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Duncan Kibet Runs 2nd Fastest Half Marahton Ever in America at Inaugural San Jose Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon
Race Press Release

SAN JOSE, Calif. (Oct. 8, 2006) - Ideal running conditions greeted the inaugural Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon in San Jose Sunday morning, setting the stage for strong performances by both the men's and women's fields. Newcomer Duncan Kibet, 28, of Kenya won after setting a blistering pace en route to the second fastest half marathon time ever on American soil, covering the 13.1-mile course in a time of 1 hour, 22 seconds. His time trails only that of running legend Haile Gebrselassie of Ethiopia who shattered the world record when he ran 58:55 earlier this year (Jan. 15, 2006, P.F Chang's Rock 'n' Roll Arizona, Tempe, AZ.).

On the women's side Silvia Skvortsova, 31, of Russia won a two-woman battle when she pulled away over the final mile and crossed the finish line in a personal best 1:09:17. Kenyan Edna Kiplagat, 26, who was competing in her third half marathon in the last five weeks, was second in 1:09:32, a personal best.

Both champions earned $8,000 for their victories, plus an additional $2,000 for setting California state records. Additionally, three men and four women also ran under the old state record times (men 1:02:06, women - 1:11:16).

American Meb Keflezighi (San Diego, Calif./UCLA) suffered a hamstring cramp heading into the 11th mile and decided to pull off the course at that point, saving himself for the Nov. 5 ING New York City Marathon. He was in third place at the time and gaining on second, having gone thru 10 miles at 46:45, one of the fastest times ever by an American for that distance. Jen Rhines (Ardmore, Pa./Villanova), who like Keflezighi trains with Team Running USA in Mammoth, Calif., was the first American woman, finishing sixth in 1:12:09.

Kibet took off like a shot from the start line, taking fellow Kenyan William Chebon, 23, with him. The two stuck together thru the first three miles and methodically opened a commanding lead, flying thru the first 5k at 13:40, well under world record pace.

After mile four Kibet took control, dropping Chebon as they passed under the historic San Pedro Square arch and maintaining the impressive pace, passing the 10k mark at 27:45. Sensing he had the race in hand, Kibet slowed his pace over the final miles and cruised alone to the finish line.

" I expected to run fast here, but I was worried (early in the race) that the pack would catch me," Kibet said. "I was happy with my time and the course was very fast."

The women stayed in a pack of six early on but by mile seven it was down to three, with Magdalene Makunzi a step behind Skvortsova and Kiplagat. Makunzi was dropped by mile eight and it was a two-woman race from there. The women jockeyed back and forth, neither one ever more than 10 meters ahead of the other until the final mile.

"This was a surprise for me," said Skvortsova, who crossed the finish line with a large smile on her face. "I was thinking Edna was the winner until the last mile. She was helpful for me. "

Former 49er and three-time Super Bowl champion Roger Craig finished the race in a time of 1:40:27. Craig played an integral role in introducing the musical marathon concept to the City of San Jose. The Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon attracted nearly 12,000 entrants in its first year.

-- Top 10 Results Follow -

Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon
San Jose, Calif.
Oct. 8, 2006

Top 10 Men
Place, Name, Age, Country, Time, Prize money
1, Duncan Kibet, 28, Kenya, 1:00:22, $10,000*
2, William Chebon, 23, Kenya, 1:01:07, $5,000
3, Reuben Chebii, 24, Kenya, 1:01:56, $3,000
4, Luke Kipkosgei, 30, Kenya, 1:02:08, $2,000
5, Nicodemus Malakwen, 25, Kenya, 1:02:21, $1,500
6, Joseph Chirlee, 25 Kenya, 1:02:22, $ 1,250
7, Ernest Meli Kimeli, 20, Kenya, 1:02:31, $1,000
8, Charles Kiama, 20, Kenya, 1:03:39, $750
9, Julius Limo, 28, Kenay, 1:03:40, $600
10, Davis Kabiru, 23, Kenya, 1:04:52, $500

* Includes $2,000 for California state record

Top 10 Women
Place, Name, Age, Country, Time, Prize money
1, Silvia Skortsova, 31, Russia, 1:09:17, $10,000*
2, Edna Kiplagat, 26, Kenya, 1:09:32. $5,000
3, Magdalene Makunzi, 23, Kenya, 1:10:05, $3,000
4, Nuta Olaru, 36, Romania, 1:10:35, $2,000
5, Anne Jelegat, 37, Kenya, 1:12:00, $1,500
6, Jen Rhines, 32, USA, 1:12:09, $1,250
7, Takami Ominami, 30, Japan, 1:12:44, $1,000
8, Lucy Njeri, 28, Kenya, 1:12:59, $750
9, Yimenashu Taye, 27, Ethiopia, 1:14:18, $600
10, Mercy Cheburet, 21, Kenya, 1:14:44, $500

* Includes $2,000 for California state record

1, Raymundo Cruz, 41, San Francisco, Calif., 1:15:42, $500
2, Paul Davis, 49, San Ramon, Calif., 1:16:40, $250

1, Christine Kennedy, 51, Los Gatos, Calif.,1:25:43, $500
2, Rochelle Zolna, 40, Los Gatos, Calif., 1:33:17, $250

Top San Jose, Calif. Residents
1, J.T. Service, 26, 1:07:46, $500
2, Brian Winco, 34, 1:15:35, $250

1, Maria Solis, 35, 1:25:22, $500
2, Kimberly Martin, 23, 1:29:42, $250

Top Bay Area Residents
1, J.T. Service, 26, San Jose, 1:07:46, $500
2, Tom McGlynn, 23, Santa Clara, 1:08:17, $250

1, Maria Solis, 35, San Jose, 1:25:22, $500
2, Christine Kennedy, 51, Los Gatos, 1:25:37, $250

Image: Duncan Kibet, Men's Champion

Image: Silvia Skvortsova, Women's Champion

Image: Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon, San Jose start line

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