Posted by: Joe English | August 30, 2008

Racing: Big professional field at Rock N Roll Half Marathon

Rock N Roll Half Marathon Logo

Rock N Roll Half Marathon Logo

Virginia Beach, VA — An international field of elite athletes will take to the streets of Virginia Beach for the 8th Annual Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon on Sunday, August 31, 2008.

The men’s elite division will feature defending champion Haron Toroitich of Kenya. Toroitich, who also won the race in 2004, leads the field in pursuit of his third Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon title, but he will be vigorously challenged by a younger countrymen and several strong international contenders.

The strongest competition for Toroitich should, most likely, come from Tadesse Tola of Ethiopia, who won of last month’s New York Half Marathon with a PR of 1:00:58. A significant challenge could come from the 25-year-old Kenyan James Kwambai, winner of the 2006 Beijing Marathon. The Boston Marathon’s third place finisher, Khalid El Boumlili of Morocco, is also expected to pose a threat to Toroitich’s repeat chances.

The women’s field will feature two former Rock ‘n’ Roll Series champions. Two-time P.F. Chang’s winner and Arizona course record holder, Adanech Zekiros of Ethiopia leads the field. Zekiros is expected to be challenged by the 2004 Women’s Champion, Nuta Olaru of Romania with a PR of 1:09:00 in the half marathon distance.

Rounding out the women’s field are Belarus Olympian Volha Krautsova, who recently competed in the 5,000 meters at the Beijing Olympics; Edith Masai of Kenya, winner of 3 World Cross Country Championship gold medals; and Aheza Kiros of Ethiopia, making her debut in the half marathon after running a 1:06:93 for 10,000m in the Ostrava Grand Prix earlier this year.

The Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon is in its eighth running in Virginia Beach this Sun., August 31, 2008 with over 20,000 runners and walkers.

— Elite Athlete Roster —

Men
NAME AGE COUNTRY BEST FACT/COMMENT
Haron Torotich, 31, Kenya, 1:00:49, Two-time Virginia Beach Half Marathon Champion.
Tadesse Tola, 21, Ethiopia, 1:00:58, Winner of last months New York Half marathon where he set his PR. Khalid El Boumlili, 30, Morocco, 1:01:12, Third at this years Boston Marathon.
Mike Aish, 32, New Zealand, 1:03:59, Winner of the 2008 P.F. Changs Rock n Roll Arizona Marathon.
James Kwambai, 25, Kenya, 1:00:22, Winner of the Beijing Marathon 2006.
Kazuyuki Maeda, 28, Japan, 1:01:49, Represented Japan at the world half marathon championships.
Yusuf Sangoka, 29, Kenya, 1:00:53, 2007 Runner up, finished 7 seconds behind compatriot Toroitich.
Demssew Tsega, 20, Ethiopia, 1:00:00, Represented his country at the World Cross Country Championships.
Kiplimo Kimutai, 26, Kenya, 1:00:59, Won the 2008 San Blas half marathon, was 3rd at Beach to Beacon.
Rik Ceulemans, 35, Belgium, 1:02:07, Former national half marathon champion.
Takaaki Koda, 24, Japan, 1:02:52, Set PR when finishing 8th at Japanese 1/2 marathon championships.
Joseph Chirlee, 27, Kenya, 1:02:18, 4th at the 2007 Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego Marathon.
Brandon Leslie, 32, USA, 1:03:05, Represented USA at 2006 World Cross Country Championships.
Jared Abuya, 32, Kenya, 1:02:59, PR set in 2005 in France
Andrew Letherby, 34, Australia, 1:03:31, Won a bronze medal in the 2002 Commonwealth Games.
Patrick Cheruiyot, 21, Kenya, n/a, Won the 2007 Broad Street 10 mile road race in course record time 45:14.
McDonard Ondara, 23, Kenya, 1:03:29, Winner of the 2007 Rock ‘n’ Roll San Jose Half Marathon.
Phillip Kiptoo, 25, Kenya, 1:01:03, PR set at the 2007 King of the Roads half marathon in Malaysia.
John Supsic, 29, USA, 1:04:01, Qualified for Olympic marathon trials in 2007.
Daniel Koech, 23, Kenya, 1:02:30, PR set in 2006 at the Barengo half marathon in his home country.
Allen Wagner, 28, USA, 1:07:10, Allen Finished 25th at the Olympic Trials in New York last year.
Mike Sayenko, 22, USA, 1:06:14, Youngest finisher at the Olympic Trials where he finished 29th overall.
John Supsic, 29, USA, 1:04:01, Qualified for Olympic marathon trials in 2007.
Kevin Stover, 41, USA, 1:07:58, Ranked number one US master over 10,000m this year

Women
NAME AGE COUNTRY BEST FACT/COMMENT
Adanech Zekiros, 26, Ethiopia, 1:12:06, Winner of the last 2 PF Chang’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona Marathons.
Edith Masai, 41, Kenya, 1:07:16, 3 Individual gold medals at World Cross Country championships.
Viktoriya Klimina 32, Russia, 1:09:54, 4th in Russian Champs over 10,000m and 5th over 5,000m
Aheza Kiros, 22, Ethiopia, Debut, Ran 1:06:93 for 10,000m in Ostrava Grand Prix earlier this year.
Nuta Olaru, 37, Romania, 1:09:00, Former Virginia Beach Half Marathon Champion.
Volha Krautsova, 27, Belarus, 1:11:33, Just missed out on Olympic 5,000m final in Beijing.
Katie McGregor, 31, USA, 1:12:01, Has represented Team USA on World Cross Country Championships.
Megumi Seike, 21, Japan, 1:10:52, Set PR when finishing 4th at 2007 Matsue half marathon.
Kathy Butler, 34, Great Britain, 1:10:55, Set PR earlier this year when racing in Austin Texas.
Kei Terada, 23, Japan, 1:10:53, 7th in All Japan Corporate Half marathon.
Colleen De Reuck, 44, USA, 1:08:38, Ran 72 minutes for the half marathon in New York last month.
Miho Notagashira, 25, Japan, 1:10:25, 5th in this year’s Miyozaki Women’s Half Marathon.
Judy Kiplimo, 39, Kenya, 1:09:46, Will compete in all 3 fall Rock ‘n’ Roll half marathons.
Stephanie Bylander, 25, USA, 1:16:20, Represented USA at the World 1/2 Marathon championships.
Paige Miller, 25, USA, 1:19:11, Competed at the Olympic trails in Boston earlier this year.

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