San Diego's greatest distance runner to compete in USATF Masters Half Marathon Championships
Race weekend to include two-days of running with the inaugural Rock 'n' Roll 5k on Saturday
18th annual Suja Rock 'n' Roll San Diego Marathon weekend to set for May 29-31, 2015
Start Line Photo - Suja Rock 'n' Roll San Diego Marathon (credit Ryan Bethke)
San Diego, CA: May 20, 2015 - U.S. Olympian Meb Keflezighi will return to his hometown streets of San Diego to run the Suja Rock 'n' Roll San Diego Half Marathon on Sunday, May 31, 2015. The race has been selected to host the USATF Masters Half Marathon National Championships and Meb will make his masters debut at the event. He previously won the half-marathon in 2011 and 2012.
Keflezighi, the former New York City and Boston Marathon champion, plus the 2004 Olympic marathon silver medalist, turned 40 on May 5. With excellent weather conditions, solid competition, plus history on its side, it figures the race will yield fast times for the elite masters. In 2013 the event produced the fastest half-marathon ever on U.S. soil when Kenya's Bernard Koech won in 58 minutes, 41 seconds.
"I was debating whether I should pace the Suja Rock 'n' Roll San Diego Half Marathon like I did last year or race it," says Keflezighi, who finished eighth at the Boston Marathon last month in 2 hours, 12 minutes, 42 seconds. "Since my recovery from the Boston Marathon has gone well, I've decided to race. I am looking forward to my first competition as a masters athlete and know I am very fortunate to run my first masters race in my hometown of San Diego."
Meb has cemented himself as one of the most accomplished distance runners in U.S. history. Among his accolades, the San Diego High School graduate was a 12-time All-American at UCLA, won 22 U.S. National Championships and earned a silver medal in the 2004 Olympics in Athens. Most notably, Meb won the 2014 Boston Marathon, becoming the first American man to win the historic running event since 1983.
For the first time in 2015, marathon weekend in San Diego will include two days of running with the inaugural Rock 'n' Roll 5k taking place on Saturday morning, May 30. Runners who participated in Saturday's 5K along with Sunday's marathon, half-marathon or relay will receive a medal for each race, plus the coveted Remix Challenge medal, earning three-medals for two-races.
Marathon weekend will kick off on Friday, May 29 with a two-day Health & Fitness Expo at the San Diego Convention Center. The Expo, which is free and open to the public, takes place from 11 am to 7 pm on Friday and from 9 am to 5 pm Saturday, May 30.
Meb wins the 2012 half-marathon in San Diego (Credit PhotoRun.net)
Both the marathon and half-marathon take place on Sunday, beginning on the west side of Balboa Park. The marathon begins at 6:15 am and the half-marathon starts at 6:50 am. The race route incorporates a scenic tour of San Diego's neighborhood charm, passing through Little Italy, Old Town, University Heights and Normal Heights, before ending at Petco Park at 13th and K Street, with a finish line festival. The weekend experience concludes the Toyota Rock 'n' Roll Concert Series inside the stadium headlined by rock band O.A.R..
In addition to O.A.R.'s performance, runners will also enjoy the sounds of local live bands playing along the course as motivation and entertainment, along with cheerleaders and thousands of encouraging spectators. For more information or to register for the event, visit RunRocknRoll.com and follow the event on Twitter @RunRocknRoll.
About Suja Rock 'n' Roll San Diego Marathon & Half-Marathon
The 18th annual Suja Rock 'n' Roll San Diego Marathon & Half-Marathon will run through the streets of San Diego on Sunday, May 31, 2015. The race is known for lining the course live bands and cheerleaders interspersed with themed water stations along the route. The original Rock 'n' Roll Marathon in 1998 is still recognized as the largest inaugural marathon in U.S. history with 19,979 entrants, a free two-day Health & Fitness Expo at the San Diego Convention Center kicks off race weekend, featuring more than eighty fitness retailers, exhibits, free samples and interactive clinics. The event concludes Sunday afternoon with a finish line celebration and headliner concert with Aloe Blacc at PETCO Park. The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society is the event's featured charity. Over the 18-year history of the race, runners participating with their Team In Training program have raised more than $179 million in San Diego to support blood cancer research and patient services. For more information about the Suja Rock 'n' Roll San Diego, please visit RunRocknRoll.com.