Californiaís Fastest Half Marathon takes over Bay Area this weekend with over 17,000 runners
Shadrack Biwott, Patrick Smyth and Fernando Cabada headline menís elite race
Races to be streamed live on Periscope @RunRocknRoll at 8:00am PST on Sunday, October 2
SAN JOSE, CA - September 30, 2016 - Thirty-three-year-old elite American runner Sara Hall is raising four kids with husband and former elite marathoner Ryan, and now sheís prepping for her third 26.2-miler this year. As part of her preparation, the 10-time U.S. National Team member will be lacing up her racing flats and toeing the line at the Rock Ďní Roll San Jose Half Marathon on Sunday.
Sarah Hall - Credit PhotoRun.net
"I feel really excited for the opportunity to race in San Jose," says Hall, who graduated from nearby Stanford University where she was a 10-time All-American. "My family and I are making a weekend out of the race, my daughter will be running the Stanford Invitational the day before."
The Halls adopted their four daughters (Hana, Mia, Jasmine, and Lily) from Ethiopia in the fall of 2015.
"Itís going to be special and meaningful for me," she said, "We are also going to take the girls to where we got married in the Santa Cruz Mountains. I feel great and think it will be a fantastic opportunity to run fast on a flat course. Iím going to take advantage of that."
Hall has been continuing to improve her performance, having set a personal best in the half marathon (1:10:07) in Houston back in January. Sheís using the San Jose to tune up for the TCS New York City Marathon in November.
"I felt good at Houston and it made me excited to run another fast course. I have an idea in my mind with what I want to run on Sunday, but it really comes down to getting in a really good effort. I love the half. Itís my favorite distance right now. It feels like a treat."
Currently Hallís marathon PR is 2:30:06ówhich is the 4th fastest time in the country this year, behind the three that represented the U.S. at the Rio Games.
"Iím excited for New York. Iíve made some improvements in my strength this year, Iím more focused on competing well than being concerned with he time, because the course is challenging."
Hall has run in San Jose a few times, competing in the Silicon Valley Turkey Trot, but this weekend is her first time running the famed Rock Ďní Roll event.
"I love music," she says. "Sometimes I wish I could race with headphones on. Music gives me a boost and I miss that in many races where thereís no entertainment like Iím sure Iíll see on Sunday."
The concept of running and sports in the Hall family isnít limited to Sara. Her husband, Ryan, an American Olympian, continues to train, as do her daughters. "Running looks different now," she says. "Iíve had to wrap my mind around it after doing the same thing for 10 years. My running fits in the context of my family. Everyone is in sports. Not any one person is the sole focus."
Expected to compete for the win against Hall will be Kenyaís Sally Kipyego, who owns an Olympic silver medal from the 10,000m event back in 2012. Other elite entries in the womenís half-marathon division include Americans Amy Schnittger and Molly Friel.
Sunday's half-marathon features six American men with sub-64 minute personal best times and two other contenders who are making their 13.1-mile debut. Headlining the field is Shadrack Biwott (61:24), Patrick Smyth (62:01), Scott Macpherson (62:56), Fernando Cabada (62:00), Tyler McCandless (63:16), Daniel Tapia (63:39), Ryan Dohner (Debut) and Matthew Leach (Debut).
Further back in the pack on Saturday and Sunday will be thousands of other runners taking part in a series of exciting races in San Jose. Besides the half marathon, a 10K kicks off on at 8:00 am Sunday, and the day before, two more events (the Kids Rock and the 5K) will fill downtown San Jose with bands and cheering.
The flat, fast courses start and finish in downtown San Jose and is ideal for runners seeking to achieve their personal best. The event is home to both of the current California state half-marathon records: 1:00:22, set by Kenyaís Duncan Kibet in 2006, and 1:09:17, established by Silvia Skortsova of Russia in 2006, earning the title of Californiaís fastest half-marathon.
Event weekend gets underway with a Health & Fitness Expo at the San Jose Convention Center. Race registration is available at the Expo on Friday, September 30 from 1:30 pm to 6:00 pm and Saturday, October 2, from 9:30am to 5:00pm. The free Expo is open to the public and will showcase the latest in running products, services and free samples as all registered runners pick up their race number.
Rock Ďní Roll festivities begin with the Health and Fitness expo on Friday. The weekend will end when finish-line festival headliner Rogue Wave, an indie band from nearby Oakland, takes to the stage. As with all Rock Ďní Roll races, there will be no shortage of entertainment along the route.
For more information, visit RunRocknRoll.com.