FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Local Favorite Meyer Friedman Wins Marathon, Biwott Dominates Half
·Sold-out race welcomes 22,000 under perfect running conditions
·Meggan Franks, Gabriela Trana win women's races
New Orleans, LA - March 4, 2012 – Among the more than 22,000 runners in
the 3rd annual Rock 'n' Roll New Orleans Marathon & ½ Marathon benefiting
the American Cancer Society, it was former University of Oregon standout
Shadrack Biwott who stood out amongst the crowd.
Running solo along historic St. Charles Avenue, the 27-year-old Biwott was
losing steam in the men's half marathon. He had maintained a dominant lead
since the start, but had no one to push him for much of the race.
As he reversed direction on St. Charles Avenue, the other side of the
street was lined with thousands of runners who spotted Biwott and began to
cheer loudly for him--cheering that would continue for well over a mile.
"That was amazing," Biwott said of the support he received from other
runners on the course. "I want to thank those guys so much and Rock 'n'
Roll for bringing me. It was just a great event. Those guys made a big
difference. Hearing people cheering gave me some fire."
Biwott would win the half marathon handily in 1 hour, 4 minutes and 23
seconds, ahead of Costa Rican Jose Chaves, who crossed the finish line in
1:08:03. The Kenyan-born Biwott, who placed third here in 2010 behind
fellow Kenyans Martin Lel and the late Sammy Wanjiru, will next run the New
York City Half Marathon on March 18. Today's win was exactly what he was
hoping for in preparation for that race.
"I just tried to have fun and run a decent time," he said. "Nothing crazy,
just tried to control it which was my goal and I think that's what I did
Costa Rican native Gabriela Trana won the women's half marathon in 1:16:32,
beating out local Sarah Skotty, who finished in 1:17:25. Trana's time was a
PR and beat her own Costa Rican national record.
"I am so happy because this is my best time," she said. "The race was so,
so amazing. People give a lot of support during the race and it gives you
energy. It 's so flat and the weather today was so wonderful really."
In the full marathon, Louisiana native Meyer Friedman won in 2:27:02 after
placing in the top-three each of the past two years. Friedman had also won
the race four times in previous years when it was known as the Mardi Gras
Marathon. Now living in San Diego, he is recovering from a herniated disc
and said the win came with a slower time than he'd hoped. Nonetheless, he
was excited to win in his hometown.
"It definitely adds to the excitement of coming back here. I'm familiar
with the roads and recognized a number of people on the course, so it great
to be back," Friedman said. "The Uptown area, obviously, is quite familiar
to me and I've run thousands of miles on St. Charles and the adjoining
Mississippi's Meggan Franks struggled in the latter half of the women's
marathon when stomach issues slowed her down. Despite the discomfort,
however, her third marathon ever turned into her second win, as she crossed
the finish line with a time of 2:49:06.
"There are lulls in marathons, like peaks and valleys, and if you can
overcome a lull, you start to feel better," she said. "I think I
overtrained, so I slowed the second half. The bands really helped and the
crowds really help when your mind is starting to play games on you. At
miles 21 to 26 I was looking for support anywhere I could find it."
The 3rd annual Rock 'n' Roll New Orleans Marathon & ½ Marathon featured a
sold-out field and debuted a new start line in downtown New Orleans at
Poydras Street. Local bands lined the new course, which toured through the
French Quarter and along scenic Lake Ponchartrain before finishing in City
The event benefits the American Cancer Society, with 114 members of Team
DetermiNation raising more than $200,000 in the fight against cancer.
The race is set to return in 2013. For more information, visit
Men's Full Marathon
1. Meyer Friedman , 32, San Diego CA, 2:27:02
2. Robbie Wade, 29, San Antonio TX, 2:33:03
3. Jonathan Thomas, 24, Baton Rouge LA , 2:35:13
Women's Full Marathon
1. Meggan Franks, 28, Starkville MI, 2:49;06
2. Liz Turner, 27, Albuquerque NM, 2:52:56
3. Charlotte Everhardt, 27, Metairie LA, 2:53:37
Men's Half Marathon
1. Shadrack Biwott, 27, Eugene OR, 1:04:23
2. Jose Chavez, 31, Costa Rica, 1:08:03
3. John Brigham, 26, Mobile LA, 1:09:02
Women's Half Marathon
1. Gabriela Trana, 32, Costa Rica, 1:16:32
2. Sarah Skotty, 28, New Orleans LA, 1:17:25
3. Kimberly Mantle, 31, New Orleans, LA 1:20:03