Aaron Braun and Kara Goucher Dominate at the Humana Rock ‘n’ Roll San Antonio Half Marathon

Mark Greene and Stephanie Wurtz place first in the men’s and women’s marathon

Nearly everything is big in Texas and so it comes as no surprise that the victories in the men’s and women’s Humana Rock ‘n’ Roll San Antonio Marathon & ½ Marathon on Sunday were super-sized versions.

Kara Goucher, the American Olympian dominated the women’s half marathon race, clocking one hour, 11 minutes, and 10 seconds for the 13.1 miles. “I wanted to either win or run under 71 minutes,” the 37-year-old Goucher recalled afterwards. “As the race was unfolding, the women were using it as a workout, and so I was just by myself. I’m not comfortable leading and so this race was a good exercise for me. I had never been that far ahead since college, so it was a learning experience for me.” Goucher is one of the most popular female American distance runners and her fame was evident on the course as many spectators held up “Go Kara!” signs. Goucher says she really appreciated that support. “It was awesome,” she said. “Honestly, I would have retired years ago if it weren’t for my fans who truly believe in me.” Goucher is gearing up for the 2016 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials in February and admits that she’s just been “plugging away” at mileage in anticipation of that. “The more weeks of uninterrupted training I get, the more likely it will be that I run faster on February 13,” she said. Goucher is the proud mother of a son, Colt, who was born in 2010 and says that she’s been thankful of the support she’s received from Competitor Group. “They are the only company that supported me during my pregnancy,” she said. “I am near and dear to them. They have been with me during the good and the bad. They’ve stood by me. I love these events. They are like the Olympics for all types of runners. I love how it’s all about celebrating here and it doesn’t matter what your goal is. Some are here to make the Olympic team and some are here to finish. Everyone is respected.”

Goucher’s nearest rival on Sunday, eventual second-place finisher Sasha Gollish, making her half marathon debut after winning the Bronze Medal in the 1,500m for Canada at this summer’s Pan American Games, was a minute behind in 1:12:35. Shalane Flanagan took third in 1:12:42, the same time as her training partner Amy Hastings Cragg who came in fourth.

The men’s winner in the 13.1-mile race was 28-year-old Aaron Braun from Alamosa, Colorado, who broke the finish-line tape in 1:04:11—over 90 seconds ahead of second-place finisher Jeffrey Eggleston (1:05:44). Both are considered contenders in February’s U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials, with Jeffrey being ranked as the #2 American Marathoner in 2014.

“It was great,” Braun said of his win. “I enjoyed being back in my comfort zone, running half-marathon and marathon pace.” Braun ran the first half of the race with Eggleston. “We just kind of worked together,” he recalled. “I think I was feeling better than he was at the hills [mile 5] and just picked it up a little bit.

Phillip Baar came in third in 1:06:39 in his half marathon debut.

The full marathon was held in conjunction with the half. In the men’s division, Mark Greene from San Antonio prevailed with a big PR of 2:31:32. David Rodriguez was second in 2:33:03, while Jose Roberto Zavala Calderon rounded out the podium in 2:35:29.

“I was actually talking to myself during the race,” the 25-year-old Greene recalled. “I said that I can and I will. I believe. I believe.” Greene made a comeback during the race—seizing the lead after mile 22.

The women’s marathon winner was Stephanie Wurtz of Manitou Springs, Colorado in 2:59:02. Second and third went to Tanja Ivandic (3:07:35) and Ashley McGee (3:12:11) respectively.

Conditions in San Antonio on Sunday couldn’t have been better with clear skies and calm winds. Along with the elites, 25,000 runners from all over the world took to San Antonio’s scenic streets to run a marathon, half marathon, relay or 5K distance. San Francisco-based 90’s post-grunge band, Third Eye Blind, serenaded finishers and their families at the post race Toyota Rock ‘n’ Roll Concert Series at the city’s Alamodome.

The event once again featured two days of running with the Rock ‘n’ Roll San Antonio 10K on Saturday. Participants that ran the 10K and any distance on Sunday took the Remix Challenge and earned a third medal in addition to each race’s finisher medals. SUBWAY KiDS ROCK San Antonio powered by San Antonio Sports also took place on Saturday at SeaWorld San Antonio. Thousands of children in grades kindergarten – 7th completed a one mile run.

2015 Humana Rock ‘n’ Roll San Antonio Marathon & ½ Marathon Results

 Name, Age, Hometown, Time

Men’s Marathon

  1. Mark Greene, 25, San Antonio, TX, 2:31:32 PR, $500
  2. David Rodriguez, 33, Corpus Christi, TX, 2:33:03, $250
  3. Jose Roberto Zavala Calderon, 35, Mexico, 2:35:29, $100
  4. Jason Butler, 43, Oklahoma, OK, 2:35:48
  5. Joel Harris, 35, San Antonio, TX, 2:39:35

Women’s Marathon

  1. Stephanie Wurtz, 33, Manitou Springs, CO, 2:59:02, $500
  2. Tanja Ivandic, 27, Fort Worth, TX, 3:07:35, $250
  3. Ashley McGee, 36, San Antonio, TX, 3:12:11, $100
  4. Sarah Getty, 33, Maple Grove, MN, 3:15:54
  5. Julia Vegas, 30, Buda, TX, 3:18:09

 Men’s Half Marathon

  1. Aaron Braun, 28, Alamosa, CO, 1:04:11, $1,000*
  2. Jeffrey Eggleston, 31, Boulder, CO, 1:05:44, $400
  3. Phillip Baar, 23, Corpus Christi, TX, 1:06:39, $300
  4. Barnabas Kirui, 29, Dallas, TX, 1:08:44, $200
  5. Ryan Smith, 30, Kingwood, TX, 1:09:51, $100

Women’s Half Marathon

  1.  Kara Goucher, 37, Boulder, CO, 1:11:10, $1,000*
  2. Sasha Gollish, 33, Canada, 1:12:35 PR, $900*
  3. Shalane Flanagan, 34, Portland, OR, 1:12:42, $800*
  4. Amy Hastings Cragg, 31, Portland, OR, 1:12:42, $800*
  5. Kellyn Taylor, 29, Flagstaff, AZ, 1:13:19, $700*
  6. Lauren Smith, 24, Lake Jackson, TX, 1:14:52 PR, $500*
  7. Heleene Tambet, 22, Albuquerque, NM, 1:14:57 PR, NCAA eligibility

Men’s Wheelchair Marathon

  1.  Chad Johnson, 44, Corydon, IN, 1:55:11, $1000
  2. Matthew Porterfield, 35, Knoxville, TN, 2:06:53, $500
  3. Matt Davis, 49, Bowling Green, KY, 2:09:42, $250

Women’s Wheelchair Marathon

  1. Kelly Elmlinger, 36, San Antonio, TX, 2:26:34, $1,000