Posted by: Joe English | June 2, 2009

Races — El Boumlili and Gromova win 2009 Rock N Roll Marathon

Khalid El Boumlili wins 2009 Rock N Roll Marathon

Khalid El Boumlili wins 2009 Rock N Roll Marathon

SAN DIEGO — Morning drizzle and a deep marine layer greeted more than 16,000 runners at the 12th Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon on Sunday. The overcast skies, combined with no wind and cool temperatures, created near ideal conditions and 2008 women’s race champion Yulia Gromova of Russia took full advantage, cruising to a new personal record of 2 hours, 27 minutes, 37 seconds to defend her crown. Moroccan Khalid El Boumlili won the men’s race in 2:11:16.

“I love everything about this race,” said Gromova who won $25,000 for the victory. “I ran a conservative first half of the race [1:14:44], but the strategy was to pick up the pace in the second half. I just concentrated on the pace and didn’t worry about the other runners.”

The pace of the women’s race was set early by 2007 race champion Hellen Kimutai of Kenya, who held a 15 second lead through mile five before the trailing pack closed the gap. By mile eight, Gromova, fellow Russian Albina Mayorova and Romania’s Nuta Olaru made up ground, with the lead pack of four women running together though 20K when Gromova put in a surge approaching the half-marathon mark.

Only Olaru followed, but a stomach problem at mile 16 dropped her from second to fourth place and Gromova pushed ahead with victory firmly in hand. Kimutai finished second, nearly two minutes back in 2:29:32.

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