Nick Arciniaga and defending champion Craig Leon will make promotional appearances and compete in the 2015 OhioHealth Capital City Half Marathon as part the event's lead up to hosting the Men's and Women's USATF Half Marathon Championships in 2016 and 2017.
Arciniaga, an Under Armour athlete, and Leon, an Ohio University graduate, are two of the top distance runners in the United States. Both are expected to compete when Cap City hosts the 2016 USATF Half Marathon Championships next April.
“We look forward to introducing Nick and Craig to the Columbus running community,” Race Director David Babner said. “Nick and Craig are excellent representatives of the nation's best elite distance runners.
“Nick and Craig will compete in Cap City and then provide feedback and advice on our course as we prepare to host the USATF Half Marathon Championships in 2016 and 2017.”
In February, elite female long-distance runners Sara Hall and Stephanie Rothstein-Bruce appeared at the Greater Columbus Sports Commission's The Women's Sports Report to introduce the USATF Half Marathon Championships to the Columbus business and running communities.
Arciniaga enters his first Capital City Half Marathon after an impressive 10th place finish in the 2014 New York City Marathon. Arciniaga finished in 2:15:39, third-best among U.S. finishers.
Arciniaga, who trains in Flagstaff, Ariz., finished seventh at the 2014 Boston Marathon in 2:11:47, good for second among U.S. finishers behind winner Meb Keflezighi, the first American male winner of the iconic race since 1983. He will compete in Boston again on April 20.
Leon won the 2014 Capital City Half Marathon in 1:09:55, easily outdistancing second-place finisher Joseph Purpura, the 2013 Capital City Half Marathon champion.
The Mizuno USA-sponsored Leon has won several half marathons and long-distance runs, including the 2016 Great Aloha Run in Honolulu in February, when he finished the 8.15-mile event in 40:27. In the 2014 Boston Marathon, Leon finished 12th in 2:14:28, which was fifth among American runners.