FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Olympians Keflezighi, Hall and Flanagan Headline Rock 'n' Roll San Diego
London 2012 Team USA trio and Kim Smith in half-marathon; Sunday, June 3
marks 15th running of original Rock 'n' Roll Marathon in San Diego; Donavon
Frankenreiter finish line concert at SeaWorld
SAN DIEGO - (May 28, 2012) - Famous for lining race routes with live bands
and cheerleaders, the original Rock 'n' Roll San Diego Marathon & ½
Marathon will celebrate its 15th birthday on Sunday, June 3, 2012. The 2012
event will feature half of the six-member U.S. Olympic Marathon team to the
same event less than two months before the London Games, securing the men's
1-2 finishers at the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials - Meb Keflezighi and Ryan
Hall, respectively - and the women's Olympic Marathon Trials winner Shalane
Flanagan for Sunday's Half-Marathon.
"Once they qualified for the Olympic team, I knew they would be focusing on
London," said Matt Turnbull, elite athlete recruiter who expects two a
highly competitive races Sunday even though the big prize ahead is London.
"We identified a couple of the runners who I knew would fit our race. It
was good timing. The half-marathon is good timing for their full marathon
and San Diego fits in that category. Of course, these guys have London in
mind, but knowing their personalities, they don't like to get beat."
The Eritrean-born Keflezighi, 37, who became a naturalized U.S. citizen in
1998, is the defending half-marathon champion, outdueling 4-time London
Marathon champion Martin Lel of Kenyan, who finished second in London this
year, to win his first race in his adopted hometown.
"Winning the Rock 'n' Roll San Diego Half-Marathon was a turning point for
me last year," Keflezighi, the 2004 Olympic Marathon silver medalist, said.
"I enjoyed running my home course, where I knew every inch of the way, with
family, friends and fans cheering me on. This will like be my last race
leading up to the Olympic Games. This will be a fun race for me."
Hall, the first American to break the one-hour barrier on a record standard
half-marathon course and the U.S. record-holder at 59 minutes, 43 seconds
set in 2007, also is anxiously looking forward to the competition.
"Being a native California boy, I am stoked to have the opportunity to race
in my backyard at this year's San Diego Half-Marathon," Hall, 29, said.
"Having lived and trained in San Diego before, I'm excited to finally race
there having seen the race in years past. This year's race fits perfectly
with my preparations for this summer's Olympic Games. It will serve as my
all-important, last race before the Games. I'm looking at this opportunity
as one last chance to learn and tweak my training accordingly before
running in what I consider to be the biggest race of my life."
Keflezighi and Hall waged a stirring battle at the U.S. Olympic Trials at
Houston in January. Hall, the 2008 Olympic Marathon Trials winner, led most
of the route this time before the wind and leg fatigue slowed his pace and
enabled Keflezighi to take control. Keflezighi earned his third Olympic
berth with a personal record of 2:09:08. That race came only 60 days after
he set a then PR of 2:09:13 in finishing sixth at the ING New York City
Marathon. At 36, he was the oldest man to win the Olympic Trials and the
first man to win the Olympic Trials and the New York City Marathon (2009).
Hall, the runner-up to Keflezighi at the Trials in 2:09:30, has run the
fastest marathon ever by an American, 2:04:58 at Boston in 2011. Since
Boston is a downhill and point-to-point course and is not recognized for
record consideration, his legal PR is 2:06:17 at London in 2008.
Unfortunately for Hall, the London Marathon course is not being used for
the Olympic Marathon.
Even though Hall hasn't raced in San Diego, the surroundings will be
familiar to him because he does much of his training here.
"But he'll be going against the hometown favorite (Keflezighi)," Turnbull
said. "For Meb, last year's race was special. He won't want to be beaten
this time, either."
The women's half-marathon, meanwhile, should boil down to a clash between
Flanagan and Kim Smith, the New Zealand Olympian and owner of the fastest
women's half-marathon in the United States, 1:07:11, last year at Rock 'n'
"I'm excited to run in the Rock 'n' Roll San Diego Half-Marathon,"
Flanagan, 30, said. "It's a wonderful place to go and run. The climate will
be just right and I'm really looking forward to it. This will be my fourth
Rock 'n' Roll event, having done Philadelphia, San Antonio and Miami most
recently. The race fits in perfectly to my schedule as I continue to
prepare for the Olympic Marathon."
Flanagan set an Olympic Trials record of 2:25:38 in only her second
marathon, bettering the previous mark by 2:47. Her winning time was a PR by
nearly three minutes. Sometimes, though, Flanagan can be her own worst
"My strength as a runner is also my greatest weakness," she said.
"Sometimes I am just too stubborn and aggressive."
Against a veteran like Smith, she'll have to be very aggressive.
The event will kick-off with the wheelchair invitational beginning at
6:10am on Sunday, June 3, followed by the Marathon, ½ Marathon and 2-Person
Half Marathon Relay at 6:15am. Further information about Rock 'n' Roll San
Diego is available online at: Competitor.com
About Rock 'n' Roll San Diego
A Competitor Group event, the 15th Rock 'n' Roll San Diego Marathon & ½
Marathon To Benefit The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society® will run through sunny
San Diego on Sunday, June 3, 2012. The race will draw approximately 30,000
participants, with live bands and cheerleaders interspersed along each mile
of the scenic course. A two-day Health and Fitness Expo at the San Diego
Convention Center will kick off race weekend, featuring more than one
hundred fitness retailers, exhibits and interactive clinics. Event weekend
concludes with a finish line festival and post-race concert headlined by
For more information about Rock 'n' Roll San Diego, go to Competitor.com or
follow @RunRocknRoll on Twitter.