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Posted: August 24, 2019:  

Athletics: Desiree Linden looks to defend her title at the 2019 Humana Rock ‘n’ Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon

World-Class field of elite men and women take to streets of Philadelphia once again

Four-time Olympian Abdi Abdirahman to lead the men’s field

Half Marathon, 7.6K and 5K race all taking place on Sunday, September 15

PHILADELPHIA, Pa. / TAMPA, Fla. (August 22, 2019) - The 2019 Humana Rock ‘n’ Roll® Philadelphia Half Marathon will once again include a world-class group of elite men and women when they toe the line on Sept. 15 in the City of Brotherly Love. Given the depth of the elite field, the half marathon is set to be one of the most competitive races in the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series® circuit all year. The flat and fast course starts on Benjamin Franklin Parkway, runs through Center City before winding along the city’s scenic Schuylkill River and finishing at the iconic "Rocky Steps" of the Philadelphia Art Museum.

Leading the field will be the defending women’s Humana Rock ‘n’ Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon champion Desiree "Des" Linden. Linden won the 2018 Boston Marathon, becoming the first American woman to win the race in 33 years. Linden is a two-time Olympian from San Diego, Calif. and has represented the United States of America at the last two Summer Olympic Games. Her best finish came in 2016 in Rio when she placed seventh in the women’s marathon. Her personal best in the marathon is 2:22:38 while her best for the half marathon is 1:10:34.

"I’m looking forward to returning to the Humana Rock ‘n’ Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon to defend my title," said Linden. "Last year this race worked well in my preparations for the TCS New York City Marathon; I’m excited to compete against my fellow Americans and the international field on the streets of Philly."

Linden’s victory at the 2018 Rock ‘n’ Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon came in her first competitive race after winning the Boston Marathon, and she will be striving for a repeat this year among yet another stacked field of contenders. In addition to Linden, the women’s field is punctuated by a wealth of talent that features Olympians and rising stars. One of those rising stars is Fontana, Calif. native Jordan Hasay. Hasay, just 27 years old, has landed herself on the podium at marquee events throughout the country: she placed third in both the 2017 and 2019 editions of the Boston Marathon, finishing with a time of 2:23:00 and 2:25:20, respectively. In addition to that, Hasay took third at the 2017 Chicago Marathon with a finishing time of 2:20:57. Hasay’s participation in the 2019 Rock ‘n’ Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon will mark her second year running in the event, following her third-place finish in 2017 when she clocked in at 1:10:41.

"I competed here at the Rock ‘n’ Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon in 2017 and enjoyed the race, I went on to set a personal best at Chicago Marathon that year so I hope that I can come here and perform at the front end which will set me up for another great marathon," said Hasay. "This race is steeped in USA road racing history; countless national and world records have been set here, so I would love to add my name to the roll of honor."

The star-studded men’s field is led by four-time Olympian Abdi Abdirahman. The Somalian-born Abdirahman represented the United States at the Olympics in 2000, 2004, 2008 and 2012 and placed third in the New York City Marathon in 2016. He has personal bests of 2:08:56 in the marathon and 1:01:07 in the half marathon. Abdirahman will be taking on talented newcomers like Clayton Young and established competition like Tyler Andrews. Young, who hails from American Fork, Utah, was the 2019 NCAA 10,000-meter champion, and will be making his debut in Philadelphia. Cambridge, Mass. native Andrews took home top honors at the 2019 United Airlines Rock ‘n’ Roll Washington DC Marathon & ½ Marathon with a finishing time of 2:24:13 in the marathon.

"We are incredibly excited about the field of participants that are slated to run at the Humana Rock ‘n’ Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon," said Audra Tassone, Regional Director for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series. "This event has proven to be one of the most successful tune-up events for an incredibly talented group of elite runners and we are anxious to see how it all shakes out next month. To be able to put World Marathon Major winners, Olympic medalists, and World Champions on the same starting line is a testament to the regard in which this race is held."

Race day will feature three events this year with the 5K presented by Brooks kicking off at 7:00 a.m. and new 7.6K and half marathon taking off at 7:30 a.m. from Eakins Oval. In true Rock ‘n’ Roll fashion, live bands, and spectators will line the race route, concluding with a celebratory finish line festival and post-race Rock ‘n’ Roll Concert Series at Fairmount Park. Registration for all distances of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Philadelphia weekend is open online until Sept. 8 by visiting, www.runrocknroll.com/en/Events/Philadelphia/Register

For more information on the Humana Rock ‘n’ Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon, visit RunRocknRoll.com. Media related inquiries may be directed to Press@RunRocknRoll.com.

For more information on the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series®, please visit RunRocknRoll.com..

About Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series

The Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series® is the world’s largest running series taking part in over 30 destination events around the world every year. Established in 1998, the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series simple idea of making running fun has transformed both the U.S. and global running landscape by infusing the course with live bands, cheer teams and entertaining water stations, creating a block-party atmosphere for participants and spectators alike. Focused on running, music and community, race weekend kicks off with a free Health & Fitness Expo showcasing the latest in running gear, sports apparel, health and nutritional information and much more. Events culminate with an entertaining finish-line festival featuring some of the biggest names in music, with past performances including Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, O.A.R. Aloe Blacc, Pitbull, Flo Rida, The Band Perry, Fitz and the Tantrums, the Goo Goo Dolls and Bret Michaels. Further information about the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series can be found online at www.RunRocknRoll.com and follow @RunRocknRoll on all social platforms.

About The IRONMAN Group

As part of Wanda Sports Holdings, The IRONMAN Group operates a global portfolio of events that includes the IRONMAN® Triathlon Series, the IRONMAN® 70.3® Triathlon Series, 5150" Triathlon Series, the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series®, Iron Girl®, IRONKIDS®, International Triathlon Union World Triathlon Series races, road cycling events including the Velothon® Series, mountain bike races including the Absa Cape Epic®, premier marathons including the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon, trail running like Ultra-Trail Australia", and other multisport races. IRONMAN’s events, together with all other Wanda Sports Holdings events, provide more than a million participants annually the benefits of endurance sports through the company’s vast offerings. The iconic IRONMAN® Series of events is the largest participation sports platform in the world. Since the inception of the IRONMAN® brand in 1978, athletes have proven that ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE® by crossing finish lines at the world’s most challenging endurance races. Beginning as a single race, IRONMAN has grown to become a global sensation with more than 230 events across 53 countries. For more information, visit Ironman.com.

About Wanda Sports Group

Wanda Sports Group is a leading global sports events, media and marketing platform with a mission to unite people in sports and enable athletes and fans to live their passions and dreams. We have significant intellectual property rights, long-term relationships and broad execution capabilities, enabling us to deliver unrivalled sports event experiences, creating access to engaging content and building inclusive communities. We offer a comprehensive array of events, marketing and media services through three primary segments: Mass Participation, Spectator Sports and Digital, Production, Sports Solutions (DPSS). Our full-service platform creates value for our partners and clients as well as other stakeholders in the sports ecosystem, from rights owners, to brands and advertisers, and to fans and athletes.

Headquartered in Beijing, China, Wanda Sports Group has more than 60 offices and 1,600 employees around the world.


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