FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Elite Racing, Inc.
Susan Reid (858/864-2090 cell)
Audra Fleming (858/518-2923 cell)
Champions Set to Defend Titles at
2005 P.F. Chang's Rock 'n' Roll Arizona Marathon
PHOENIX, Ariz. (Dec. 30, 2004) –The P.F. Chang's Rock 'n' Roll Arizona
Marathon & ½ Marathon, a race that with more than 29,000 registered
participants last year set a record as the largest first-time annual
running event, will again host an impressive elite invitational field
anticipated to make quick work of the new flatter and faster marathon
course. The second annual race hits the streets of Phoenix, Scottsdale and
Tempe Jan. 9, 2005 and will welcome back both the men's and women's
Last year, Kenya's Haron Toroitich took home the winner's check of $20,000
while leading a Kenyan sweep of the top three places in the elite men's
competition. For the women it was Ethiopia's Shitaye Gemechu besting
former New York City Marathon champion Anuta Catuna of Romania for the
The two winning times, 2:10:33 and 2:31:33 respectively, were slowed
slightly by a persistent second-half breeze, but men's champion Toroitich
predicted a fast defense of last year's performance.
"This was the first attempt (on the course)," said the 26-year-old from
Baringo, Kenya. "I think in the future they will run 2:07," Toroitich said
after his 2004 victory.
The future is here and both winners will see familiar terrain on the
marathon course, except for the climb through Papago Park at what was mile
18. Elite Racing’s elite athlete coordinator, Mike Long, is confident that
the course change will make times drop.
"By taking out the late-race climb, we could definitely see Toroitich's
prediction come true," Long said.
Gemechu leads the women's field with the fastest marathon time in defense
of the Rock 'n' Roll title, but she will have strong competition in the
greatly anticipated marathon debut of 25-year-old Australian Haley
"It may be her first time in marathon competition, but Haley has been
putting up impressive numbers in competitions on her climb towards the
marathon distance," said Long. McGregor paced the elite women's field at
the ING New York City Marathon this year (Nov. 7, 2004).
The P.F. Chang's Rock 'n' Roll Marathon grand prize for the
first place male and female finishers is $20,000. Second place
will receive $10,000, with third place taking home $6,500. The prize purse
pays out to the top 10 male and female finishers overall in the marathon.
There is no prize money for the half marathon. Cash incentives are also a
factor for State of Arizona and local Maricopa County winners. The first
place male and female from each category will receive $1,000 and $500 for
the second place finishers.
Following the elites will be over 27,000 participants running and walking
along the new marathon and half-marathon courses. The event retains the
same start line in Wesley Bolin Park adjacent to the state
capitol in downtown Phoenix. The new marathon course will feature
additional miles through Scottsdale and a glimpse of the well-known art
district in the downtown area. Runners will cover miles 16-18 as they head
east on Indian School Road before eventually turning down Scottsdale Road,
to McDowell and then south on Hayden Road for the homestretch into Arizona
For more information on the P.F. Chang's Rock 'n' Roll Arizona Marathon & ½
Marathon, contact Elite Racing, Inc. at 800/311-1255 or visit www.rnraz.com.