Juan Soto, Erika Shaughnessy take marathon titles; Old Crow Medicine Show Rocks Forsyth Park
Savannah, GA – November 5, 2016 – On a perfect autumn morning, Jonny Wilson successfully defended his Rock ‘n’ Roll Savannah Half Marathon title on Saturday and Mattie Webb finished first overall in the women’s race.
Wilson, of Flagstaff, AZ, completed the course with a time of 1 hour, 7 minutes, 10 seconds to earn the victory. After leading the opening 5 miles, Justin Garrard finished second in 1:09:23. Kurt Ward of Auburn, AL finished third in 1:09:44.
“It started a little quicker than I planned to go and I paid for it a little at the end. But it was great competition, great weather and so many people along the course to help cheer you on it keeps you energized,” said Garrard, who recently moved from Kansas City to Tallahassee where he’s assistant Track & Cross Country Coach at Florida State. “Our Seminoles cross country team hosts regionals on Saturday and we should have a good shot of making it the national championship, so I’m really looking forward to that next weekend.”
On the women’s side, it was the first career victory for 23-year-old Webb, who finished in 1:21:35. Her margin of victory was almost a full 2 minutes over 2nd place finisher Tammy Putt (1:23:32). Ellen Ellender of nearby Hilton Head, SC was third in 1:24:03.
“It was the first win of my career and I’m very excited,” said Webb, who recently earned her Master’s Degree at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. “My goal was to finish top-3 female and as long as I had a lead bicycle escort I knew I was in good position to achieve it today.”
Juan Soto of Gainesville, GA, won the men’s marathon in 2:45:44 and Erika Shaughnessy of Hilton Head, SC, finished first overall in the women’s marathon with a time of 3:02:59.
“I feel great, it’s been a long six months and to win today is very exciting,” said Shaughnessy, who finished third at the event back in 2013. “My goal was to break 3 hours, but anything under 3:05 and I’m happy. I really loved the support and the course was amazing, I’d highly recommend this race.”
The marathon and half-marathon started on Bay Street adjacent to Savannah City Hall. Participants traversed a revamped route in 2016, designed to showcase more of Savannah’s charming town squares, historic buildings and canopies of Spanish moss covered trees.
In true Rock ‘n’ Roll fashion, live bands, enthusiastic cheerleaders and spectators lined the race route, concluding with a celebratory finish line festival where Old Crow Medicine Show headlined the Toyota Rock ‘n’ Roll Concert Series at Forsyth Park.
2016 Race Results
Name, Age, Hometown, Time, Prize
- Juan Soto, 30, Gainesville, GA, 2:45:44, $500
- Chris Ramsey, 36, Savannah, GA, 2:47:40
- Barrett Smith, 26, Maplewood, MO, 2:47:54
- Erika Shaughnessy, 39, Hilton Head, SC, 3:02:59, $500
- Christine Conti, 36, Brick, NJ, 3:11:18
- Hannah Hutchison, 20, Alachua, FL, 3:11:34
Men’s Half Marathon
- Jonny Wilson, 28, Flagstaff, AZ, 1:07:10, $250
- Justin Garrard, 29, Tallahassee, FL, 1:09:23
- Kurt Ward, 27, Auburn, AL, 1:09:44
Women’s Half Marathon
- Mattie Webb, 23, Carrboro, NC, 1:21:35, $250
- Tammy Putt, 32, Allegany, NY, 1:23:32
- Elle Ellender, 33, Hilton Head, SC, 1:24:03
For complete results, photos and more, visit RunRocknRoll.com/Savannah