ALICE WRIGHT AND FUTSUM ZIENASELLASSIE CHOOSE THEIR NEXT MARATHONS
Zienasellassie will run the Rotterdam Marathon and Wright will run London
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz., March 8, 2023 – HOKA Northern Arizona Elite announced today that two of the team’s veteran road racers have chosen their spring marathons. Zienasellassie will travel to the Netherlands to take on the NN Rotterdam Marathon on April 16, while Great Britain’s Alice Wright will return to her home country to run the TCS London Marathon one week later on April 23. Aliphine Tuliamuk, who was previously announced as part of the professional women’s field for the 127th Boston Marathon on April 17, will also be racing over 26.2 miles this spring.
Zienasellassie is coming off an outstanding debut marathon in December when he won the USATF Marathon Championships hosted by the California International Marathon in Sacramento. He used a 14:59 5k split between 35k and 40k to break the race wide open, eventually winning by 51 seconds in 2:11:01. With less than a year to go until the U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon in Orlando, Zienasellassie chose Rotterdam to learn just how fast he can run at the marathon distance.
“I am super excited to race the Rotterdam Marathon,” Zienasellassie said. “It’s known for its flat, fast course so I am very hopeful I can run a personal best.”
Wright is coming off an 11th-place finish at the Osaka Women’s Marathon in January where she clocked a 2:29:50 in windy conditions. Osaka was her third marathon; she finished second at the 2022 Chevron Houston Marathon and 22nd at the European Championships last summer in Munich. Wright said she could not pass up the chance to run this year’s London Marathon.
“I chose London because it has one of the fastest fields ever assembled which will hopefully give me a great opportunity to run fast myself, and against some amazing competition,” Wright said. “This marathon also means a lot to my family and myself with it being in my home country. It’s a special race that I’ve always wanted to be a part of.”
HOKA NAZ Elite has a successful history at both Rotterdam and London. Tuliamuk finished third at Rotterdam in 2019 in a then personal best of 2:26:50, a result that kicked off a 10-month stretch that culminated with a win at the 2020 U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon. Longtime team members Stephanie Bruce and Kellyn Taylor have both competed at London. Bruce was 10th in 2018 with Taylor finishing 13th in 2017. Bruce’s finish is one of the team’s 11 top-10 finishes at World Marathon Majors.
HOKA NAZ Elite coach Alan Culpepper said he believes both Wright and Zienasellassie will be able to come back quickly from their winter marathons and compete well this spring.
“We’re thrilled Alice will finally be able to run London, something she’s looked forward to for a long time,” Culpepper said. “Futsum proved he can win a tactical marathon at CIM, now we’re excited to see him run a fast course, in great conditions, in Rotterdam. ”
Ben Rosario, the group’s executive director, spoke about the importance of competing in two of the world’s fastest, and most prestigious marathons.
“London and Rotterdam have both seen world records run on their courses, and by some of the all-time greats in our sport,” Rosario said. “It’s an honor to have Alice and Futsum compete in those cities, in front of those crowds, and on such big stages. Performing at our best in those situations has always been our m.o. and we aim to continue that tradition this spring, and beyond.”
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