FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
U.S. Standouts Lead Professional Field at Rock 'n' Roll Seattle
Olympian Brian Sell and Hansons-Brooks teammates
competing in half-marathon
SEATTLE - (June 23, 2010) - More than 27,000 runners will take to the
streets of Seattle Saturday morning, June 26 for the second Rock 'n' Roll
Seattle Marathon & 1/2 Marathon benefiting the American Cancer Society.
American Patrick Rizzo leads this year's field, returning after finishing
runner-up in last year's half-marathon with a personal record (PR) of 1
hour, 5 minutes, 34 seconds. The 26-year-old went on to finish 10th overall
at the 2009 Bank of America Chicago Marathon and has already set his
personal bests this year over 10,000m and 30K. He will be challenged by
several of his former teammates from the Hansons-Brooks Distance Project,
including 2008 Olympian Brian Sell and former Washington State University
runner Drew Polley.
The 2006 USA Half-Marathon champion, Sell finished 22nd overall at the
Olympic Marathon in Beijing. In 2008, he won the inaugural Rock 'n' Roll
San Antonio half-marathon with a time of 1:02:50 and has also been the USA
25K champion on three different occasions. Sell, who contemplated
retirement and plans to attend dental school at Penn State this fall,
recently told competitor.com, "I took the winter off in Detroit and now I'm
having a lot more fun with running. It is much more fulfilling now that the
pressure is off and I'm just going to have fun and see what I can do."
A graduate of South Kitsap High School near Seattle, Polley made his pro
road racing debut at last year's Rock 'n' Roll Seattle half-marathon
finishing fourth overall. He followed up the performance making his
marathon debut in November, finishing as the top American (8th overall) at
Rock 'n' Roll San Antonio. At the Boston Marathon in April, Polley finished
as the fifth-fastest American in 2:16:36, qualifying for the 2012 U.S.
Olympic Marathon Trials.
"It's kind of nice for it to come full circle because this is where I kind
of got my foot in the door last year and kind of got my name going within
the elite running community," said Polley. "I definitely would like to
finish in the top 3 and I'd be pretty excited about that."
Sell and Polley will be joined in the race by Hansons-Brooks teammates Luke
Humphries, Sage Canaday and Chad Johnson. Humphries, who finished eleventh
overall at the 2008 ING New York City Marathon, took home third place
earlier this year at the P.F. Chang's Rock 'n' Roll Arizona half-marathon.
At the age of 21, Canaday was the youngest participant in the 2008 U.S.
Olympic Marathon Trials. Johnson won the Disney Half Marathon in January
and owns a PR of 1:04:01 for the 13.1-mile distance.
Leading the international challenge is Andrew Letherby of Australia, who
ran his 1:03:17 PR for the half-marathon last year in Japan. A frequent
competitor on Australian world cross country and half-marathon teams,
Letherby, 32, also represented his country at the 2002 Commonwealth Games,
where he earned the marathon bronze medal.
"Seattle offers a challenging but enjoyable course which the athletes will
relish and we're delighted to attract such an intriguing men's race in the
half-marathon," said athlete coordinator Matt Turnbull. "With a
predominantly American field looking to run under 65:00, it's certainly
going to be tough to predict the winner."
Competing in the women's half-marathon is Mari Ozaki, who owns a marathon
PR of 2:23:30 and has represented Japan at numerous World Championships.
Ozaki will be challenged by Australian Benita Willis, who won the 2004
World Cross Country Championships. 2000 Olympic Marathon silver medalist
Lidia Simon of Romania rounds out the international contenders coming off a
fourth place finish at the Osaka Marathon in January, where she posted a
In the marathon, the men's field is led by 2008 Detroit Marathon champion
David Cheruiyot of Kenya, who owns a PR of 2:12:02. Entering as the
favorite in the women's race is Oregon-based Sopagna Eap with a marathon PR
of 2:40:19 from the 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials. Eap recently set a course
record at the 9th Dirty Half Marathon, which served as the first-ever USA
Half Marathon Trail Championships.
The race begins at 7:00am on Saturday with both the marathon and
half-marathon courses starting in Tukwila, wind through Seattle before
finishing at Qwest Field. 1,400-plus charity participants have raised more
than $2.5 million (net) through the 2010 event benefiting the American
A two-day Health and Fitness Expo at the Qwest Event Center will kick off
race weekend, featuring more than one hundred fitness retailers, exhibits
and interactive clinics. The musical party concludes Saturday afternoon
with a post-race finish line concert headlined by Tonic, which is free and
open to the public.
For more information about the Rock 'n' Roll Seattle Marathon, visit
www.seattle.competitor.com or call (800) 311-1255.