FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Elite Racing, Inc.
Rock 'n' Roll Marathon Champion Seeks Repeat Victory
Kenya's Christopher Cheboiboch had third fastest time in
Rock 'n' Roll History
SAN DIEGO, Calif. (May 29, 2006) -- The Rock 'n' Roll Marathon, celebrating
its ninth running on June 4, 2006, welcomes the return of Christopher
Cheboiboch, the defending men's champion who ran the third fastest time in
Rock 'n' Roll Marathon history last year. Not only a fast runner,
Cheboiboch, from Iten, Kenya, has used much of his prize earnings to help
build schools in his hometown.
The man who finished right behind him last year, countryman Stephen
Kiogora, who ran 2:09:51 to Cheboiboch's 2:09:17, will challenge the
29-year-old. The fastest time in the men's field belongs to Raymond
Kipkoech of Kenya, who has a personal best of 2:06:47. He won the Xiamen
International Marathon last year and was second at the 2004 Paris Marathon.
The men's field also boasts an Olympic gold medalist, though not in the
marathon. Kenya's Matthew Birir, 33, won the steeplechase at the 1992
Olympics in Barcelona and finished second at the '96 Games in Atlanta. He
is not a stranger to the marathon, with a personal best of 2:11:43 and a
seventh place finish in Los Angeles in 2005.
The fastest time in the women's field this year belongs to Kenya's Hellen
Kimutai, who has a personal best of 2:25:52. She finished third here in San
Diego last year after winning the 2005 Milan Marathon. The 2002 champion,
Alice Chelangat (2:26:36), also from Kenya, will challenge her. From
Ethiopia, youngster Shitaye Gemechu, 25, is a three-time winner at the P.F.
Chang's Rock 'n' Roll Arizona Marathon and enters with a best of 2:26:15.
Adding to both the men's and women's fields are several champions from
marathons around the world, including: Ambesse Tolossa ('06 Tokyo) on the
men's side and on the women's side Aura Buia ('01-'02 Country Music
Marathon), Lyubov Morgunova ('04 Honolulu), Irina Safarova ('05 Country
The elite runners will all be vying for a prize purse that awards $20,000
and a new vehicle to both the men's and women's champions. Each second
place finisher earns $20,000 and all told, the total prize purse is valued
at nearly $200,000.
A course record bonus of $5,000 will be offered to the first man and first
woman to lower the marks that have stood since 1999 and 2001, respectively.
Philip Tarus set the men's mark of 2:08:33 in 1999, and Margaret Okayo set
the women's record of 2:25:05 in 2001.
This year marks the ninth anniversary of the original Rock 'n' Roll
Marathon and more than 20,000 runners and walkers are expected at the start
line in Balboa Park To learn more about the marathon or to registration,
visit www.rnrmarathon.com or call 800/311-1255.