Headlining the field will be Desiree âDesâ Linden who won the 2018 Boston Marathon, becoming the first American woman to win the race in 33 years. Linden is a two-time Olympian from San Diego, California representing the United States of America at the last two Summer Olympic Games with her best finish coming in 2016 in Rio when she placed seventh. Her personal best in the marathon is 2:22:38 and 1:10:34 for the half marathon.
âIâve enjoyed the post-Boston victory tour, but Iâve been itching to get back to racing,â said Linden. âI canât wait to head to the Rock ânâ Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon to test out the legs and find out where Iâm at with my fall marathon training. With the fast course and stellar competition the Rock ânâ Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon always brings, it will be the perfect jumpstart to my fall racing season.â
American Sarah Sellers, who burst onto the scene when she came in second at the 2018 Boston Marathon, sets the stage for a rematch from earlier this year in Boston. Joining them at the start line is Kellyn Taylor whoâs recent performance of 2:24:28 at Grandmaâs Marathon in June put her seventh on the list of all-time fastest U.S. women marathoners.
The star-studded menâs field is led by Feyisa Lilesa, the Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Marathon silver medalist. The Ethiopian distance runner has recorded a personal best of 2:04:52 ranking him in the top-ten fastest marathoners ever. Lilesa also boasts a personal best in the half marathon breaking the one-hour barrier at 59:22 and last year he won the New York City Half Marathon.
âIâm looking forward to the Rock ânâ Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon,â said Lilesa. âThe race has a great history. World records have been set there, and it has had some fantastic champions. I am aiming to add my name to that list.â
Lilesa will face some tough competition with four-time Olympian Abdi Abdirahman, and 2015 World Marathon Champion Ghirmay Ghebreslassie, toeing the start line beside him. Somalian-born Abdirahman represented the United States at the Olympics in 2000, 2004, 2008 and 2012 and placed 3rd in the New York City Marathon in 2016. He has personal bests of in the marathon and in the half marathon. Ghebreslassie hails from Eritrea and made a name for himself winning the 2015 World Marathon Championship. In 2016, he became the youngest male to ever win the New York City Marathon at 20-years old. His personal bests are for the marathon and in the half marathon.
âItâs great to welcome so many fantastic athletes to the Rock ânâ Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon,â said Josh Furlow, Managing Director of North America for the Rock ânâ Roll Marathon SeriesÂŽ. âAs the fall marathon season begins, athletes will be using this race as a measure of how months of training have been going. Having Olympic medalists and World Champions line up against World Marathon Major winners shows the regard with which this race is held. Weâre looking forward to another fantastic edition next month.â
The half marathon will begin at on the Ben Franklin Parkway and finishing in front of the Rocky Steps at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The flat and fast course is extremely picturesque, traversing City Hall, Market Street, Schuylkill River, Falls Bridge and ending back in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art at Eakins Oval. A brand-new course this year adds more mileage in Center City.
Event weekend will feature two days of running with the 5K and 10K on . Participants can take on the âRemix Challengeâ by running both and to earn the coveted Remix Challenge medal in addition to each raceâs finisher medals. In true Rock ânâ Roll fashion, live bands, and spectators will line the race route, concluding with a celebratory finish line festival and post-race Toyota Rock ânâ Roll Concert Series at Fairmount Park.
For more information on the Rock ânâ Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon, visit RunRocknRoll.com/Philadelphia.
About Rock ânâ Roll Marathon Series
The Rock ânâ Roll Marathon SeriesÂŽ is the worldâs largest running series with more than 600,000 runners taking part in over 30 destination events around the world every year. Established in 1998, the Rock ânâ Roll Marathon Seriesâ simple idea of making running fun has transformed both the U.S. and global running landscape by infusing the course with live bands, cheer teams and entertaining water stations, creating a block-party atmosphere for participants and spectators alike. Race weekend kicks off with a free Health & Fitness Expo showcasing the latest in running gear, sports apparel, health and nutritional information and much more. Events culminate with an entertaining finish-line festival and Toyota Concert Series Headliner featuring some of the biggest names in music, with past performances including Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Aloe Blacc, Pitbull, FloRida, the Goo Goo Dolls and Bret Michaels. Further information about the Rock ânâ Roll Marathon Series can be found online at www.RunRocknRoll.com and follow @RunRocknRoll on all social platforms.
A Wanda Sports Holdings company, IRONMAN operates a global portfolio of events that includes the IRONMANÂŽ Triathlon Series, the IRONMANÂŽ70.3ÂŽ Triathlon Series, 5150â˘ Triathlon Series, the Rock nâ Roll Marathon SeriesÂŽ, Iron GirlÂŽ, IRONKIDSÂŽ, International Triathlon Union World Triathlon Series races, road cycling events including the UCI VelothonÂŽ Series, mountain bike races including the Absa Cape EpicÂŽ, premier marathons including the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon, and other multisport races. IRONMANâs events, together with all other Wanda Sports Holdings events, provide more than a million participants annually the benefits of endurance sports through the companyâs vast offerings. The iconic IRONMANÂŽ Series of events is the largest participation sports platform in the world. Since the inception of the IRONMANÂŽ brand in 1978, athletes have proven that ANYTHING IS POSSIBLEÂŽ by crossing finish lines at the worldâs most challenging endurance races. Beginning as a single race, IRONMAN has grown to become a global sensation with more than 230 events across 53 countries. For more information, visit www.ironman.com