2016 Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego: Race Highlights

Race Highlights Shalane Flanagan

Shalane Flanagan and Amy Cragg are close U.S. Olympic team members, but they were competitors at the 2016 Suja Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego Half Marathon. The two decided to run their own race Sunday — and it was impressive, particularly for Flanagan.

The 34-year-old Flanagan ran a blazing time in San Diego, winning the women’s race in 1:07:51. It smashed her personal best in the half marathon. It was the second-fastest half run by an American this year (behind Molly Huddle’s 1:07:41 at the NYC Half in March).

Cragg, who beat Flanagan at the U.S. Olympic Trials marathon in February, finished two minutes behind Flanagan on Sunday but still ran a personal best 1:09:51.

Their coach, Jerry Schumacher, was ecstatic to see such a promising performance leading up to Rio in the summer.

“For both of them to run personal records like that shows that they are capable of something big in Rio. And that’s what you want,” said Schumacher.

The Suja Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego would be the pair’s only race between February’s Olympic Trials and the Olympic marathon in August. At the Trials in Los Angeles, the two ran together for the first 25 miles, until they split up when Flanagan started having trouble with the heat. Cragg won the race, and Flanagan finished third. Both secured an Olympic bid along with Desiree Linden.

The two trained together throughout the entire year, including going to Rio together in April to familiarize themselves with the Olympic marathon course. But on Sunday, they were competitors.

“Amy and I have done some intense workouts together, but we also maintain a competitive spirit. Today we pushed ourselves individually to both beat personal records,” said Flanagan.

On the men’s side, Scott Smith won the half marathon in a time of 62:35, ahead of Daniel Teklebrhan (63:38) and Jeffrey Eggleston (63:48).

In the marathon, Eric Noel placed first in the men’s race (2:26:39), followed by Franklin Tenorio (2:34:37) and Eddie Venegas (2:37:50). On the women’s side, McKale Davis won the marathon with a time of 2:56:16. Coming in behind her were Maija Hitchings (3:03:09) and Bessy Leszczynski (3:06:15).

In other highlights, Rock ‘n’ Roll loyalist Kevin Gonzalez completed his 100th Rock ‘n’ Roll event in San Diego. The 43-year-old from Wellington, FL, just outside of West Palm Beach, wore bib number 100 to commemorate the achievement. All but two of his 100 races have been half marathons.

More than 33,000 runners hit the streets and scenic neighborhoods at the 19th annual Suja Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego Marathon & ½ Marathon. The event wrapped up with a finish line festival and post-race Toyota Rock ‘n’ Roll Concert Series headlined by Gavin DeGraw. Race weekend kicked off with the annual Suja Rock ‘n’ Roll 5K on Saturday at Balboa Park. Participants who ran Saturday and any distance Sunday earned the coveted Remix Challenge medal, along with each race’s finisher medal.

2016 Suja Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego Marathon & ½ Marathon Results

Name, Age, Hometown, Time

Men’s Marathon

  1. Eric Noel, 28, San Luis Obispo, CA, 2:26:39, $1,000
  2. Franklin Tenorio, 46, Ecuador, 2:34:37, $750
  3. Eddie Venegas, 38, La Verne, CA, 2:37:50, $500
  4. Rob Coslick, 33, Phoenix, AZ, 2:39:02
  5. Zach Withall, 22, La Jolla, CA, 2:43:37

Women’s Marathon

  1. McKale Davis, 31, Chandler, AZ, 2:56:16, $1,000
  2. Maija Hitchings, 32, San Diego, CA, 3:03:09, $750
  3. Bessy Leszczynski, 31, San Diego, CA, 3:06:15, $500
  4. Katherine Frydryk, 23, Naperville, IL, 3:07:22
  5. Stephanie Sanders, 22, Orland Park, IL, 3:08:48, $750

Men’s Half Marathon

  1. Scott Smith, 29, Flagstaff, AZ, 1:02:34, $3,500
  2. Daniel Teklebrhan, 28, Los Angeles, CA, 1:03:37, $2,000
  3. Jeffrey Eggleston, 31, Boulder, CA, 1:03:44, $1,500
  4. Miguel Almachi, 32, Ecuador, 1:05:12, $1,000
  5. Segundo Jami, 30, Ecuador, 1:05:18, $750

 Women’s Half Marathon

  1. Shalane Flanagan, 34, Portland, OR, 1:07:51, $3,500
  2. Amy Cragg, 32, Portland, OR, 1:09:50, $2,000
  3. Eri Hayakawa, 34, Japan, 1:14:10, $1,500
  4. Christina Vergara Aleshire, 34, Henderson, NV, 1:15:42, $1,000
  5. Lauren Martin, 24, Alamosa, CO, 1:15:43, $750