This was the second Rock ‘n’ Roll half marathon appearance in six weeks for Rizzo, who ran a personal best of 1:05:04 to finish second behind Australian Andrew Letherby at the Seattle Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon on June 26. Running unchallenged down the final straightaway to the finish line, Rizzo’s biggest obstacle on Sunday proved to be the weather, as the warmer weather admittedly took its toll on the former North Central College All-American during the second half of the race.
“The humidity was the biggest shocker today,” Rizzo told the media after the race. “We went out a little quicker than I’d like and it cost us late in the race. About six miles in, we hit a hill and I knew that was the breakpoint or I was done for.”
Rizzo has had some success in his home state, finishing tenth at last October’s Chicago Marathon in a personal-best of 2:15:48. He will return to The Windy City on October 10 to race against some of the best runners in the world at the Bank of America Chicago Marathon.
Moody, the pre-race favorite, is one of the top-ranked female long distance runners in the United States. Like Rizzo, the city of Chicago has also been kind to the 29-year-old Moody, who ran a personal best of 2:32:59 to finish ninth at last October’s Chicago Marathon. Sunday’s race was her first appearance at a Rock ‘n’ Roll event.
“The timing just never worked out before,” Moody said after the race. “I loved the bands out there and the crowd support. The course was great and I felt really good. I just tried to run my own race and not worry about what anyone else was doing.”
Moody represented the United States in the marathon at last summer’s IAAF World Championships in Athletics in Berlin, finishing 28th overall. Earlier this year, she placed an impressive sixth in a half-marathon personal best of 1:12:52 at the U.S. Championships in Houston.
Some 25,000 runners and walkers took to the streets of Chicago this morning in support the race’s main beneficiary, The American Cancer Society. A whole host of celebrities took part in the event, including The Today Show’s Al Roker, Kelly Bensimon of The Real Housewives of New York City and Jake Pavelka, the most recent star of ABC’s hit show The Bachelor. Also in attendance was Andrea Powell of ABC’s The Gates, Giuliana Rancic of E! News, and Jason and Molly Mesnick of The Bachelor fame. The next Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicago Half Marathon is scheduled for August 21, 2011.