Meb Sets 20k AR, Wins San Jose RnR half marathon, by Dan Cruz,

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Keflezighi_Meb-Falmouth09.jpg

Meb Keflizighi, Falmouth 2009, photo courtesy of PhotoRun.net.

Meb Keflizighi is the complete distance runner. At the age of 34, he sets a new personal best by twenty-four seconds of 1:01 even for the half marathon, breaking Ryan Hall's 20k AR en route, with his 57:52, by two seconds! Meb won the San Jose RnR Half marathon on October 4, 2009.

Meb has the track AR of 27:13.85, set in 2001 on the Stanford track in Palo Alto, California. His most historic run was his Olympic silver medal from the marathon in Athens, where he ran a very tough race, finishing only behind Italy's Stefano Baldini in the hot, humid conditions of Athens in August 2004.

We look forward to his run at the ING New York City marathon in three weeks!

Keflezighi Sets U.S. 20K Record En-Route to Winning 2009 Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon in San Jose
Gebre women's winner; perfect running weather, fast course for 4th Bay Area event
By Dan Cruz

SAN JOSE, Calif. - (October 4, 2009) - California's fastest half-marathon lived up to its billing Sunday as American Meb Keflezighi set a new U.S. 20K record and bettered his personal record by 25 seconds winning the Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon in a time of 1 hour, 1 minute. Keflezighi's 20K split of 57:52 broke Ryan Hall's standing 20K record of 57:54 set in 2006.

"The other runners looked like they were struggling with the 4:30 pace early on, so I decided to leave the pack and go on my own," said Keflezighi, who pulled a way from the pack just after mile 3, competing in a showdown against the clock. "It was a great atmosphere out there today; I just wanted to maintain a solid pace through 10 miles and then see what I had left. I ran a personal best by 25 seconds and I'm 34, so I am very excited with my performance."

A 19-time USA champion, Keflezighi's half-marathon time ranks him number three all-time U.S. on a record standard course. The 2004 Olympic Marathon silver medalist now sits behind only Mark Curp's 1:00:55 from 1985 and Ryan Hall's U.S. record 59:43 from 2007.

"As Roger Craig said 'I did it today' and it's just nice to be healthy. I'm ready for New York and look forward to continuing my marathon training," added the two-time Olympian Keflezighi, whose pending 20K record reclaimed the mark he held before Mammoth Track Club teammate Hall. "My long term goal is London 2012 and I still have a marathon PR in me and today's proved that age doesn't mean a thing."

Oakland resident Bolota Asmerom finished a distant race runner-up in 1:03:06.

The women's race was led by Belainesh Gebre of Ethiopia who crossed the line in 1:11:24. Bay Area resident Magdalena Lewy-Boulet, who made her Olympic debut for the U.S. in Beijing 2008, finished a close second with a PR of 1:11:46. Her previous half-marathon best of 1:11:47 was set in 2008.

"Last week was a high mileage week and I didn't feel that great out there," said Lewy-Boulet, who is also training for the ING New York City Marathon. "I skipped the World Half-Marathon Championships to run here in my backyard because I wanted to support our local race. I set a personal best which is great, and I'll be back next year.

On a perfect fall morning that dawned with clear blue skies, the 4th Rock 'n' Roll San Jose Half Marathon kicked off one of California's fastest road races, the site of both the men's and women's half-marathon records for the State of California.

Runners from 44 states and 11 countries participated in the race, including a group of California's fastest runners, who competed in the event's first California Cup. Three-time Super Bowl champion Roger Craig completed his fourth straight San Jose race in 1:48:27. He was followed by soccer star Brandi Chastain running for her third straight year in 1:59:03.

4th Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon
San Jose, CA, Sunday, October 4, 2009

MEN
1) Meb Keflezighi (CA), 1:01:00, $3500*
2) Bolota Asmerom (CA), 1:03:06, $2000*
3) Charlie Serrano (CA), 1:04:20, $1500*
4) Luke Humphrey (MI), 1:05:03, $500
5) Chris Chavez (CA), 1:05:13, $800*

WOMEN
1) Belainesh Gebre (ETH), 1:11:24, $1500
2) Magdalena Lewy-Boulet (CA), 1:11:46, $3000*
3) Jenny Wilson (CA), 1:22:38, $1750*
4) Dena Evans (CA), 1:22:50, $1250*
5) Tracey Freyre (CA), 1:23:00, $800*
*includes California Cup prize money (a resident north of San Luis Obispo since October 1, 2008)

More race results at: http://san-jose.competitor.com

For more on our sport, please click on http://www.runningnetwork.com

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