After a year off due to the COVID-19 pandemic, runners will get back to the familiar practice of running up the Brady Street hill on the fourth Saturday in July.
And the 47th annual Quad-City Times Bix 7, scheduled for July 24, will include some elite athletes who are very familiar to the Quad-Cities.
Two-time Bix 7 men’s champion Leonard Korir, former women’s champ Caroline Rotich and a few other runners who have run the race multiple times, including Diane Nukuri and Edna Kiplagat, will be included in the field for the annual romp through the streets of Davenport.
Korir, originally from Kenya but now an American citizen, won the Bix 7 in both 2013 and 2015 following a standout college career at Iona, in which he won two NCAA championships.
His Bix 7 time of 32 minutes, 15 seconds in 2013 is the fastest clocking of the past 14 years and is tied for the 11th best in the history of the race.
Among those challenging him in the men’s field will be Colorado’s Scott Fauble, who was second in the Bix in 2017 and was the top American finisher in the 2019 Boston Marathon; Kenya’s James Ngandu, Dominic Korir and Stephen Sambu, all of whom had top-10 finishes the last time the Bix 7 was held in person in 2019; Americans Frank Lara, Matt McClintock, Noah Droddy and Augustus Maiyo; Eritrea’s Amanuel Mesel and Kenya’s Mark Lokwanamoi.
Elite athlete coordinator John Topes said a half dozen other male runners have tentatively committed but are waiting to see if they make their country’s teams for the Tokyo Olympics. That group includes Canada’s Ben Flanagan, who finished second in the 2018 Bix 7 in his first attempt at a major road race.
Rotich, the 2015 Boston Marathon champion, will be returning to the Bix 7 for the sixth time and she never has finished out of the top three. She won the race in 2011, finished second in 2012 and 2018 and was third in 2013 and 2015.
Her time of 36:13 while placing second in 2018 ranks as the 10th best time ever for a female runner and she has three of the top 30 times. Her winning margin of a minute, 4 seconds in 2011 is the seventh largest by a runner of either gender.
Nukuri, a former University of Iowa runner who has been a member of Burundi’s Olympic team three times, will be running in her third Bix 7. So will Kiplagat, a past winner of both the Boston and New York City Marathons, and American Joanna Thompson.
Also expected to be in the women’s field are Gwen Jorgenson, who won an Olympic gold medal in the triathlon in 2016; former Canada Olympian Lanni Marchant; Americans Edna Kurgat, Lindsay Flanagan, Julia (Kohnen) Griffey, Fiona O’Keefe and Taylor Werner; Kenya’s Grace Kahura; Algeria’s Riham Senani and Ethiopia’s Letebrhan Haylay.