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Shalane Flanagan Headlines Fourth Running of Rock ‘n’ Roll San Antonio

  • 2008 Olympic bronze medal winner returns to the roads in preparation for Marathon Trials
  • Defending Champion Scott MacPherson, Track Star Tim Nelson, U.S. Cross Country Champion Brent Vaughn, NCAA Champion Simon Bairu lead men’s half-marathon field
  • 2011 event to feature sold-out Bike Tour, Texas Showdown and Mötley Crüe’s Vince Neil

San Antonio, TX – November 10, 2011 –U.S. Olympian and American 10,000m record holder Shalane Flanagan will begin her quest toward the 2012 London Olympics leading a field of 30,000 runners through the streets of San Antonio on Sunday morning at the fourth annual Rock ‘n’ Roll San Antonio Marathon & Half Marathon benefiting Susan G. Komen for the Cure®.

This has been a banner year for Flanagan, who won her second U.S. title in the 10,000 meters this past summer in Eugene, Oregon. Earlier in the year she won a bronze medal at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships, where she finished behind two reigning world champions. She’ll look to build upon her success this weekend with a tune-up race for January’s Olympic Marathon Trials in Houston, where she hopes to make her second Olympic team.

“After discussing with my coach (Jerry Schumacher), we both felt running the Rock ‘n’ Roll San Antonio Half Marathon will be an ideal race to compliment my goal of making the Olympic Team in the Marathon this summer,” said Flanagan. “I am excited to run in the beautiful city of San Antonio and look forward to this special weekend.”

Flanagan, who was a two-time NCAA Cross Country champ and an NCAA Indoor 3000-meter winner for the University of North Carolina, finished second in the ING New York City Marathon last year, becoming the first U.S. woman in 20 years to place as high as second in New York.

Her top challengers include Tera Moody, winner of the 2010 Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicago Half Marathon, who represented Team USA at the World Championships in Daegu this summer, Austin’s Allison Macsas and Kara June, who finished second and third respectively in San Antonio last year, along with Desiree Ficker who won the Livestrong Austin Marathon in February.

Matt Turnbull, the Elite Athlete Manager for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series, is elated to have Flanagan competing. She set her half-marathon personal record (PR) running 1 hour, 8 minutes and 37 seconds at Rock ‘n’ Roll Philadelphia last autumn.

“We are delighted to have Shalane come run the streets of San Antonio,” said Turnbull. “We’ve had some great performances at this event over the years, but she is certainly the highest profile and most decorated athlete we have ever had in San Antonio.”

While most of the attention will be centered on Flanagan, the men’s half-marathon in San Antonio has also attracted a stellar field.

U.S. Cross Country Champion Brent Vaughn is the fastest of the group, with a 1:02:04 personal record from Houston last year, where he finished third overall. The other favorites are defending champion Scott MacPherson (1:04:03) and Vaughn’s teammate Tim Nelson (1:02:11), who battled all-time great Bernard Lagat to the wire in the 5,000 meters finishing second at the 2010 USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships. Canada’s Simon Bairu, a two-time NCAA cross country champion while at the University of Wisconsin with a PR of 1:02:08, and Texas-based Kenyan Sammy Kiplagat, who set his half-marathon PR last year of 1:03:10, will also be in contention.

Both of the lead packs will be followed by a group of athletes looking to qualify for the Olympic Trials in Houston. Aspiring men need to run sub-1:05 for the men, while the women need to come in under 1:15. 

The marathon field will feature some of the fastest men and women in Texas competing for statewide bragging rights at the fourth annual Texas Showdown, which pits the best runners in Texas against each other for a “Texas only” prize purse.

“The Texas Showdown remains extremely popular and is a great opportunity for us to attract and support talented athletes throughout the state,” added Turnbull. “It also allows up-and-coming local runners to build their careers and compete for a prize purse dedicated to Texas athletes.”

Race day will begin with the first ever Rock ‘n’ Roll Bike Tour, which will cover nearly 22 miles of the marathon course and begin at 6:45 am prior to the full and half-marathon races. The marathon and half-marathon starts at 7:30 am in downtown San Antonio near the intersection of S. Alamo Street & E. Market Street.  Race day concludes with a finish line festival and concert at the Alamodome headlined by Vince Neil of Mötley Crüe.

Whether they finish on bike or on foot, all participants along with friends and family can celebrate and relax at the finish line fiesta and post-race concert featuring Mötley Crüe’s rock legend. Neil will keep the party going with familiar hits and songs from his new album “Tattoos and Tequila.” The concert will take place at the Alamodome and is free and open to the public.

Kids can also get in on the fun at ING KiDS ROCK San Antonio powered by San Antonio Sports. They’ll cross the finish line first, with a fun run held on Saturday, November 12th at 8:30 am at Brackenridge Park near the San Antonio Zoo entrance. ING KiDS ROCK is a non-timed, non-competitive run for kids in grades K-7. Kids can become marathon finishers on race day by completing a cumulative marathon training program in the weeks leading up to the race. Or, they can simply choose to run the 1-mile course on race day.

Rock ‘n’ Roll San Antonio benefits Susan G. Komen for the Cure®. Nearly 150 Susan G. Komen Marathon for the Cure participants will raise more than $100,000 in the fight against breast cancer.  Of the funds raised, 75% will stay in the San Antonio community and will be granted out for local screening, education and treatment and 25% will be granted to Headquarters for research.  Information is available at www.marathonforthecure.org.

Forty-five live bands and dozens of cheerleading teams will line the 26.2 and 13.1 mile courses, providing motivation and entertainment all the way to the finish line. Race weekend kicks off with a Health & Fitness Expo presented by Power Balance, featuring the latest in nutrition, running gear and interactive clinics with top running experts and athletes. 

 For more information, visit Competitor.com.