Japanís Mao Ichiyama finishes strong with first-place in womenís division
State half-marathon record broken by Virginiaís 71-year-old Betty Brothers
Sister Hazel headlines Toyota Rock Ďní Roll Concert Series on the sand
VIRGINIA BEACH: September 3, 2017 - The number one on Jeffrey Egglestonís race bib at the Rock Ďní Roll Virginia Beach Half Marathon today was symbolic of the place he stood on the podium afterward: the top. The 32-year old blazed the scenic course along the Virginia Beach oceanfront in an incredible one hour, five minutes, and 55 seconds. Although warm temps were forecasted for Sundayís race, the thermometer at the start read in the high 60s, which made for a great day of racing along one of the most appealing race courses in the United States.
Jeffery Eggleston - Credit Kevin Morris
Eggleston, who has worn the Team USA singlet at two World Championships, is no stranger to winning Rock and Roll races. The Boulder, Colorado resident has won half marathons in Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and Phoenix. He said he was running the Sunday race to prepare for the Chicago Marathon in October.
"I had a pretty uneventful summer and this was actually my first race since the Rock Ďní Roll San Diego Marathon [in June, where he won]. I had a really busy spring and just took the time to recover this summer," said Eggleston, who has raced in Virginia Beach three times "Itís really nice to be at sea level, because I had been training at 10,000 feet."
"I love coming to Virginia," he said. "Itís where I went to college and itís always fun to integrate into the community here. Itís just a great Labor Day tradition and itís a real honor to be here."
Eggleston said that when he finished todayís race on the boardwalk, he saw several bottlenose dolphins in the ocean. "Thatís the highlight of me coming here," he said with a smile on his face.
Local standout Christian of Norfolk, Virginia took second place with an impressive 1:09:24. Third place in the menís half marathon division was awarded to Andris Goncarovs (1:10:56) of Greensboro, North Carolina.
The womenís race also went to the top-seeded runner, Mao Ichiyama, who clocked a 1:13:50. The Japanese runnerís nearest rival was Nicole Aish (1:19:47). Speaking through a translator, Ichiyama summed up her experience at the race in one word: fun. The 20-year-old who runs for the Wacoal team, who ran a personal best in Virginia Beach, went on to say that all the fun, music, and excitement along the course raised her mood and helped her run for the win.
Stephanie Andre placed third in 1:19:53. Andre ran the Labor Day race as an opportunity to visit the beach with her husband and seven-year-old son.
"I wasnít really sure what to expect this morning," she said. "I knew it was a fast and flat course and I was going to be running with a lot of women. I was able to hold back in the first few miles and then locked in to a 6:05 pace."
Andre was happy with her results and said she notched a new PR for the distance.
"This course with its boardwalk finish sure beats running in Oklahoma," she said. "The crowds were great. There were a lot of spectators and cheerleaders and that helped pick me up."
A Virginia state half-marathon record was broken today by Betty Brothers, 71 with a time of 1:57:09. The Virginia native broke the previous Masters 40 & Older record of 1:57:24 set in 2013.
An annual Labor Day weekend celebration, the Rock Ďní Roll party has been going non-stop with a Health and Fitness expo on Friday, 5K and the "Mile in the Sand" held on Saturday. The event is held in conjunction with the American Music Festival, which has provided participants and their families with even more chances to listen to live music while soaking in the sun and playing in the surf.
Taking place in the 5K on Saturday was Virginia Beachís own mayor, Will Sessoms. "Virginia Beach is the greatest city in the world and one of the reasons is because of the Rock Ďní Roll Half Marathon," he said. "The weather is perfect; the scenery is perfect. You canít have a better place for a race than here."
The 2018 Rock Ďní Roll Virginia Beach Half Marathon will take place on Labor Day weekend, September 1 -2, 2018 and presale registration is available online at RunRocknRoll.com/Virginia-Beach.
Start Line - Credit Bruce Buckley
Results - Rock Ďní Roll Virginia Beach Half Marathon
Place, time, name, age, hometown
1. 1:05:55, Jefferey Eggleston , 32, Boulder, CO
2. 1:09:24, Will Christian, 34, Norfolk, VA
3. 1:10:56, Andris Goncarovs, 25, Greensboro, NC
1. 1:13:50, Mao Ichiyama, 20, Japan
2. 1:19:47, Nicole Aish, 41, Golden, CO
3. 1:19:53, Stephanie Andre, 34, Bixby, OK
For complete results, photos and more, visit RunRocknRoll.com.