“I’m living the dream,” Ednah Kurgat on Winning the Women’s Open 10K

By Clay Shaw
Photography by Clay Shaw and Karen Mitchell

Mechanicsville, VA, January 21, 2023, USATF Cross Country Championships—Ednah Kurgat broke away from the six-woman pack on the final 2K lap at Pole Green Park in Mechanicsville, Virginia, to easily win the USATF Cross Country Championship in 32:06.5, an 18 second win. Ednah was born in Kenya and ran for the University of New Mexico. She is now a pro athlete, a USA citizen, and running for the US Army’s World Class Athlete Program.

Six women qualified for the USA team going to Bathurst, Australia for the World Cross Country Championships that were scheduled for 2021, postponed to 2022, and finally will be held February 18 of 2023.  (Look forward to Runner’s Gazette coverage and photos.) 

Six women had broken away from a group of ten near the halfway point. Makena Morley of Bozeman, MT was second in 32:23.9, Emily Durgin of Flagstaff, AZ was third in 32:26.4, Emily Lipari of Honolulu, HI was fourth in 32:31.7, Weini Kelati of Flagstaff, AZ was fifth in 32:38.7 (Kelati also ran at the University of New Mexico), and Katie Izzo of San Diego, CA was sixth in 32:39.6. The Golden Coast Track Club had three runners in the top six (Durgin, Lipari, and Izzo).

The Pole Green Park in Mechanicsville, VA, located about twelve miles northeast of Richmond, is in a wide-open space with a tree lined park border. Officials had cut tall grasses a few days before the event, enabling fans to see runners in all parts of the 2K lap.

Top Finishers

  1. 32:06.5 Ednah Kurgat, 31, Colorado Springs, CO
  2. 32:23.9 Makena Morley, 26, Bozeman, MT
  3. 32:26.4 Emily Durgin, 28, Flagstaff, AZ
  4. 32:31.7 Emily Lipari, 30, Honolulu, HI
  5. 32:38.7 Weini Kelati, 26, Flagstaff, AZ
  6. 32:39.6 Katie Izzo, 26, San Diego, CA
  7. 33:01.3 Allie Buchalski, 28, Seattle, WA
  8. 33:12.2 Susanna Sullivan, 32, Reston, VA
  9. 33:16.4 Laura Thweatt, 34, Superior, CO
  10. 33:32.6 Carrie Verdon, 28, Boulder, CO
  11. 33:35.5 Katrina Spratford, 32, Phoenix, AZ
  12. 33:42.0 Katie Camarena, 25, Portland, OR
  13. 33:49.7 Stephanie Bruce, 39, Flagstaff, AZ
  14. 34:01.2 Sam Nadel, 28, Washington, DC
  15. 34:04.1 Jessa Hanson, 23, Flagstaff, AZ
Ednah Kurgat wins the 2023 USATF Cross Country Championships in 32:06.5.
The start of the women’s 10K open race at Pole Green Park in Mechanicsville, VA
Ednah Kurgat #236 was content to run in the ten-woman lead pack for the first half of the race. Weini Kelati #247, Emily Durgin #211, and Makena Morley #214 share the lead.
Susanna Sullivan of Reston, VA, and Laura Thweatt of Superior, CO would finish eighth and ninth respectively at USA XC.
Katrina Coogan of the New Balance/NB Boston team runs at USATF Cross Country in Pole Green Park in Mechanicsville, VA.
Allie Buchalski of Seattle placed seventh. She is running with Jessa Hanson #254 and Stephanie Bruce (right).
Maddie Warrender runs USATF XC for the US Marine Corps. Maddie ran at Northeastern High School near York, PA.
Ann Mazur of Charlottesville, VA runs the Women’s Open XC at Pole Green Park in Mechanicsville, VA.
Makena Morley #214 was second, Emily Durgin #211 was third, and Weini Kelati #247 was fifth, all making the USA XC team going to Bathurst, Australia in February.
Carrie Verdon of Boulder, CO was tenth in 33:32.6.
Katie O’Regan of Lititz, PA crosses the 1K mark of the five-lap 10K course at Pole Green Park in Mechanicsville, VA. All-Army runners Kelly Calway #232 and Colett Rampf #237 lead a large group of runners.
Ednah Kurgat of Colorado Springs with the USA flag after winning the Women’s Open 10K at USATF Cross Country in Richmond, VA. (Photo by Karen Mitchell)
The USA XC 2023 team: Ednah Kurgat, Weini Kelati, Makena Morley, Emily Durgin, Katie Izzo, and Emily Lipari. (Photo by Karen Mitchell)
Katie O’Regan of Lititz, PA, and Ann Mazur of Charlottesville, VA are with Keira D’Amato (center) after the Women’s Open 10K at USATF Cross Country 2023. (Photo by Clay Shaw)

Categories: Race Coverage

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