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Bay to Breakers highlighted by big names in men’s field

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Meb Keflezighi, who finished seventh in last year's race, will be lining up again this year. - GETTY IMAGES FILE PHOTO
  • Getty Images File Photo
  • Meb Keflezighi, who finished seventh in last year's race, will be lining up again this year.

In what race organizers are calling the strongest elite men’s field in Zazzle Bay to Breakers history, two-time champion Sammy Kitwara, American star Meb Keflezighi and former Boston Marathon winner Direba Merga have signed on for the 101st edition of the race.

Kitwara owns the course record (33 minutes, 31 seconds), set in 2009 when he won in a photo finish — the closest conclusion in Bay to Breakers history. Keflezighi is running for the second straight year and recently dominated the U.S. Olympic marathon trials and is among the gold-medal favorites this summer in London. Merga, an Ethiopian, finished second in last year’s Bay to Breakers, 3 seconds behind Ridouane Harroufi of Morocco.

Sunday’s race, a 12-kilometer trek from Beale and Howard streets to the Great Highway, begins at 7 a.m. For more info, visit www.zazzlebaytobreakers.com.

The elite men will compete for a $25,000 bonus to beat the women’s winner, while the first man and woman to crest the Hayes Street Hill will earn $5,000.

— Staff report