- 94-year-old Harriette Thompson set a record as the oldest woman to run a half marathon
- Jeffrey Eggleston and Bridie McCarey placed first in the men’s and women’s marathon; Tsegay Tuemay and Biruktayit Degefa won the men’s and women’s half marathon
- Michael Franti rocks finish line concert; U.S. Olympian Meb Keflezghi, NFL legend Roger Craig, actress Andrea Barber celebrate 20 years of Rock ‘n’ Roll running
It was a historic day for a historic event. As the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series celebrated 20 years running on Sunday, 94-year-old Harriette Thompson became the oldest woman in history to ever finish a half marathon.
“I could hear my name being shouted the whole way,” she said. “I suppose I’m a legacy, at least that’s what they say. “I’m just so happy so many people have donated. It shows there are a lot of people with their heart in the right place. Team In Training is really making a difference.”
Thompson finished the half marathon just two years after making history by becoming the oldest woman to run a marathon. Harriette crossed the finish line in 3:42:56 to thunderous cheers from the thousands of spectators lining the finish chute along Ash Street. Harriette was running on behalf of Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training.
Jeffrey Eggleston and Bridie McCarey set a winning pace for the celebration at the 20th annual Synchrony Financial Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego Marathon.
“This is such a cool event, I feel like I am a guest at a birthday party,” said Eggleston, who ran away to victory as the men’s champion for the marathon by covering the 26.2-mile distance in 2 hours, 21 minutes and 18 seconds.
“I wanted to be a piece of history, and it was rocking out there,” said the 32-year-old former University of Virginia standout who trains out of Boulder, Colo. “All of the bands and cheerleaders gave it an electric atmosphere. This is such a monumental event for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series, and this is the 20th marathon I have finished.”
McCarey, a San Diego native who graduated from Clairemont High School, was the first female to cross the marathon finish line with a winning time of 2:48:48.
“It’s pretty amazing to be here for the 20th anniversary,” said McCarey, 28. “I grew up watching this race before I was ever a runner. I wanted to grow up to be a dancer, so if someone would have told me I would win this race someday, I wouldn’t have believed them.”
Both marathon winners had comfortable margins of victory. It was nearly nine minutes before men’s runner-up Brandon Messerly of San Luis Obispo finished behind Eggleston in 2:30:14.
The women’s runner-up was another San Diegan, Ying Tao, whose time was 2:52:58, a little more than four minutes behind McCarey.
Joining Eggleston and McCarey on the winners’ podium were half marathon champions Tsegay Tuemay of Eritrea and Biruktayit Degefa of Ethiopia.
Tuemay, 21, outkicked Juan Luis Barrios of Mexico to win the men’s 13.1-mile race in 1:01:39. Barrios finished 10 seconds behind Tuemay in 1:01:49.
Degefa, 26, had a larger margin of victory in the women’s half marathon with her winning time of 1:10:13. Jane Kibii of Kenya was the women’s runner-up in 1:12:00.
Other notable participants included, U.S. Olympian and Boston Marathon Champion Meb Keflezighi who paced the 90-minute group, Andrea Barber, best known for her portrayal as Kimmy Gibbler on Full House and Fuller House and three-time Super Bowl Champion Roger Craig who finished with a time of 1:52:12.
Another inspirational story from the 20th anniversary of the Synchrony Financial Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego Marathon & ½ Marathon was provided by Jamie Watts, who completed the 13.1-mile half marathon course despite a lifelong battle with cerebral palsy.
“I love racing, and I’ll do whatever it takes to finish,” said Watts, who began her trek through the streets of San Diego at 3:30 a.m. to finish with the rest of the half marathoners.
“I’m so appreciative of all the support from friends, family and total strangers,” she said.
“And in the running community there are no strangers.”
Watts was making her first trip from the nation’s capital to San Diego to complete her 36th race shortly before her 36th birthday.
The 20th anniversary event started in Balboa Park and finished downtown and had more than 30,ooo participants over the weekend. Upon finishing, participants were treated to a finish line festival and Toyota Rock ‘n’ Roll Concert Series headlined by Michael Franti & Spearhead.
2017 Race Results
Name, Age, Hometown, Time, Prize
- Jeffrey Eggleston, 32, Boulder, CO, 2:21:18, $500
- Brandon Messerly, 23, San Luis Obispo, CA 2:30:14, $250
- Eric Noel, 29, San Luis Obispo, CA, 2:33:32, $150
- August Brautigam, 31, Reno, NV, 2:34:25
- Eddie Carrillo, 22, San Diego, CA, 2:42:57
- Bridie McCarey, 28, San Diego, CA, 2:48:48, $500
- Ying Tao, 39, San Diego, CA 2:52:58, $250
- Madison Hibshman, 23, St. Louis, Mi, $150
- Emily McCoy, 29, Austin, TX, 3:01:56
- Colleen Boivin, 28, Lake Forest, CA, 3:02:18
Men’s Half Marathon
- Tsegay Tuemay, 21, Eritrea, 1:01:39, $1,500
- Juan Luis Barrios, 33, Mexico, 1:01:49, $1,000
- Mogus Solomon, 20, Eritrea, 1:02:52, $500
- Kenji Yamamoto, 27, Japan, 1:03:17, $350
- Gebrekiden Abadi, 32, Ethiopia, 1:03:44, $250,
Women’s Half Marathon
- Biruktayit Degefa, 26, Ehiopia, 1:10:13, $1,500
- Jane Kibii, 32, Kenya, 1:12:00, $1,000
- Lauren Totten, 26, Santa Barbara, CA, 1:16:00, $500
- Ruth Senior, 29, Great Britain, 1:18:42, $350
- Bree Thorpe, 37, Las Vegas, NV, 1:19:09, $25