-U.S. Olympians Galen Rupp and Jared Ward Headline AACR Rock ‘n’ Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon
-Ethiopia’s Meseret Defar and American Jordan Hasay highlight a stellar women’s invitational field
-2017 marks 40th Running of Historic Half Marathon, site of five World and three American records
Celebrating its 40th edition and recognized as one of the world’s most prestigious road races, the 2017 American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Rock ‘n’ Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon in partnership with Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson once again presents a world-class elite invitational field. The event hits the streets of Philadelphia on Sunday morning, September 17 and is set to be one of the most thrilling races of the year along the flat and fast course that starts at the foot of the iconic “Rocky steps” of the Philadelphia Art Museum and winds along the city’s scenic Schuylkill River.
Leading the charge for the finish-line tape is the man supporting bib #1, Galen Rupp, one of the greatest American distance runners of his generation. The 31-year-old, who lives and trains in Portland, Oregon, is an Olympic silver (10,000m) and bronze medalist (marathon) and a nine-time national champion. Rupp’s personal best for the 13.1-mile half-marathon distance is a mind-blowing one hour and 30 seconds, which equates into running an average pace of 4:34 per mile.
Rupp will square off against American Jared Ward, who was Rupp’s Olympic marathon teammate in Rio last year. Ward ran his personal best for the marathon there in 2:11:30, in less-than-favorable conditions, where he finished sixth overall. Ward’s fastest half-marathon is 1:01:42 and he also owns top-10 finishes at both the Chicago and Boston Marathons.
Other highly touted competitors are Japan’s Muryo Takase who owns a half-marathon persona best of 1:01:57 and has run 1:02:55 this season, American Tyler Mueller of Boulder, who owns a best of 1:03:21, and HOKA Northern Arizona Elite’s Marty Hehir, who is attending medical school in Philadelphia and has set PRs at 3,000 meters (7:49), 5,000 meters (13:29) and 10,000 meters (28:08) over the past year.
In the women’s race 2010 event champion Meseret Defar returns to the course where she debuted in the half-marathon back in 2010. Defar’s showing that year was incredible with a 1:07:45, which at the time was the fastest half-marathon ever run on U.S. soil. Defar’s running career has been phenomenal with two Olympic gold medals over 5000 meters as well as 12 medals from various world championships.
On Sunday she’ll be toeing the line next to Jordan Hasay of the United States, who finished third at the Boston Marathon in April. Hasay owns an incredible personal best of 1:07:55, which is the third-fastest time ever by an American woman in the half-marathon. The stacked field also features Boston Marathon Champions Caroline Rotich of Kenya and Buzunesh Deba of Ethiopia, along with a pair of formidable Japanese contenders in Reia Iwade and Miyuki Uehar.
“It’s great to welcome such a stellar elite field to the 40th edition of the Philadelphia Half Marathon. The race can boast world and American records and the quality on show this Sunday certainly reflects the history of the event,” said Matthew Turnbull, elite athlete coordinator. “It will be intriguing to see how Jordan fairs as she continues her build up to next month’s Chicago Marathon against marathon major victors Rotich and Deba. Plus you have one of the greatest of all-time Defar, a former champion who has run 67:45 on this course and is in great shape after recovering from a long injury lay off.”
The race will begin Sunday at 7:30 am on the Ben Franklin Parkway in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The flat and fast course is extremely picturesque, traversing City Hall, Market Street, Schuylkill River, Falls Bridge and ending back in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art at Eakins Oval. Live coverage will be available on facebook and twitter @RunRocknRoll.
Event weekend will feature two-days of running with the half marathon on Sunday and the AACR Rock ‘n’ Roll 5K and 10K on Saturday, September 16 at 7:30 am and 7:00 am, respectively. Participants can take the “Remix Challenge” by running both Saturday and Sunday to earn the coveted Remix Challenge medal in addition to each race’s finisher medals. In true Rock ‘n’ Roll fashion, live bands, enthusiastic cheerleaders and spectators will line the race route, concluding with a celebratory finish line festival and post-race Toyota Rock ‘n’ Roll Concert Series headlined by Big Head Todd and the Monsters at Fairmount Park.
Race weekend kicks off with a free Health & Fitness Expo, where runners can find the latest in running technologies, fitness apparel, health and nutrition information and interactive displays. The expo takes place at the Pennsylvania Convention Center on Friday, September 15 from 12:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. and Saturday, September 16 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The expo is free and open to the public and race weekend registration is available.
For more information, visit RunRocknRoll.com/Philadelphia.
2017 AACR Rock ‘n’ Roll Philadelphia Professional Fields
Race #, Name, Birthday, Country, Career Highlight
- Galen Rupp, 05/08/1986, USA. Olympic Silver and Bronze medalist from the 10,000m and marathon respectively.
- Jared Ward, 09/09/1988, USA, Finished sixth at the Rio Olympic Marathon running a personal best of 2:11:30.
- Muryo Takase, 01/31/1989, JAPAN, Has a personal best of 1:01:57 set in Marugame in 2010.
4. Tyler Mueller, 10/01/1991, USA, Has a best of 1:03:21 set at the USA Half Marathon Championships in 2015.
- Marty Hehir, 12/19/1992, USA, Has set PR’s over 5000m, 10000m and 10K on the roads so far this year.
- Yuki Sato, 11/26/1986, JAPAN, Has a best half marathon of 1:04:23 and has represented Japan at the
- Gebrekidan Abadi, 10/07/1984, ETHIOPIA, Winner of last year’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Denver Half Marathon
- Mark Leininger, 02/28/1991, USA, Has a personal best of 1:04:26 set in Jacksonville last year.
- Trevor Hofbauer, 03/08/1992, CANADA, Has a personal best of 1:04:28
- Patricio Castillo, 02/17/1992, MEXICO, Set his personal best at Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego this year running 1:05:31.
F1. Meseret Defar, 11/19/1983, ETHIOPIA, 2010 race champion, Mezzy has won 2 Olympic Gold medals over 5000m.
F2. Jordan Hasay, 09/21/1991, USA, Has a personal best over the half marathon of 1.07.55 set in Prague.
F3. Caroline Rotich, 05/13/1984, KENYA, Winner of the 2016 Boston Marathon. Personal best half is 1:08:52
F4. Buzunesh Deba, 09/08/1987, ETHIOPIA, Winner of the 2014 Boston Marathon. Personal best half is 1:08:59.
F5. Reia Iwade, 12/08/1994, JAPAN, Has a personal best of 1:09:45 set in Okayama.
F6. Miyuki Uehara, 11/22/1995, JAPAN. Debut. Represented Japan at the Olympics in Rio last year
F7. Sasha Gollish, 12/27/1981, CANADA, Canadian Cross Country Champion has a personal best of 1:11:05.
F8. Bethany Sachtleben, 02/09/1992, USA, Finished was 4th at 2017 USATF Half Marathon Championships.
F9. Amanda Marino, 10/19/1989, USA, Villanova University graduate has a personal best of 1:13:44.
F10. Christine Ramsey, 11/13/1982, USA, Has a personal best of 1:14:58.