With the race just eight days away, the field for the ninth annual Deseret News-KSL Radio 10,000-meter road race is beginning to take shape.

A number of top local runners say they will enter the race, as do several national-class runners from out of state (although Jon Sinclair, the three-time defending champion from Colorado, apparently won't be among them).The elite local runners who plan to enter the race: Paul Pilkington, the national 20K champ and a 2:11 marathoner from Roy; Paul Cummings, a former Olympic 10,000-meter runner from Lehi; Chad Bennion, a Murray High graduate/Salt Lake resident who owns the fourth fastest marathon time in the country so far this year; and Brad Barton, a former All-American steeplechaser from Weber State who lives in Ogden. Doug Padilla, a two-time Olympian from Orem, also is considering running the race.

The out-of-state entries: Monique Ecker, the 1992 NCAA 5,000-meter champion from Oklahoma and a seventh-place finisher in the Olympic Trials; Peter Sherry, a former Georgetown All-American and World University Games silver medalist; Don Janicki and Danny Grimes, a pair of former World Championships marathoners; Anne Henderson, the runnerup in last year's race; Mindy Schmidt, the 1991 Olympic Sports Festival 10K champion; and Marty Stroschein, an 8:29 steeplechaser from Idaho.

They will all dash for cash on July 24. First, second and third place is worth $3,000, $2,000, and $1,000, respectively, in both the men's and women's races.

The 10K will begin at 6:15 a.m. in Research Park and finish in Liberty Park. The marathon, back for its 23rd year, will begin at 5:15 a.m. in Washington Park (in Parleys Canyon) and wind its way down Emigration Canyon to Salt Lake City and Liberty Park.

Registration is under way for both the 10K and the marathon.

FAST COMPANY: When Chad Bennion finished second in the annual Grandma's Marathon last month, he became the fifth fastest Utah resident ever and the second fastest Utah native. Here is a list of Utah's all-time fastest marathoners: Ed Eyestone, 2:10:59, London, 1990; Paul Pilkington 2:11:13, Houston, 1990; Paul Cummings, 2:11:31, Houston, 1986; Demetrio Cabanillas, 2:13:11, New York, 1981; Chad Bennion, 2:13:54, Grandma's, 1992.

NOTES: Bennion, a late replacement for an injured Paul Pilkington, made a quick trip to New York last weekend to run in the annual Uttica Boilermaker 15K road race. Having already run 130 miles in training that week, Bennion placed only 28th. Kenyans took nine of the first 10 places. Meanwhile, Pilkington expects to be recovered in time for next week's Deseret News race . . . The wheelchair national championships will be held in Salt Lake City Thursday through Saturday at East High School. According to TAC Utah president Ben Stowell, the meet will serve as a qualifier for the Olympic Games.