“I wanted to go fast today but with it being warm I set that aside and wanted to go for the win,” Braun said of his performance. “Up next for me is the .US 12K Championships. I won it last year, and I’m trying to go back and win the title. I was two seconds away from the American record.”
After an opening mile of 4:52, Braun, along with eventual second-place finisher Jeffery Eggleston of Boulder, Colo., Craig Curley of Tucson, Ariz., Andy Wacker from Boulder, Colo. and Brett Hales from Layton, Utah ran closely together for the next five miles before Braun and Eggleston increased the gap on the 7-mile mark at 33:47.
Braun and Eggleston kept the lead through mile 9 and 10, but by 11 Eggleston grew restless and Braun decided it was time to make his move keeping a lead all the way to the finish line.
“I knew it was a competitive field. This time last year Jeff [Eggleston] and I both ran the Boston Half Marathon. I went out a little too hard and he flew by me the last few miles so that played in to my strategy this time knowing that I did not want to fight off too much the first half of the race and have that happen again. I played it a little more safe this time and tried to go for the win.”
Eggleston finished second in 1:03:29, while Curley held on for third in 1:04:19. Wacker (fourth, 1:04:40) and Hales. (fifth, 1:05:04), rounded out the top five.
In the women’s race, Kellyn Johnson, 28, from Flagstaff, Ariz. came in first at 1:12:30, nearly two minutes up on second-place finisher Renee Metivier Baillie, 32, of Bend, Ore. (1:14:24). Addie Bracie, 28, from Longmont, Colo. was third in 1:14:44. Jenna Boren De Nucci, 37 from Menlo Park, Calif. (fourth, 1:15:10) and Lauren Johnson, 35, of Portland, Ore. (fifth, 1:15:38) rounded out the top five.
“Today was tougher than I had hoped,” said Johnson. I went out with the plan trying to run under 71 because this is a fast course so I wanted to take advantage of that and it just did not happen. Around mile 6 I realized that it was not going to happen and took it for what it was and fortunately it was good enough to win.”
The 9th Rock ‘n’ Roll San Jose Half Marathon welcomed more than 16,000 runners and introduced the new Rock ‘n’ Roll San Jose 5k Running Festival on Saturday. The event’s co-founder and three time Super Bowl champion Roger Craig ran both the 5k on Saturday and half marathon on Sunday.
Compete results, photos and more can be found at RunRocknRoll.com/San-Jose.
9th Rock 'n' Roll San Jose Half Marathon
San Jose, CA, Sunday, Oct. 5, 2014
Men’s Half Marathon
1. Aaron Braun, 27, Alamosa, CO, 1:02:56, $1,000*
2. Jeffrey Eggleston, 30, Boulder, CO, 1:03:29, $900*
3. Craig Curley, 26, Tucson, AZ, 1:04:19, $800*
4. Andy Wacker, 26, Boulder, CO, 1:04:40, $700*
5. Brett Hales, 27, Layton, UT, 1:05:04, $100
Women’s Half Marathon
1. Kellyn Johnson, 28, Flagstaff, AZ, 1:12:30, $1,000*
2. Renee Metivier Baillie, 32, Bend, OR, 1:14:24, $900*
3. Addie Bracy, 28, Longmont, CO, 1:14:44, $800*
4. Jenna Boren De Nucci, 37, Menlo Park, CA, 1:15:10, $200
5. Lauren Johnson, 35, Portland, OR, 1:15:38, $100