FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Horst Repeats, Mescal Wins Men's Race at Rock 'n' Roll Savannah
-Stephen Pifer, Venera Sarmosova victorious in half marathon
-Mescal runs for ACS, first charity runner to win a Rock 'n' Roll race
Savannah, GA - November 3, 2012 – The Hostess City of the South rolled out
a welcoming combination of ideal weather and thousands of enthusiastic
spectators as more than 17,000 entrants took to the streets for the 2nd
annual Rock 'n' Roll Savannah Marathon & 1/2 Marathon benefiting the American
Cancer Society. The race started in downtown Savannah and ended in Forsyth
In the men's half marathon, a pack of five ran together from the start, but
Stephen Pifer of Jacksonville, Fla. and Curtis Begley of Boulder, Colo.
soon emerged as the top two. Begley led until mile 10, when Pifer put his
race plan in motion and made his move.
"Curtis had been doing a lot of the work and I was feeling good and didn't
want to be one of those guys that just sat on him and nipped him at the
line," said Pifer. "He was tough, he kept surging and I thought he was
going to drop me but I said, run through the pain. My hat's off to him."
Pifer ran his first full marathon just a few weeks ago in Chicago, and
credited Savannah's spectators for helping to push him through this race.
He won in 1:05:32, with Begley in second at 1:06:00.
"It's hard to come back after that but you guys were awesome here and I
can't say enough about how loud everybody was cheering. It was really
The women's half marathon winner was 33-year-old Venera Sarmosova, who won
in 1:17:44, trailed by Kimberly Ruck, 23, of South Carolina.
A revamped course took runners through the city's iconic downtown squares
and the scenic campus of Savannah State University, a change that the
returning women's champion in the full marathon, Jill Braley Horst,
"It was a better course than last year, especially going through the
campus. The students are always excited and cheering and a little more
lively so I liked that a lot," she said.
Horst, who lives in Rome, Ga., ran alone for the majority of the distance,
winning in 2:52:05. Behind her was Anne-Marie Sibal who finished in
"I felt great. It was probably the best I've ever felt through 18 miles.
You couldn't ask for a better day," added Horst.
In the men's full marathon, 47-year-old Jeff Mescal of Indiana became the
first charity runner to ever win a Rock 'n' Roll event, surging at mile 18
to win in 2:43:04. Mescal was running with the race's benefiting charity,
the American Cancer Society, on behalf of his mother.
"She died of cancer 20 years ago and I still miss her. I always thought I'd
dedicate a race to her and it never felt right until I was over at the ACS
table at the Expo yesterday. I'm glad I did this one for her – she would
have loved this place."
Also running with the American Cancer Society was actress Andrea Powell,
starring in the upcoming Twilight film "Breaking Dawn II." Powell ran in
honor of her late father and completed the half marathon in 2:29:08.
Rock band Adelitas Way headlined the post race concert in beautiful Forsyth
Park and Savannah's Mayor Edna B. Jackson fired off the starting gun
Name, Age, Hometown, Time, Prize Money
Men's Full Marathon
1. Jeff Mescal, 47, Indiana, 2:34:04, $1,000
2. Joseph Hillenbrand, 28, Pennsylvania, 2:48:36,$500
3. John Tolerton, 42, South Carolina, 2:48:54, $250
Women's Full Marathon
1. Jill Braley Horst, 34, Georgia, 2:52:05, $1,000
2. Anne-Marie Sibal, 32, South Carolina, 3:03:05, $500
3. Shannon Roof, 30, North Carolina, 3:12:48, $250
Men's Half Marathon
1. Stephen Pifer, 27, Florida, 1:05:32, $1,000
2. Curtis Begley Jr, 25, Colorado, 1:06:00, $500
3. Rueben Mwei, 26, Georgia, 1:07:34, $250
Women's Half Marathon
1. Venera Sarmosova, 33, Florida, 1:17:44, $1,000
2. Kimberly Ruck, 23, South Carolina, 1:19:03, $500
3. Lyubov Denisova, 41, Florida, 1:19:57, $250