Khalid El Boumlili of Morocco and Yuliya Gromova of Russia scored runaway victories at today's Rock 'N' Roll Marathon in San Diego, Calif., the race which began the entertainment revolution in marathon running.
El Boumlili, who finished third at the 2008 Boston Marathon, was part of a large lead pack at 10 km (31:42), but soon set out on his own to try for victory. By the half-way mark (1:05:43), El Boumlili had built up a one minute and 18-second lead over the main field. Although Kenya's Samuel Mugo finally broke from the main field in an effort to reel in El Boumlili, it was too late. By 34 km, El Boumlili had nearly two minutes on the main field and about a minute and one-half on Mugo. The Moroccan made it to the finish alone in 2:11:16 (unofficial), with Mugo second (2:12:37) and Ethiopia's Tesfye Tola third (2:13:02).
American Olympian Dan Browne was in the main elite group at half-way (1:07:02), but was not in the top-10 at the 34 km checkpoint. He was not listed in the top-10 finishers through 2:18:21, so he may have dropped out.
Gromova's race was similar to El Boumlili's. The defending Rock 'N' Roll Marathon champion was in the main field through 10 km (35:11), and at halfway (1:14:44) was one of the four contenders left for victory: Romania's Nuta Olaru (who dropped out of the Los Angeles Marathon last Monday), Kenya's Hellen Kimutai, and Russia's Albina Mayorova. By the time the 34 km checkpoint was reached, Gromova had built up a nearly one-minute lead, which would grow to nearly two minutes by the finish line. Her final time, a career best of 2:27:37, was well ahead of Kimutai's (2:29:32) and Olaru (2:30:40).