FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Olympians Ryan Hall and Deena Kastor Headline
P.F. Chang's Rock 'n' Roll Arizona
American Record Holders Will Compete In
Half Marathon Broadcast Live on Competitor.com
Phoenix, AZ - January 14, 2010 - Two of the biggest names in U.S. distance
running history will take to the roads in the "Valley of the Sun" for the
seventh P.F. Chang's Rock 'n' Roll Arizona Marathon and Half Marathon.
Olympians Deena Kastor and Ryan Hall will make their 2010 racing debuts in
the half-marathon where they each hold the U.S. record for the 13.1-mile
distance. The dynamic duo will lead a top international field, featuring
seven past champions from the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon Series and more than
32,000 runners participating in the largest same day marathon and
half-marathon in the United States.
"I am excited to have the opportunity to compete in the P.F. Chang's Rock
'n' Roll Arizona half-marathon for my first time," said Hall, who set the
U.S. record in 2007 when he won the USA Half-Marathon Championship at
Houston in 59 minutes, 43 seconds, becoming the first and only American to
ever break the one-hour barrier on a record standard course, while
bettering the previous U.S. record that had stood for 21 years.
"I have always wanted to run the event ever since Haile broke the world
record for the half-marathon there," he added, referring to the 2006
stellar performance of distance running legend Haile Gebrselassie of
Ethiopia, who set a then-world 1/2-marathon record (58:55) on the back half
of the marathon course.
Hall, 27, won the 2008 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials in New York and went on
to finish 10th in the Beijing Olympics in 2:12:33. Most recently, the
Stanford graduate finished fourth at the 2009 ING New York City Marathon
(2:10:36), which was won by his Mammoth Track Club training partner Meb
Hall will be joined by fellow Americans Luke Humphrey and Mike Morgan,
teammates with the Hansons-Brooks Distance Project in Rochester Hills,
Mich. Morgan owns a half-marathon PR (personal record) of 1:04:48 and
represented Team USA at the 2007 World Championships in Osaka, Japan. They
will face strong competition from Simon Bairu of Canada, a two-time NCAA
cross country champion while at the University of Wisconsin. Bairu won the
2009 Canadian Track Championship in the 5000m in 13:39 and has a PR of
27:50 for 10,000m.
A bronze medalist in the 2004 Athens Olympic Marathon, Kastor, 36, is a
past Rock 'n' Roll champion winning the inaugural Rock 'n' Roll Virginia
Beach Half Marathon in 2001 in her debut at the distance. She made U.S.
half-marathon history in 2005 in Philadelphia when she shattered Joan
Benoit Samuelson's long-standing U.S. record by 41 seconds with a time of 1
hour, 7 minutes and 53 seconds. The three-time Olympian later bettered her
time at Berlin in 2006 (1:07:34), and the record has stood since.
Kastor, like Hall, trains with the Mammoth Track Club in California. After
her Olympic bronze medal, she became the first American woman to ever run a
marathon under 2:20 when she won the 2006 Flora London Marathon in 2:19:36.
In 2002, the Arkansas graduate set a then 5K world road record of 14:54 at
the Carlsbad 5000, which is one of her 12 still standing U.S. records.
Kastor will be challenged by 2009 USA Marathon champion Ilsa Paulson, 20,
of New York City, who bested Kastor at last summer's NYC Half Marathon. She
won the U.S. title in only the second marathon of her career and owns a
half-marathon PR of 1:13:20.
"Having both Deena Kastor and Ryan Hall running in the same event is a real
coup for Arizona," says veteran broadcaster and running historian Toni
Reavis who will call the race for KSAZ FOX 10 in Phoenix, the local Fox
affiliate. "They represent the best the sport has to offer both on and off
the roads, and their presence will give every runner in the half-marathon a
true benchmark on the quality of own performance."
Leading the marathon field is women's defending champion Olena Shurkhno of
Ukraine who set her PR of 2:30:18 at last year's race. She will be
challenged by a strong field of Ethiopian runners led by Selomie Getnet, a
three-time runner up in Arizona. Also expected to contend is American
Michele Suszek, winner of the inaugural Rock 'n' Roll Seattle Marathon last
summer where she set her PR of 2:38:37.
Returning champion Terefe Yae of Ethiopia highlights the men's marathon
field. He won race in 2007 and also finished runner-up in 2006. Kenyan
Christopher Torotich owns a PR of 2:11:58 and will race just over a month
after winning the inaugural Rock 'n' Roll Las Vegas Marathon in December.
Meschack Kirwa of Kenya set his 2:11:45 PR last year after winning the
inaugural Rock 'n' Roll San Antonio Marathon in 2008. Making his marathon
debut is American Jeff Eggleston, 24, of Flagstaff, Ariz. A University of
Virginia graduate, Eggleston owns a half-marathon PR of 1:03:58 and he has
also set personal bests in the 8K, 10K and 20K over the past two years.
The entire professional field will be introduced at the event press
conference on Friday, January 15 at 1:00pm at the Health & Fitness Expo in
the Phoenix Convention Center. Registration for both the marathon and
half-marathon will be available at the Expo from 10:00am - 7:00pm Friday,
January 15 and 9:00am - 6:00pm Saturday, January 16.
For the first time in the history of the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon Series, the
event will present the Dean Karnazes Rock 'n' Roll Ultra 50K. The inaugural
Rock 'n' Roll Ultra will cover 50 kilometers (~31 miles) and take place in
conjunction with marathon. Ultra runners will start at 6:30am and cover the
additional 4.8 miles with Dean Karnazes, legendary Ultra Marathon Man, who
will host the run. They will then join the rest of the marathoners and
complete the remaining 26.2 miles, starting at 7:40am. The half-marathon
race will be broadcast live on www.competitor.com and begins at 8:30am
For more information, visit: http://arizona.competitor.com or call (800)