Vargas, Miller Crowned Champions At Rock ‘n’ Roll Seattle Half Marathon

  • Paul Katam and Anna Corrigan place first in men’s and women’s marathon
  • Event started and finished under the iconic Space Needle, which was transformed into the world’s largest starter’s pistol
  • Event debuted an all new sold out 8K course

Washington State’s largest city played host to the Rock ‘n’ Roll Seattle Marathon & 1/2 Marathon, a Signature Seafair Event on Saturday. More than 17,000 athletes from all over the world laced up their running shoes and rocked out to tunes along the scenic course that winds its way through downtown Seattle and around Lake Washington.

Breaking the tape in the half-marathon was 31-year-old Daniel Vargas who came through the 13.1 miles in one hour, 5 minutes and 39 seconds–well ahead of any competition. Vargas is a Mexican Olympian who won the Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicago Half Marathon in 2012 as well as the Rock ‘n’ Roll Savannah Half Marathon last year. Nearly four minutes back was the second-place finisher, Roosevelt Cook who ran 1:09:13. Third place in the half was awarded to Reuben Chumba (1:09:36).

Twenty-three-year-old Dani Miller of Rochester, Michigan was the women’s half-marathon champion. Her story of perseverance serves as an inspiration for all runners. After the race, she shared details about her struggles as a runner. “I had the worst high-school PRs,” she admitted. “If you looked at me then, you’d say there was no way I’d be a professional athlete.” Miller said she then went on to run in college and gained 25 pounds her first two years there. “I realized I wasn’t being a good team asset and lost the weight in the next two years,” she said. “It’s little things that can make a difference. I can tell women that—eating better, sleeping better, doing core exercises. I couldn’t even run an 8-minute pace back then. Now I’m out here and have won my first major half marathon.” Miller, who runs under the watchful eye of Coach Kevin Hansen said she has stumbled in other Rock ‘n’ Roll half marathon races like Philadelphia and San Jose, but her coach believed in her. “I’m a blessed young lady to be out here,” she said with a smile. “Kevin never lost hope in me.”

Like the men’s race, Miller’s margin of victory was significant. She broke the tape in 1:17:16. Her nearest rival was Emma Kertesz who came in second with 1:20:05. Andrea Duke (1:20:21) was the third-place finisher.

The men’s marathon was a sure thing. Paul Katam of Beaverton, Oregon prevailed by running 2:26:15—a full 14 minutes faster than second-place finisher Bill Condon (2:40:41).  Jesse Stevick was third in 2:42:11.

“I’m happy,” the 25-year-old Katam admitted afterward. “It was my first marathon and I won it.” He had been building up his training miles for this event and used the Rock ‘n’ Roll Portland Half Marathon as a tune-up race for Seattle. “I have been injured since December, and have been trying to get back into shape,” he said. “I hope to be serious next year for the Trials.” Katam is currently serving in the Army as part of its World-Class Athletes Program (WCAP). He recently became a U.S. citizen.

In the women’s marathon event, Anna Corrigan of Phoenix, Arizona proved victorious with a 2:54:56 showing. Corrigan is a University of Virginia graduate and other than a visit for a track meet in college, she had never really seen Seattle before today. “I loved running by the water,” she said. “I also loved the bands. There were a lot of them at miles 4, 5, and 6. It was amazing. I live in the desert and don’t get to see a lot of trees. It’s so lush and green here. It makes you feel so alive like you want to run. This is the place to do distance.”

The other podium finishers were Ziyang (Sophia) Liu (2:57:17, second), and Kristina Brendzel (3:05:45, third).

To mark the official start of the 2015 Rock ‘n’ Roll Seattle Marathon & ½ Marathon the

Space Needle was transformed into the world’s largest starter’s pistol and launched a round of thunderous comets from its 200’ platform to begin the race. The event also introduced a new 8K race that was sold out and capped at 1,15o runners. And true to the Rock ‘n’ Roll theme, all runners got a huge shot of inspiration along the way thanks to the various blues, punk, funk, and rock bands as well as the cheer teams that lined the course. A Seattle send off wouldn’t be complete without a good dose of grunge music care of hometown favorite Mudhoney that jammed at the headliner concert held at Seattle Center.

2015 Rock ‘n’ Roll Seattle Marathon & ½ Marathon Results

Name, Age, Hometown, Time

Men’s Marathon

  1. Paul Katam, 25, Beaverton, OR, 2:26:15, $500
  2. Bill Condon, 34, Seattle, WA, 2:40:41
  3. Jesse Stevick, 33, Olympia, WA, 2:42:11

Women’s Marathon

  1. Anna Corrigan, 24, Phoenix, AZ, 2:54:56, $500
  2. Ziyang (Sophia) Liu, Redmond, WA, 2:57:17
  3. Kristina Brendzel, Bainbridge Island, WA, 3:05:45

Men’s Half Marathon

  1. Daniel Vargas, 31, Mexico, 1:05:39, $250
  2. Roosevelt Cook, 35, Oak Hills, CA, 1:09:13
  3. Reuben Chumba, 27, Kenya, 1:09:36

Women’s Half Marathon

  1.  Dani Miller, 23, Rochester, MI, 1:17:16
  2. Emma Kertesz, 24, Pullman, WA, 1:20:05
  3. Andrea Duke, 36, San Antonio, TX, 1:20:21

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