Races — Keflezighi Looks Ready for Olympics at Rock N Roll San Diego 2012

running-advice-bugSAN DIEGO – (June 3, 2012) – The 15th Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego event on Sunday morning was a star-studded affair. Meb Keflezighi, winner of the 2012 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials, appears ready for the upcoming London Olympic Games. The 37-year-old ran smoothly and effortlessly on Sunday, winning the Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego ½ Marathon in 1 hour, 3 minutes, 11 seconds, his second consecutive victory in his hometown. Ryan Hall, 29, the U.S. record-holder for the half-marathon at 59:43, struggled because of plantar fasciitis in his left foot, and finished a distant second in 1:05:39.

Meb Ran Away with the RNR Half Marathon (Photo: Competitor Group)

The women’s half-marathon was won by New Zealand Olympian Kim Smith in 1:08:37, a time that would have placed her seventh among the men.

Nixon Machichim of Kenya broke away with a little over two miles remaining and won the men’s Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego Marathon in 2:10:03. Russia’s Alevtina Ivanova also made a late burst and won the women’s marathon in 2:27:44. The men’s and women’s marathon champions each earned $25,000.

More than 30,000 entrants from all 50 states and 40 countries were greeted with ideal running weather on Sunday morning. The men’s half-marathon was the keynote event, expected to be a tense duel between the two Olympians. But after about a mile, it was no contest. Keflezighi, the 2004 Olympic Marathon silver medalist, pulled away and the suffering Hall could not keep up.

“I wanted to go out early because I know how the race will be in London,” Keflezighi said. “I tried to duplicate what it will be like there.” The San Diego course is similar to London in that it has several turns and downhills. “This was not a do-or-die race, but I’m a competitor,” Keflezighi said. “I’m not a guy who likes to sit back and waits to kick in the last mile.”
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Racing — Rock N Roll San Diego 2012 to Feature Top Elites

running-advice-bugSAN DIEGO, Calif. — June 1, 2012 – Don’t confuse the Robert Cheruiyot who won the 2010 Boston Marathon with the Robert Cheruiyot, who won the Boston Marathon in 2003, 2006, 2007 and 2008. The first and last names are the same, but that’s one of the few resemblances. The more recent Boston winner is 23, the other is 32. The 2010 winner’s middle name is Kiprono, the other’s is Kipkoech. The younger Cheruiyot will be heading a strong professional field for Sunday’s 15th annual Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego Marathon. The other Cheruiyot will not be competing.

Ryan Hall will be among Half Marathon Runners @ 2012 San Diego Rock N Roll

On top of one of the strongest marathon fields in memory at Rock N Roll San Diego, the Half Marathon will feature two of America’s top runners in their final preparations for the upcoming 2012 Olympics. Both Ryan Hall and Meb Keflezighi will be gunning for a win Sunday as they test their fitness for the games.

Back to the Cheruiyots. “We are not related,” Robert Kiprono Cheruiyot said on Friday for the other Boston winning Cheruiyot.. “I’m not the one who won Boston four times. But now I have done it and I’m very happy to have done it.” Both Cheruiyots live in Kenya, but a great distance apart. The older one lives in Nairobi, the younger in the village of Sarucha.

When Kiprono returned to his little township two years ago after his Boston triumph, he was greeted like a conquering hero. He estimstes that about 20,000 people from villages all around his home base turned out to greet him and threw him a celebatory party. They also presented him with five cows, which he gave to his mother. Should he win in San Diego on Sunday, the celebration won’t be as large, but it will be significant, he said.
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Racing — Meb and Deba Blazing Fast in San Diego

running-advice-bugRunning competitively on the roads for the first time in his hometown, Meb Keflezighi didn’t have time to acknowledge all the well-wishers along his half-marathon route at Sunday’s Dodge Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego Marathon & ½ Marathon to Benefit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Instead, he rewarded them with one of the most memorable races of his illustrious career.

Meb Keflezighi Wins Rock N Roll San Diego

At the second edition, Keflezighi delighted a cheering, happy crowd at the SeaWorld finish line by winning handily in 1 hour, 2 minutes and 40 seconds, nearly three minutes ahead of runner-up Drew Polley (1:05:38).

As much as the spectators reveled in Keflezighi’s victory, they also marveled at Bizunesh Deba’s triumph in the women’s marathon. At the 14th running, the 23-year-old Ethiopian burst across the finish line in 2:23:31, an event record and the fastest time ever run by a woman in California. The previous state best was 2:24:52 by Joan Benoit (USA) at the inaugural women’s Olympic Marathon in Los Angeles on August 5, 1984. The Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego Marathon course is not record standard per USA Track & Field rule because it drops more than 1 meter per kilometer.

The men’s marathon winner was Terfa Negari also of Ethiopia in 2:11:18, and the women’s half-marathon champion was Gina Slaby of Tucson, Ariz., in 1:16:33. While the performances by Deba, Negari and Slaby were impressive, it was Keflezighi who intrigued the crowd the most.

The UCLA grad led all the way, pulling away from Kenya’s Martin Lel after four miles on the undulating, curvy course through the streets of San Diego. Lel, a three-time winner of the London Marathon and the runner-up of that event this year, shadowed Keflezighi through the early stages of the race. Then, when Keflezighi ripped off a 4:24 spurt from mile three to four, Lel was done. He struggled for another two miles before dropping out. After that, it was Keflezighi against the clock.
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Marathon — Meb to Run Rock N Roll San Diego Marathon

running-advice-bugSan Diego, CA –– The streets of San Diego will be alive with music and the excitement created by fans of hometown hero Meb Keflezighi during Sunday’s Dodge Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego Marathon & ½ Marathon To Benefit The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society®. Keflezighi, running on the roads in the city he grew up in for the first time as a professional, will have plenty of supporters among the crowd, including his parents, brother, sister, wife, children, friends, former classmates and many in the community who have watched his rise to stardom with pride.

“It will be something special,” Keflezighi said, of his pro debut in San Diego. “I’m excited about it. I’m looking forward to doing it. It’s an opportunity for a lot of (familiar) people to see me. It should be fun running in the city where I grew up. I don’t get that treat very often. I’ve always wanted to do it.”

The diminutive Keflezighi, who became a naturalized U.S. citizen upon his graduation from UCLA in 1998, finished second in the marathon at the 2004 Olympics, becoming the first U.S. medalist in the event since Frank Shorter won gold in 1972 and silver in 1976. He will be trying to regain the form that has made him one of the world’s premier distance runners.

After his performance this Sunday, Meb plans to continue running in shorter road races throughout the rest of this year and next. His only commitments are to the ING New York City Marathon on Nov. 6 and the U.S. Olympic marathon trials Jan. 14 in Houston. Should he make the U.S. team – he missed out in 2008 because of a pelvic injury incurred during the Trials in Central Park where he placed eighth – it will be on to London for the 2012 Games.
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Photos — Rock N Roll Marathon San Diego 2010

RNR San Diego 2010

Originally uploaded by Coach Joe English

Here are some 200+ photos that I shot at the Rock N Roll Marathon in San Diego on June 6th, 2010. The marathon featured a brand new full marathon course as well as a new half-marathon option.

Just click on the photo or the link below it to go to Flickr and see the entire set.

Read more about the race at our web-site: www.running-advice.com/blog

Photos (c) Copyright Joe English, Running Advice and News

Running Advice and News


Race Review — New San Diego Rock N Roll Marathon

running-advice-bugIt isn’t every day that a marathon course gets re-invented. And it happens even more infrequently when it is very large race. So when the Competitor Group announced major changes to the Rock N Roll San Diego Marathon course, it was with great excitement that many people approached the 2010 race.

As one runner told me, “I was here for the first Rock N Roll San Diego and now I’m back. This time it feels new again.”

Big changes for the 2010 running of the Rock N Roll Marathon included the addition of a half-marathon and a reconfiguration of the later half of the full marathon course. The new courses also ended at Sea World, rather than the Marine Corps Recruiting Depot. But with all of these changes, the race still kept the many elements that have become synonymous with the Rock N Roll series: music, cheerleaders, good aid stations and well oiled logistics.

The Pros and Cons
Let’s start with the cons, because there was only one that really stood out to me. The start area was essentially unchanged from previous years. That meant the addition of about 8,000 new runners added into the start area. No matter what additional services they may have put into place, the start zone felt like total chaos to me.
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Races — Limo, Gromova win 2010 Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego Marathon

running-advice-bugSAN DIEGO, CA — Kenyan Richard Limo took the lead at the 21-mile mark and never relinquished it, crossing the finish line in 2 hours, 9 minutes, 58 seconds to win the 13th Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego Marathon on Sunday morning. It was Limo’s first career marathon victory, an achievement that wasn’t lost on the former 5000 meter world champion as he came to a complete stop just before crossing the finish line.

Richard Limo wins Rock N Roll Marathon 2010

“It was very important to me,” Limo said of his victory. “This was my first marathon win and I wanted to take a very good picture. This is wonderful.”

William Chebor of Kenya was next across the finish line in 2:10:15, and American Nick Arciniaga took nearly two minutes off his personal best to finish third in 2:11:48, the fourth fastest U.S. marathon this year, and the first American male to place in the top 10 at the race since Josh Cox’s ninth place finish in 1999, Arciniaga hung on to an aggressive early pace and mixed it up with the lead pack through an opening 10K of 29:34.

“The plan was to just sit on the leaders no matter what they were doing,” said Arciniaga, a 26-year-old from Flagstaff, Arizona who ran the fourth fastest U.S. marathon time of 2010. “I was hoping for a huge breakthrough performance. I ran strongly the last 10K and was able to catch a few more guys. I was hoping for better, but I’m not going to be disheartened with a two-minute PR.”
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Races — Ramaala to headline Rock N Roll Marathon Field

running-advice-bugSan Diego, CA -– One of the world’s greatest marathon runners, South African Hendrick Ramaala, will lead a field of 30,000 entrants on Sunday, June 6 at this year’s revamped Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego Marathon & ½ Marathon to Benefit The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. A former ING New York City Marathon champion, Ramaala owns a personal best of 2:06:55 from the London Marathon in 2006. He finished 5th at the Virgin London Marathon last year, running a time of 2:07:44.

For the first time in the San Diego’s 13-year Rock ‘n’ Roll history, the event will include a half marathon, along with a new finish line at SeaWorld.

“I’m excited to run the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon, every morning I have been pushing my training,” said Ramaala. “I’ve heard a lot of nice things about the race and the city, I would love to do well in front of the people there and put on a good show. I’ve never been to San Diego and I’m excited to see the city.”

Ramaala will line up against defending champion Khalid El Boumlili of Morocco, as well as former 5,000-meter world champion Richard Limo of Kenya. Prior to winning last year’s Rock ‘n’ Roll event, El Boumlili finished third at the 2008 Boston Marathon in a personal record of 2:10:35. Limo comes to San Diego with his sights set on countryman Philip Tarus’ longstanding event record of 2:08:33. Better known for his accomplishments on the track, Limo has a marathon best of 2:06:45 set in Amsterdam in 2007. He finished 5th at the 2009 Chicago Marathon and was runner up at the Los Angeles Marathon earlier this year.
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