Kastor, Goucher to Race Rock 'n' Roll Philadelphia

Kastor, Goucher to Race Rock 'n' Roll Philadelphia
• Rock 'n' Roll Philadelphia will be Kara Goucher's first race back from injury
• U.S. record holder Deena Kastor seeks to set Masters World best on historic course
• Two of America's most popular marathoners join an already stellar field of athletes

PHILADELPHIA, PA – August 19, 2014 – The addition of two U.S. Olympians - Kara Goucher and Deena Kastor - to an already extensive professional lineup at the Rock n Roll Running Festival Philadelphia September 19-21 highlights the prestige of this historic race as the traditional kickoff to the fall marathon season.

On Sunday, September 21, Kastor and Goucher will toe the start line of the Rock 'n' Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon, the site of five World records, five American records, and both of the current U.S. all-comers records. The two Olympians have combined to run the five fastest half-marathon times in U.S. history.

"Having both Deena and Kara race in Philadelphia this year is truly a thrilling testament to America's greatest half-marathon, showcasing the fastest U.S. runners of all-time," said Tracy Sundlun, SVP and co-founder of the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon Series. "While Deena has a legitimate shot to beat every non-master, she'll also be going after another record in Philadelphia chasing both her U.S. and hopefully the world masters records and Kara returning to the roads after injury. She just lights up her fellow competitors and lights up the sport, it's going to be a special weekend."

The U.S. women's record holder for the marathon (2:19:36) and half marathon (1:07:34), Kastor returns to Philadelphia for the first time since winning the 2005 race in an American record 1:07:53, which broke Joan Benoit's 21-year-old mark of 1:08:34—also set in Philadelphia.

"With a great summer of training underway, I am so excited to return to Rock n Roll Philadelphia," said Kastor.  "This race is home to my fastest half-marathon on American soil, so I look forward to using the great field assembled so that I can post a fast time."

Kastor is primed for a fast race as she recently broke the U.S. Masters half-marathon record (1:11:38) in New York earlier this year. She also set two U.S. Masters records for the 10 mile (55:13) and 20K (1:08:18) at Rock 'n' Roll Dallas in March.

Goucher, who owns three of the top five fastest half-marathon times in U.S. history, has been recovering from a sacral stress fracture suffered earlier this year and has her eyes focused on Philadelphia. She's been training in Boulder, Colo., under the watchful eye of coaches Mark Wetmore and Heather Burroughs.

"After a year and a half of frustration and heartache, I am pleased to announce my return to competitive racing at Rock 'n' Roll Philly," said Goucher. "I have wanted to run this race since I watched Adam get an Olympic Trials qualifier there in 2011. The Rock 'n' Roll Series has always been great to me and I can't think of a better place to start my comeback."

The elite athletes confirmed to race over festival weekend also includes previously announced competitors such as the most decorated 5,000m runner in American history Bernard Lagat; Geoffrey Mutai, the world's fastest marathoner; and sub-one hour half-marathon runners Cyprian Kotut and Bedan Karoki.

The Rock 'n' Roll Running Festival in Philadelphia includes two days of music-infused race courses with an inaugural Rock 'n' Roll 5k on Saturday, Sept. 20 and the historic Rock 'n' Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon on Sunday, Sept. 21. All finishers will earn a medal in each race, however runners who participate in both Saturday and Sunday's events will earn a special Remix Challenge medal to commemorate their accomplishment.

Both events will begin at 8:00am, starting and finishing at Eakins Oval directly in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Kastor will be pacing the 8-minute per mile group on Saturday, before racing the half-marathon on Sunday. 

Sunday's half-marathon course remains flat and fast beginning on Benjamin Franklin Parkway, surrounded by stunning views of the city skyline, running through the historical Center City, past Independence Hall and along the scenic Schuylkill River. After crossing the finish line, runners will join family and friends to celebrate their accomplishment at the concert headlined by Rusted Root.

To register for the event or for more information, please visit RunRocknRoll.com/Philadelphia.   

Deena Kastor wins 2005 event (credit Photorun.net)

About Rock 'n' Roll Philadelphia
The 2014 Rock 'n' Roll Running Festival will welcome more than 20,000 participants to Philadelphia the weekend of September 19-21. The festival weekend includes two days of running, a Rock 'n' Roll 5k on Saturday and one of the world's most prestigious road races on Sunday, the Rock 'n' Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon, which is the home of five World Records, five American records and the current men's and women's U.S. all-comers' records. Both races will feature live bands and entertainment along the course, with a beer garden and concert at the finish line.

Festival weekend kicks off on Friday, September 19 with a free two-day Health & Fitness Expo at Philadelphia Convention Center, where more than 100 exhibitors will offer free samples, the latest in running apparel and a full schedule of interactive clinics. Both running events will begin at 8:00am, starting and finishing at Eakins Oval directly in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Over the 17-year history of the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon Series, charity participants have raised more than $300 million for a variety of worthy causes and nonprofit organizations. For more information, visit RunRocknRoll.com or follow @RunRocknRoll on Twitter.

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