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Monday, 05 June 2017 18:50

94-year-old Harriette Thompson set a record as the oldest woman to run a half marathon

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· Synchrony Financial Rock 'n' Roll San Diego Celebrated Historic 20th Race

· 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

SAN DIEGO - June 4, 2017 - 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 Thompsonbecame 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.

{UNIVERSAL}"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 asKimmy 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 running of the iconic event 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

Men's Marathon

1. Jeffrey Eggleston, 32, Boulder, CO, 2:21:18, $500

2. Brandon Messerly, 23, San Luis Obispo, CA 2:30:14, $250

3. Eric Noel, 29, San Luis Obispo, CA, 2:33:32, $150


Women's Marathon

1. Bridie McCarey, 28, San Diego, CA, 2:48:48, $500

2. Ying Tao, 39, San Diego, CA 2:52:58, $250

3. Madison Hibshman, 23, St. Louis, Mi, $150


Men's Half Marathon

1. Tsegay Tuemay, 21, Eritrea, 1:01:39, $1,500

2. Juan Luis Barrios, 33, Mexico, 1:01:49, $1,000

3. Mogus Solomon, 20, Eritrea, 1:02:52, $500

4. Kenji Yamamoto, 27, Japan, 1:03:17, $350

5. Gebrekiden Abadi, 32, Ethiopia, 1:03:44, $250,


Women's Half Marathon

1. Biruktayit Degefa, 26, Ehiopia, 1:10:13, $1,500

2. Jane Kibii, 32, Kenya, 1:12:00, $1,000

3. Lauren Totten, 26, Santa Barbara, CA, 1:16:00, $500

4. Ruth Senior, 29, Great Britain, 1:18:42, $350

5. Bree Thorpe, 37, Las Vegas, NV, 1:19:09, $250


About Synchrony Financial Rock 'n' Roll San Diego Marathon & ½ Marathon

The 20th annual Synchrony Financial Rock 'n' Roll San Diego Marathon & ½ Marathon will run through San Diego over the weekend of June 2 - 4. The race is known for lining the course with live bands and cheerleaders interspersed with themed water stations along each mile of the route. Runners and spectators can celebrate their accomplishments at the Toyota Rock 'n' Roll Concert Series in Waterfront Park headlined by Michael Franti and Spearhead. The original Rock 'n' Roll Marathon in 1998 is still recognized as the largest inaugural marathon in U.S. history with 19,979 entrants.

A free two-day Health & Fitness Expo at the San Diego Convention Center kicks off race weekend, featuring more than 80 fitness retailers, exhibits, free samples and interactive clinics. The event concludes Sunday afternoon with the Toyota Rock 'n' Roll Marathon Series Headliner Concert. Over the 20-year history of the race, runners have raised more than $320 million for charities. For more information about the Synchrony Financial Rock 'n' Roll San Diego Marathon, please visit


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