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Posted: June 14, 2015:  

Athletics: Vargas, Miller Crowned Champions At Rock 'n' Roll Seattle Half Marathon

Paul Katam and Anna Corrigan place first in menís and womenís marathon

Event started and finished under the iconic Space Needle, which was transformed into the worldís largest starter's pistol

Event debuted an all new sold out 8K course

SEATTLE: June 13, 2015 - Washington Stateís largest city played host to the Rock 'n' Roll Seattle Marathon & 1/2 Marathon, a Signature Seafair Event on Saturday. More than 17,000 athletes from all over the world laced up their running shoes and rocked out to tunes along the scenic course that winds its way through downtown Seattle and around Lake Washington.

Breaking the tape in the half-marathon was 31-year-old Daniel Vargas who came through the 13.1 miles in one hour, 5 minutes and 39 seconds--well ahead of any competition. Vargas is a Mexican Olympian who won the Rock 'n' Roll Chicago Half Marathon in 2012 as well as the Rock 'n' Roll Savannah Half Marathon last year. Nearly four minutes back was the second-place finisher, Roosevelt Cook who ran 1:09:13. Third place in the half was awarded to Reuben Chumba (1:09:36).

Twenty-three-year-old Dani Miller of Rochester, Michigan was the womenís half-marathon champion. Her story of perseverance serves as an inspiration for all runners. After the race, she shared details about her struggles as a runner. "I had the worst high-school PRs," she admitted. "If you looked at me then, youíd say there was no way Iíd be a professional athlete." Miller said she then went on to run in college and gained 25 pounds her first two years there. "I realized I wasnít being a good team asset and lost the weight in the next two years," she said. "Itís little things that can make a difference. I can tell women thatóeating better, sleeping better, doing core exercises. I couldnít even run an 8-minute pace back then. Now Iím out here and have won my first major half marathon." Miller, who runs under the watchful eye of Coach Kevin Hansen said she has stumbled in other Rock 'n' Roll half marathon races like Philadelphia and San Jose, but her coach believed in her. "Iím a blessed young lady to be out here," she said with a smile. "Kevin never lost hope in me."

Like the menís race, Millerís margin of victory was significant. She broke the tape in 1:17:16. Her nearest rival was Emma Kertesz who came in second with 1:20:05. Andrea Duke (1:20:21) was the third-place finisher.

The menís marathon was a sure thing. Paul Katam of Beaverton, Oregon prevailed by running 2:26:15óa full 14 minutes faster than second-place finisher Bill Condon (2:40:41). Jesse Stevick was third in 2:42:11.

"Iím happy," the 25-year-old Katam admitted afterward. "It was my first marathon and I won it." He had been building up his training miles for this event and used the Rock 'n' Roll Portland Half Marathon as a tune-up race for Seattle. "I have been injured since December, and have been trying to get back into shape," he said. "I hope to be serious next year for the Trials." Katam is currently serving in the Army as part of its World-Class Athletes Program (WCAP). He recently became a U.S. citizen.

In the womenís marathon event, Anna Corrigan of Phoenix, Arizona proved victorious with a 2:54:56 showing. Corrigan is a University of Virginia graduate and other than a visit for a track meet in college, she had never really seen Seattle before today. "I loved running by the water," she said. "I also loved the bands. There were a lot of them at miles 4, 5, and 6. It was amazing. I live in the desert and donít get to see a lot of trees. Itís so lush and green here. It makes you feel so alive like you want to run. This is the place to do distance."

The other podium finishers were Ziyang (Sophia) Liu (2:57:17, second), and Kristina Brendzel (3:05:45, third).

To mark the official start of the 2015 Rock 'n' Roll Seattle Marathon & Half-Marathon the Space Needle was transformed into the worldís largest starterís pistol and launched a round of thunderous comets from its 200í platform to begin the race. The event also introduced a new 8K race that was sold out and capped at 1,15o runners. And true to the Rock 'n' Roll theme, all runners got a huge shot of inspiration along the way thanks to the various blues, punk, funk, and rock bands as well as the cheer teams that lined the course. A Seattle send off wouldnít be complete without a good dose of grunge music care of hometown favorite Mudhoney that jammed at the headliner concert held at Seattle Center.

2015 Rock 'n' Roll Seattle Marathon & Half-Marathon Results

Name, Age, Hometown, Time 
Menís Marathon 
1. Paul Katam, 25, Beaverton, OR, 2:26:15, $500
2. Bill Condon, 34, Seattle, WA, 2:40:41
3. Jesse Stevick, 33, Olympia, WA, 2:42:11

Womenís Marathon
1. Anna Corrigan, 24, Phoenix, AZ, 2:54:56, $500
2. Ziyang (Sophia) Liu, Redmond, WA, 2:57:17
3. Kristina Brendzel, Bainbridge Island, WA, 3:05:45

Menís Half Marathon
1. Daniel Vargas, 31, Mexico, 1:05:39, $250
2. Roosevelt Cook, 35, Oak Hills, CA, 1:09:13
3. Reuben Chumba, 27, Kenya, 1:09:36

Womenís Half Marathon
1.  Dani Miller, 23, Rochester, MI, 1:17:16
2. Emma Kertesz, 24, Pullman, WA, 1:20:05
3. Andrea Duke, 36, San Antonio, TX, 1:20:21

Photo credit Rod Mar

About Rock 'n' Roll Seattle Marathon & Half-Marathon

A signature Seafair event, Rock 'n' Roll Seattle Marathon & Half-Marathon will take place the weekend of June 11 Ė 13, 2015. The marathon, half marathon and 8K will give runners a first class tour of Seattle starting and finishing under the iconic Space Needle. Runners can rock to the sounds of live, local bands along with enthusiastic cheerleaders to keep participants moving. The event concludes with a finish line festival concert with headliner Mudhoney. A two-day Health & Fitness Expo kicks off race weekend at CenturyLink Field Event Center on Thursday, June 11 and Friday, June 12. The expo will have numerous vendors featuring the latest in running gear, nutrition and training tips. To register for the race or for more information, visit or follow us on Twitter @RunRocknRoll.

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