The 2012 IAAF World Half Marathon Championships are scheduled to be held in Kavarna, Bulgaria on Oct. 6, 2012. The United States will send five women to compete in the event, led by two-time Olympian Shalane Flanagan and veteran runner Adriana Pirtea Nelson.
During the competition, participants run both as individuals and as part of a team. The top individual finishers receive prizes, as do the top-placing teams.
In the team competition, the top three finishers are scored based on their finishing times. The team with the lowest combined time is declared the winner, and men's and women's races are scored individually.
Here's a little bit about each of the five women who are expected to represent the United States at the 2012 IAAF world Half Marathon Championships:
Alvina Begay, Flagstaff, Ariz.: Begay finished fifth at the 2012 USA Half Marathon Championships, according to USA Track and Field.
Shalane Flanagan, Portland, Ore.: Flanagan was a 2012 Olympian, where she finished 11th in the women's marathon. Flanagan was the top American finisher in the event. Flanagan also competed at the 2008 Olympic Games in the 10,000-meters wherexs she earned a bronze medal.
Michelle Frey, Minneapolis, Minn.: Frey finished third at the 2012 USA Half Marathon Championships. She finished 22nd at the 2012 U.S. Marathon Olympic Trials.
Maegan Krifchin, Dewitt, N.Y.: Krifchin finished in second place at the 2012 USA Half Marathon Championships, and she finished third at the 15-kilometer championships.
Adriana Pirtea Nelson, Fort Collins, Colo.: Nelson competed at the 2005 IAAF World Half Marathon Championships, where she finished tenth while representing Romania. In addition, Nelson finished second in her marathon debut at the 2007 Chicago Marathon, according to USA Track and Field.
Top individual finishers in the race will are eligible to win up to $30,000 of the $70,000 available to female participants, according to the IAAF website. An additional $52,500 is available in total prize money for teams that finish in the top six.
Sandra Johnson caught the running bug when she completed her first half marathon in 2009, and she hasn't lost the bug yet. In addition, Johnson is a longtime fan of Olympic sports. While working for the United States Olympic Committee and living in the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., Johnson had the opportunity to immerse herself in the Olympic Movement. Follow her on Twitter: @SandraJohnson46