Keflezighi Leads Huge Elite Field At Rock ‘n’ Roll San Jose

Meb Keflezighi, left, and Deena Kastor, right, will both be chasing fast times this weekend in San Jose. Photo: PhotoRun.net

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Olympic silver medalist Meb Keflezighi leads a big elite field at Sunday’s 10th annual Rock ‘n’ Roll San Jose Half-Marathon in Northern California.

Keflezighi, 40, will try to break Mbarak Hussein’s U.S. masters half-marathon record of 63:23 on the flat, USATF-certified course. Although Keflezighi, the 2014 Boston Marathon champion, has run faster than that mark since turning 40 last May (he ran 62:26 at the Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego Half Marathon on May 31), that mark didn’t count for a record because the course had too much elevation loss. Keflezighi, who has won the San Jose race three previous times, will also be using Sunday’s race to tune-up for the TCS New York City Marathon on Sunday, November 1, where he is the top American entrant.

“He’ll drive directly to Mammoth (Lakes) after the race to finish his altitude training for New York,” said Dan Cruz, a spokesman for the Competitor Group, which organizes the race.

RELATED: Meb Aiming For Half Marathon Masters Mark In San Jose

Behind Keflezighi, literally dozens of men will be trying to qualify for the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials scheduled for next February in Los Angeles. A 65-minute clocking is good enough to gain entry for the Trials under the “B” standard.

“In total we have 55 male athletes with sub-1:08 PRs aiming for the U.S. Olympic Trials qualifier,” said Cruz.

Ten men on the start list have personal best times below 64 minutes, and a total of 15 have broken 65:00. Besides Keflezighi, the top men seeking the podium include Zambia’s Jordan Chipangama (62:24 PB), Canada’s Dylan Wykes (62:14), Ethiopia’s Dereje Abera Ali (62:44) and Tesfaye Alemayehu (61:36), and American Stephan Shay (62:26).

The women’s race will also be very competitive. Kenya’s Aliphine Tiliamuk-Bolton, with a personal best of 69:16, has been given the #1 bib. The two top Americans are Adriana Nelson (69:59 PB) and Lindsey Scherf (71:46), and Canadian Dayna Pidhoresky (71:46) is the other sub-72-minute performer.

Deena Kastor, who will be running the Bank of America Chicago Marathon on October 11, will also be in San Jose for the weekend. She’ll race the 5K on Saturday—breaking Colleen De Reuck’s USA masters record of 15:48 is certainly possible—then on Sunday she’ll run with the masses, leading the 2-hour pace group.

The course records are 60:22 by Kenya’s Duncan Kibet in 2006 and 69:17 by Russia’s Silvia Skvortsova the same year. Keflezighi’s personal best—61:00—was set in San Jose in 2009.

“The course is flat, fast and the weather is generally perfect in Northern California this time of year,” observed Cruz. “I’ve long said this is the most underrated event in the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series and it’s truly one of the premier 13.1-mile races on the West Coast.”

Here are the top elite entrants in the race by bib number:

Men’s Elite Field

1 Meb Keflezighi, 1975, USA, 61:00
2 Dylan Wykes, 1983, CAN, 62:14
3 Jordan Chipangama, 1988, ZAM, 62:24
4 Dereje Abera Ali, 1979, ETH, 62:44
5 Tesfaye Alemayehu, 1984, ETH, 61:36
6 Stephan Shay, 1986, USA, 62:26
7 Nicholas Hilton, 1989, USA, 63:23
8 Justin Young, 1979, USA, 63:25
9 Malcolm Richards, 1982, USA, 63:26
10 Daniel Tapia, 1986, USA, 63:52
11 Danny Mercado, 1987, USA, 64:02
12 Andrew Epperson, 1990, USA, 64:04
13 Jarrett LeBlanc, 1990, USA, 64:19
14 Anthony Solis, 1990, USA, 64:35
15 Juan Paredes, 1990, USA, 64:45
16 Eli Rodriguez, 1983, USA, 65:16
17 Jonny Wilson, 1987, USA, 65:20
18 Sean Gildea, 1991, USA, 65:31
19 Kenneth Foster, 1986, USA, 65:32
20 Jonathan Mott, 1987, USA, 65:47
21 Jovanny Godinez Rodriguez, 1991, USA, 65:49
22 Benjamin Zywicki, 1988, USA, 65:57
23 Paolo Natali, 1980, ITA, 65:59
24 Curtis Begley Jr, 1987, USA, 66:00
25 JP Slater, 1990, USA, 66:03
26 Steve Chu, 1982, USA, 66:07
27 Anthony Costales, 1988, USA, 66:36
28 Ryan Miller, 1991, USA, debut
29 Aaron Thomas, 1992, USA,
30 Alan Cuevas, 1992, USA,

Women’s Elite Field

F1 Aliphine Tiliamuk-Bolton, 1989, KEN, 69:16
F2 Adriana Nelson, 1980, USA, 69:59
F3 Lindsey Scherf, 1986, USA, 71:46
F4 Dayna Pidhoresky, 1986, CAN, 71:46
F7 Dawn Grunnagle, 1977, USA, 74:56
F8 Jenna Boren, 1977, USA, 75:10
F9 Silvia Del Fava, 1987, ITA, 75:32
F10 Tori Tyler, 1987, USA, 75:36
F11 Heather Tanner, 1978, USA, 75:51
F12 Zoila Gomez, 1979, USA, 73:11
F13 Olivia Mickle, 1991, USA, 76:19
F14 Catherine Watkins, 1971, CAN, 76:47
F15 Liza (Hitchner) Reichert, 1987, USA, 76:48
F16 Lavenna Kubatzky, 1987, USA, 76:54
F17 Rachel Jaten, 1975, USA, 77:11
F18 Joanna Thompson, 1992, USA, Debut
F19 Maor Tiyouri, 1990, ISR, Debut
F20 Alma Rosa Padilla, 1988, USA,

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