FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
50K World Record Attempt to Highlight P.F. Chang's Rock 'n' Roll Marathon
DEFENDING CHAMPIONS HOPING TO ROCK ONCE AGAIN IN VALLEY OF THE SUN
Phoenix, Ariz. (January 14, 2009) - A record number of participants are
expected in Phoenix for the start of the sixth annual P.F. Chang's Rock 'n'
Roll Marathon on Sunday, January 18, 2009. Amongst the favorites to cross
the line first will be defending champions Mike Aish of New Zealand and
Ethiopia's Adanech Zekiros, who will be hoping to make it three in a row.
Zekiros will come into the race confident she can achieve a hat-trick of
victories. After her second consecutive win in Arizona last January, she
produced two outstanding performances in 2008 when finishing runner-up in
both the Rotterdam and Amsterdam marathons.
One of her main challengers Salomie Getnet knows how it is to be knocked
off the top of the podium, she herself has finished second in the last two
editions of the race. The European challenge will likely come from Olena
Shurkhno of Ukraine, who is no stranger to victory having won on six
separate occasions over the distance including the Country Music Marathon
Local support will be for Tempe's own Sally Meyerhoff who debuted at last
year's race and qualified for the Olympic Trials in Boston. This year she
will be hoping to attack her PR and put on a good show in front of her
friends and family.
The Men's field is deep and boasts talents from seven different countries.
There will also be an additional competition taking place in conjunction
with the race. U.S. marathoner Josh Cox will not only be running in the
marathon, but will also attempt to set a world best and American record at
50 kilometers (31.05 miles). After running the entire length of the
marathon course, he will continue into the adjacent ASU Sun Angle stadium,
where he will run over 18 laps on the 400 meter track surrounding the
event's family reunion area. The entire course is USATF and IAAF certified.
"Elite Racing and the Competitor Group put on first class events across the
nation. I'm thrilled to be taking part in P.F. Chang's Rock 'n' Roll
Arizona and am particularly excited to be taking a shot at the 50K record,"
said Cox, who is currently living and training in Mammoth Lakes, CA. "The
marathon is grueling enough by itself, tack on an additional five miles and
things should really get interesting. My training has been going well, but
I'm excited to get down to sea level. I'm definitely ready to rock and
On defending his title Mike Aish said: "I'm delighted to come back to
Arizona, it's always a great race and great occasion, training has gone
well but I'm really looking forward to getting out of this cold Colorado
winter and into some warm weather."
Aish's victory last year may have come as a shock for many observers, but a
victory in a big city marathon had been coming for some time after
consistent performances over his marathon career. For Aish to make it a
double in Arizona, he will once again have to be in top form as he faces
some great talent from across the globe.
Making his marathon debut this weekend will be Moses Kigen of Kenya. Moses
owns a PR of 1:00:37 for the half marathon which shows that he definitely
has the speed and it will be interesting to see how he copes with the
Other contender's include Ethiopian trio Araya Haregot, Tesfaye Bekele,
Tekeste Kebede and Kenya's Fred Mogaka all of whom are capable of claiming
victory. The entire field of elite athletes will be introduced during the
prerace Health & Fitness Expo Friday afternoon at 2:15 pm.
Individuals interested in participating in the special 50k competition
should contact Tracy Sundlun at .