Race will be broadcast live on Competitor.com
Chicago, Ill -- July 15, 2009 -- Fresh off her second U.S. 5,000m track title, Kara Goucher will return to the roads to make her U.S. half-marathon debut at the inaugural Rock 'n' Roll Chicago Half Marathon on Sunday, August 2. The race webcast can be seen live on Competitor.com beginning at 6:30 a.m. CT.
Less than a year ago, Goucher amazed U.S. road racing fans with an inspiring third place debut at the 2008 ING New York City Marathon, the first time in 14 years that an American woman had placed in the top three. Her second marathon in Boston earlier this year saw her place third in a tight finish on the home stretch. Her performance was the best finish by a U.S. woman at the Boston Marathon since 1993.
"I'm excited to be part of the first Rock 'n' Roll Chicago Half Marathon. I'm grateful for the opportunity to race as part of my preparations for the World Championships here on home soil, in one of the true great sporting cities." said Goucher, who will use the race in preparation to run the marathon at the IAAF World Track and Field Championships August 23 in Berlin. "I'm very happy about the way my preparations have gone. I ran the trials in June and now it's time to get back on the roads. I'm hoping to run well in Chicago and take that confidence into Berlin and give a good account of myself on the world stage."
Goucher's marathon prospects at the World Championships are rooted in previous wins this year over 3,000m at the Reebok Boston Indoor Games and 5,000m at the USA Track & Field Championships. The 5,000m victory in 15 minutes, 20.94 seconds was her second U.S. track title, the other being the 2008 Olympic Trials which preceded her ninth place 5,000m finish at the Beijing Olympics last summer.
Unbeaten in her career at the half-marathon distance, Goucher captured her first title in 2007 in spectacular fashion when she out-dueled marathon world record-holder Paula Radcliffe, winning the Great North Run in 1:06:57, the fastest woman's half-marathon time of the year. The sub 1:07 performance set a new American best time for the distance.
"It's great to have Kara competing at the inaugural Rock 'n' Roll Chicago," said Matt Turnbull, Athlete Coordinator for the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon Series, who was on hand for the 2007 Great North Run, Goucher's first competitive race longer than 10k. "She is the best female distance runner in America right now and the race fits perfectly into her schedule for this summer's World Championships. There is no better ambassador for the sport of running in the United States so it's great to have her in Chicago."
Goucher owns a marathon PR of 2:25:53, which was the fastest marathon debut ever by an American woman. She holds two of the seven fastest U.S. women's marathon times in history, and has won both half-marathons she has finished, including the 2009 Lisbon Half Marathon in 1:08:30.
About Rock 'n' Roll Chicago
Entering its first year as one of Chicago's premiere running events, the Rock 'n' Roll Chicago Half Marathon has sold out with 18,000 registered runners. The half-marathon offers a fast, flat scenic course that starts in downtown Chicago and runs along the lakefront with the finish at Grant Park. Live bands and several cheer sections will be staged approximately every mile along the 13.1-mile course. The race concludes with a finish line concert featuring Susan Tedeschi, a Grammy nominated blues and jazz artist, which is free and open to the public. For more information about Rock 'n' Roll Chicago, visit ww.runrocknroll.com or call 800-311-1255.
About The Rock 'n' Roll Marathon Series
Produced by Competitor Group, the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon series is known for lining race routes with live bands, cheerleaders and themed water stations. The original Rock 'n' Roll Marathon in San Diego is still recognized for its record setting inaugural event that brought 15,771 participants across the finish line. Today, the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon Series has spread to eleven cities nationwide, creating the first national series of marathons and half-marathons, which annually attract more than 250,000 participants. Event weekend kicks off with a two-day Health & Fitness Expo, where all participants must pick up their bib number and race packet. Over 100 exhibitors feature free samples, the latest in running gear and sports apparel and interactive clinics. For more information, please visit www.competitor.com.