Race organizers announced Tuesday that Tanzania’s Gabriel Geay and Kenyans Isaac Mukundi, Cleophas Ngetich and Linus Kiplagat have committed to Saturday’s run through downtown Kingsport.
Geay is on a hot streak, recently winning the BAA 10K over a stacked field that included defending Crazy 8s champ Teshome Mekonen and previous 8K world record-holder Stephen Sambu. Geay followed that with an impressive win at the Boilermaker 15K this past Sunday, once again outracing Mekonen to the tape.
“Geay is arguably the hottest road racer in the U.S. right now, and we are very excited he has decided to come to Kingsport,” said Crazy 8s co-director Hank Brown. “He might just be the first runner from Tanzania to win Crazy 8s. That would be pretty cool.”
He’ll have plenty of competition in Mukundi, Ngetich and Kiplagat. Mukundi, who finished second in the 2016 Crazy 8s, has won such major races as the Bay to Breakers 12K (twice), Bolder Boulder 10K and Wharf to Wharf 6 Mile. His 10K personal record is a sizzling 27:45.
Ngetich is a past winner of Crazy 8s, clocking 22:28 to win in 2015, and has 13 victories over his road-race career. Kiplagat owns victories this year at the Cleveland Marathon 10K, Cotton Row 10K, in which he broke the course record, Orange Classic 10K and the Monumental Mile.
The starting line will once again be stocked with superstars from around the globe, all going for The Regional Eye Center $10,008 World Record Bonus — which goes to the first runner to break the existing 8K world-best time, currently 21:45. The winner will claim the Teleperfomance $5,000 Dash For The Gold.
“It should be another fast race,” Brown said. “Even though the record is tougher this year, we’re still going after guys who think they can break it. All we can do is shoot the gun and see what happens.”
Start time for the race is 8:58 p.m. For more information or to register for any Crazy 8s event, visit www.crazy8s.org.