U.S. Olympian Jared Ward Headlines Alaska Airlines Rock ‘n’ Roll Seattle

– Ward to race half-marathon in preparation for the 2016 Olympic Marathon in Rio de Janeiro

– More than 20,000 runners for Seattle’s largest running event

– Race to be broadcast live via Periscope @RunRocknRoll at 7:00am Saturday, June 18

 

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Seattle, WA – Rio-bound Olympian Jared Ward will headline the 2016 Alaska Airlines Rock ‘n’ Roll Seattle Marathon & ½ Marathon on Saturday, June 18. Ward, 27, from Provo, Utah, qualified for the Olympics pacing 3rd at the U.S. Olympic Marathon trials in February. He will race the half-marathon as a tune-up for the Olympic Marathon on August 21, 2016 in Rio.

“I’m excited to be back in Seattle and racing on the roads for my first Rock ‘n’ Roll event,” said Ward, a college professor and GLUKOS Energy sponsored athlete. “I’ve always loved running in the Pacific Northwest and excited to support my sponsors at GLUKOS. I look forward to meeting runners at the expo today and grabbing some Glukos out on the course. It should be a great weekend.”

GLUKOS is the Official Gel & Gummie of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series. Ward will be appearing at their expo booth on Friday at 2:00pm.

The Signature Seafair Event will feature a revamped marathon and half-marathon courses starting near to the city’s iconic Space Needle and finishing at CenturyLink Field, home of the Seattle Seahawks. The 8th annual event has attracted more than 20,000 runners.

“Seattle is known for its many hills so we went back and eliminated about 280’ of incline over the last three miles of the marathon route,” said Ken Schulte, Course Director. “Overall the course is now a net downhill and still highlights the very best of Seattle.”

The marathon and half-marathon start together at 7:00 am and will take runners on a tour of downtown. The course showcases  breathtaking views of Seattle including, the Space Needle, Cascades and Mount Rainier. Notably 2016 will be last time a race will be permitted to run on the viaduct before it is demolished to make way for the new HWY 99 tunnel.

The New Pornographers will headline the post-race Toyota Rock ‘n’ Roll Concert Series outside the stadium. The band hails from Vancouver, Canada where they emerged on the scene in 1999. They have released six albums including, Together, Mass Romantic, Challengers and Electric Version, which was ranked 79 in Rolling Stone magazine’s “100 Best Albums of the Decade.”

In true Rock ‘n’ Roll fashion, live bands, enthusiastic cheerleaders and spectators will line the race route, concluding with a celebratory finish line festival. Race weekend kicked off yesterday with a free Health & Fitness Expo, where runners can find the latest in running technologies, fitness apparel, health and nutrition information and interactive displays. The free Expo is open to the public and continues today at CenturyLink Field Event Center 17 from 11:00 am to 8:00 pm.