Denver Marathon and Half Marathon On Sunday

The event will join the Rock ‘n’ Roll series in 2010.

The undefeated Broncos football team is not the only source of sporting excitement in Denver. A more active source is this Sunday’s Denver Marathon and Half Marathon, with more than 10,000 participants expected.

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Friday it was announced that next year the Denver Marathon will join the Rock ‘n’ Roll event series, becoming the Rock ‘n’ Roll Denver Marathon and Half Marathon. Participants in this year’s event will get a taste of what’s to come with on-course musical entertainment from bands at four locations on the course.

Speaking of the course, the Denver Marathon boasts a great one. Starting and ending at the State Capitol, it passes a number of Denver landmarks, including Coors Field where the Rockies baseball team plays, and winds through beautiful urban parks. Despite the high altitude, the flatness of the course and cool fall weather make for a pretty fast event.

Speaking of fast, some strong fields of elite runners have been assembled for both the marathon and the half marathon. The favorite in the men’s marathon is defending champion Jynocel Basweti of Kenya, who has a 2:14:02 personal best. The top American in the field is former NCAA All-American and 2007 Olympic Trials qualifier Chris Siemers. The top woman marathoner is Colorado’s own Jeanne Cooper, who set a personal best of 2:35:54 in the 2002 Chicago Marathon.

The men’s half marathon field includes Kenyan Kennett Kiptoo, who placed second in this year’s Boulder Bolder 10K; and Americans Peter Vail, who has a 1:05:54 PR; defending champion Joel Hamilton; 2008 Boulder Backroads Marathon winner Jason Hamilton; and Olympic triathlete Matt Reed.

The women’s half marathon is expected to be won by Kenya’s Peris Chumba, who has a PR of 1:16:18.

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