FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Hansons-Brooks Distance Project Looks to
Bring Boston Marathon Success to San Diego
Six teammates to race at the 14th Dodge Rock 'n' Roll
San Diego Marathon & ½ Marathon on Sunday, June 5
San Diego, CA – May 27, 2011 – On Sunday, June 5 nearly 32,000 runners will
take to the streets of San Diego from Balboa Park to SeaWorld for the 14th
annual Dodge Rock 'n' Roll San Diego Marathon & ½ Marathon to
Benefit The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society®. Leading the charge of running
Elvi, thousands of Team In Training participants and first time
marathoners, will be a group of elite athletes from Michigan vying to be
the first U.S. athlete across the finish line.
San Diego-native Desiree Davila's scintillating performance in April's
Boston Marathon not only catapulted her into the distance running elite, it
sent reverberations throughout her teammates at the Hansons-Brooks Distance
"When somebody has great success, you want to know the secret," said Keith
Hanson, co-founder and co-coach of her running club located in Rochester
Hills, Mich. "They (the team's other runners) feel they can achieve what
she has done and now will try and do the same. Her teammates say 'If I can
stay with Desi ...' They say she's great, she's wonderful. But she's just
like us. 'If she can do it, I can do it, too. So why not me?' "
What Davila did at Boston was sensational. She nearly became the first
American women's winner since Lisa Rainsberger in 1985, finishing only two
seconds behind winner Caroline Kilel of Kenya in 2:22:38. That made Davila
the third-fastest U.S. women's marathoner in history, topped only by Deena
Kastor and Joan Benoit Samuelson, both Olympic medalists.
"I felt I could run with anybody (then)," said Davila, who graduated from
Hilltop High School in Chula Vista. "I thought I had a chance in the last
couple of seconds, but I didn't have anything left in my legs. Still, it
was the most incredible experience in my running career."
"Desiree has drawn a lot of attention to the program," Hanson said. "It's
great to see her get that notoriety."
Davila's time at Boston was nearly four minutes faster than her previous
best of 2:26:20, finishing fourth at last year's Chicago Marathon.
Improvement like that is what her Hansons-Brooks Distance Project teammates
will be looking to emulate at the Dodge Rock 'n' Roll San Diego Marathon,
the group's first marathon since Boston.
Five runners - two men and three women - will participate in the marathon,
and one will compete in the half-marathon. The women's contingent includes
Melissa White, 30, of Naples, N.Y.; Emily Mortensen, 28, of Craig, Colo.;
and Lavenna Mullenbach, 23, of Georgetown, Texas.
"White is running better than ever," Hanson said. "I think she can run
under 2:31. Mortensen, I think can run a qualifier for the (U.S. Olympic)
trials (next January in Houston). And Mullenbach hopes to run under 2:40."
Those times would not compare to Davila's, but they would represent
progress, and that's what Hanson, 46, and his brother, Kevin, 50, also
co-founder and co-coach of the club, are looking for.
"Desiree had a fantastic race (at Boston)," Keith Hanson said. "It was the
first opportunity she had to make a go of it at that time. She competed for
the win and fell just short. It showed that she can compete at a high level
in the marathon. She's only 27, so she's relatively young in the sport.
She's gotten a lot of positive attention from it on radio and TV,
especially in Detroit. She's also gotten a lot of attention from the
Representing Hansons-Brooks ODP in the men's race at San Diego will be Luke
Humphrey, 30, of Sidney, Mich., and Sage Canaday, 25, of Sheridan, Ore. The
half-marathoner is Drew Polley, 25, of Port Orchard, Wash. He ran a 2:16
marathon in Boston last year and is trying to return to form after a leg
"Humphrey is ready to run a PR under 2:13," said Hanson. "Canaday is fit
and ready to run under 2:15, and Polley hopes to go under 1:05."
Marathon weekend will kick off with a Health & Fitness Expo presented by
Power Balance at the San Diego Convention Center. Davila, who will be
making her first public appearance in her hometown since Boston, will be
on-hand at the Dodge Expo Booth to autograph posters on Friday, June 3 from
3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. and Saturday, June 4 from 3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
The marathon and half marathon start at 6:15am on Sunday, June 5. The
marathon route begins at 6th Ave. and Quince St, running through Balboa
Park, downtown San Diego, PETCO Park, with a bayfront finish adjacent to
SeaWorld. Course changes will alleviate crowding, heighten the scenic views
along the way and highlight spectator-heavy areas. Event weekend concludes
with a finish line festival and post race concert headlined by Nada Surf.
For more information, including a course map and race details, visit
About Dodge Rock 'n' Roll San Diego
A Competitor Group Inc. event, the 14th annual Dodge Rock 'n' Roll San
Diego Marathon & ½ Marathon To Benefit The Leukemia & Lymphoma
Society ® will run through sunny San Diego on Sunday, June 5th. The
sold-out race has draw nearly 32,000 entrants, with live bands and
cheerleaders interspersed along each mile of the scenic course. A two-day
Health and Fitness Expo presented by Power Balance at the San Diego
Convention Center will kick off race weekend on Friday, June 3, featuring
more than one hundred fitness retailers, exhibits and interactive clinics.
For more information about Rock 'n' Roll San Diego, please visit
Competitor.com or follow @runrocknroll on Twitter.