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Posted: May 28, 2015  :

Athletics: Top American Runners Ready to Rock San Diego

Meb Keflezighi leads Suja Rock 'n' Roll San Diego elite field in first race as a Masters runner

Kellyn Taylor, Sara Hall and U.S. Olympian Jen Rhines highlight women's half-marathon

U.S. stars Desiree Linden and Deena Kastor to lead half-marathon pace groups on Sunday

More than 25,000 entrants from all 50 states and 42 countries to compete at San Diego's premier running event

San Diego: May 27, 2015 - At this weekend's Suja Rock 'n' Roll San Diego Marathon & Half-Marathon all eyes will surely be on the great American marathoner Meb Keflezighi who will be competing in his first race as a Masters runner (40 and older). Also toeing the line with Meb will be some of America's best runners who will use the event as a baseline to start training for the upcoming U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon in Los Angeles next February.

Start Line Photo - Suja Rock 'n' Roll San Diego Marathon (credit Ryan Bethke)

Meb is in a class by himself. He is the only runner in history to win Boston (2014), New York City (2009) and an Olympic marathon medal (2004). The UCLA grad just turned 40-years-old on May 5 and will make his masters debut at the event which will also host the 2015 USATF Masters Half Marathon National Championships.

"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," said Meb, who will have a dedicated "Meb Zone" on the course in front of San Diego High School where he graduated in 1994.

Among his top competition on Sunday, Meb will be squaring off against some of America's best distance runners including Josphat Boit who owns a 61:33 half-marathon PR as well as Shadrack Biwott who ran a personal best on the San Diego course last year and has represented the United States in the World Half Marathon Championships. Also in the field is 26-year-old Matt Llano, who owns an impressive 1:01:47 half-marathon personal best.

"I know given the fact that you got Meb there and other people like Shadrack that it's going to be a fast race," said Llano, who thinks he can dip under 62 minutes, which would certainly put him in the contention for the win. "Regardless of time, it will be really nice to be out there competing and having those nice distractions like the bands keeping things fun for us."

The biggest names in the women's field will not be racing, but pacing the 1:30 and 1:45 groups in the half-marathon, U.S. Olympians Desiree Linden and Deena Kastor. Linden, a graduate of Hilltop High School in Chula Vista, recently finished 4th and was top American at the Boston Marathon in April, while Kastor is the U.S. women's record holder in both the marathon and half-marathon, earned a bronze medal at the 2004 Olympic Marathon.

At the front of the pack in the women's professional race will likely be Kellyn Taylor, who burst onto the scene earlier this year in Houston clocking the sixth-fastest debut marathon time for an American woman (2:28:40). She heads into this weekend's event aiming to run 70 minutes - a time that puts her in the running for a possible win.

"I've wanted to get into a fast, competitive half marathon for a while," said Taylor, who owns a 1:11:51 half marathon best and won the Rock 'n' Roll San Jose Half Marathon last fall. "I just never really found myself in one. The field looks good and I'm in pretty good shape, so this will be a great opportunity for me."

Her rivals will include big names in the sport like three-time Olympian Jen Rhines and Sara Hall, who was recently top American at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships. Also expected in the mix is the reigning Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon Grand Prix Series champion, Lindsey Scherf.

The Suja Rock 'n' Roll Marathon will be held in conjunction with the half-marathon on Sunday, but the fun takes place throughout the weekend with a new Rock 'n' Roll 5K on Saturday and the Toyota Rock 'n' Roll Concert Series with headliner O.A.R. giving participants a reason to rock out at San Diego's Petco Park on Sunday after the race.

Marathon weekend will kick off on Friday, May 29 with a two-day Health & Fitness Expo at the San Diego Convention Center. The Expo is free and open to the public, taking place from 11 am to 7 pm on Friday and from 9 am to 5 pm Saturday, May 30. The main events 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 routes incorporate 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.

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.


Meb wins the 2012 half-marathon in San Diego (Credit PhotoRun.net)
Top Entrants - Suja Rock 'n' Roll San Diego Half Marathon 
BIB, NAME, HOMETOWN, PERSONAL BEST, AGE

Men's field 
1. MEB, Meb Keflezighi, San Diego, CA, 1:01:00, 40
2. LLANO, Matt Llano, Flagstaff, AZ, 1:01:47, 27
3. BOIT, Josphat Boit, Mammoth Lakes, CA, 1:01:33, 31
4. BIWOTT, Shadrack Biwott, Mammoth Lakes, CA, 1:01:25, 30
5. SCOTT, Scott Smith, Oklahoma City, OK, 1:03:18, 28
6. OSMAN, Ahmed Osman, Flagstaff, AZ, 1:03:02, 27
7. SMYTH, Patrick Smyth, Salt Lake City, UT, 1:02:01, 28
8. SOLIS, Anthony Solis, Barstow, CA, 1:04:35, 24
9. TAPIA, Daniel Tapia, Mammoth Lakes, CA, 1:03:52, 28
10. WILLIAMS, Matthew Williams, 1:04:24, 28

Women's field  
1. TAYLOR, 301, Kellyn Taylor, Flagstaff, AZ, 1:11:51, 28
2.  HALL, Sara Hall, Redding, CA, 1:10:50, 32
3.  JIMISON, Lauren Jimison, Mammoth Lakes, CA, 1:12:01, 25 
4. JEN, Jen Rhines, Boston, MA, 1:11:14, 40 
5. TRENGROVE, Jessica Trengove, Australia, 1:11:51,27
6. ERI, Eri Hayakawa, Japan, 1:10:13, 33
7. SCHERF, Lindsey Scherf, Chapel Hill, NC, 1:11:45, 28 
8. CARLSON, Polina Carlson, Kailua, HI, 1:14:48, 27
9. ALVINA, Alvina Begay, Flagstaff, AZ, 1:12:25, 34
10. TYLER, Tori Tyler, Danville, CA, 1:15:36, 28

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 O.A.R. at PETCO Park. The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society is the event's featured charity. Over the 17-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.


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