SPOKANE -- Bloomsday will be without its top women's runner Sunday.
Elite athlete coordinator Jon Neill informed KREM 2 Wednesday that Janet Cherobon-Bawcom will be unable to race. The 2012 Olympian injured her foot training, and will not make the trip to Spokane.
Cherobon-Bawcom was going to wear the No. 1 bib in the elite women's race.
"Janet's very deserving," Neill said Tuesday. "It's significant having someone of Janet's caliber here at Bloomsday.
"She is one of America's best distance runners right now."
Not since 2002 has America's best women's runner also been Bloomsday's. That's when Colleen De Reuck took the title.
Cherobon-Bawcom has experience at the highest level, finishing 12th in the 10,000 meter run at the 2012 Olympic Games. Earlier this year she set a new American record in the 10-mile run. Janet also knows Bloomsday well. She finished 2nd in 2012 and 6th a year earlier, accounting for two of the three top-6 finishes for American women the last nine Bloomsdays.
Neill says the women's field is 'absolutely loaded'. That is thanks in part to the return of 2008, 2009 and 2010 champion Lineth Chepkurui.
"It won't be an easy task to win," Neill said. "I think you're gonna have to put together a performance that's pretty spectacular."