomday Forecasting and Smooth Running Elite Fantasy League Prediction Service, but Neill and I (subject to the whims of the road racing gods) are willing to stick our prognosticating necks out. Here, based on not-very-scientific information and sheer guesswork, are predicted chances of victory for the elite runners at Bloomsday 2010.

ELITE WOMEN

1%

Lindsey Anderson, 24, USA (Utah)
2008 Olympian in 3000-meter steeplechase

3%

Karolina Jarzynska, 28, Poland
Polish national champion at 5000m (15:44)

6%

Julliah Tinega, 24, Kenya
In April ’09 in Japan, ran 15:41 for 5k

25%

Emily Chebet-MUGE, 24, Kenya
On March 28 in Poland, won the World Cross Country Championship; at the Crescent City 10k in New Orleans on April 11, placed fourth in 33:14 (that’s 5:22-per-mile pace)

30%

Mamitu Daska, 26, Ethiopia
Won three races in 2009 — the Falmouth Road Race (7-mile) in Massachusetts, Bay to Breakers (12k) in San Francisco, and the Bolder Boulder 10k in Colorado — along with January’s Dubai Marathon

35%

Lineth Chepkurui, 22, Kenya
Two-time defending Bloomsday champion; won here last year in 38:37; already this season, has won both the Crescent City 10k and the Cherry Blossom 10-Mile
Neill says, “Chepkurui may need to break the Bloomsday course record [38:31*] to separate from Daska and Chebet.”

ELITE MEN

1%

Josh Eberly, 29, USA (Colorado)
Finished 14th here last year in 35:58; likely to be this year’s top American finisher

2%

Julius Kiptoo, 33, Kenya
At the Cherry Blossom 10-Mile in Washington, D.C., on April 11, ran at 4:55-per-mile pace, good for 19th place

3%

Simon Cheprot, 19, Kenya
Ran a five-miler last summer at 4:28 pace, finishing in 22:22

4%

Gilbert Okari, 31, Kenya
In March ’09 in the Netherlands, ran a 1:01:26 half-marathon; sixth at the Cherry Blossom 10-Mile on April 11, running at 4:40 pace (46:39); tied with Harroufi for 10th-fastest time ever at Bloomsday (34:14 in 2006)

15%

Robert Letting, 25, Kenya
On April 11 at the Crescent City Classic 10k in New Orleans, ran at 4:35 pace (28:27), good for fourth place; second at Bloomsday last year in 34:45 (nine seconds behind John Yuda)

20%

John Korir, 34, Kenya
Won Bloomsday in 2003, ’05 and ’07; ran 34:16 for his first victory here (12th-fastest ever at Bloomsday); five years later, ran 34:17 but only came in third
Neill says, “Korir is the most experienced Bloomsday racer in the field. He can outkick anyone.”

25%

Peter Kirui, 22, Kenya
On Feb. 28 at the World’s Best 10k in Puerto Rico, came in seventh while running at 4:33 pace (28:12)

30%

Ridouane Harroufi, 28, Morocco
Won 15k in Utica, N.Y., last July; two-time defending champion of Cherry Blossom 10-Mile in Washington, D.C.; in 2008 here in Spokane, finished second in 34:14 (tied for 10th-best time ever at Bloomday)

Neill says, “I like his chances. Look for him to take the lead on Broadway.”

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