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31K runners to take on the San Antonio Half & Full Marathon this weekend

Posted Nov 12 2009 10:00pm
San Antonio, TX – More than 31,000 entrants from all 50 states and 23 countries will descend on south Texas to run the Rock ‘n’ Roll San Antonio Marathon and 1/2 Marathon on Sunday, November 15. The second annual race features elite men' s and women' s fields vying for a prize purse that will award $17,500 to the champions. Interspersed with the international elite field at the start line will be some of the fastest runners in Texas, who will be competing in a statewide battle for a "Texas-only" prize purse in both the full and half-marathon.

“Building on the success of last year’s Texas Showdown, we have over twice as many elite Texas runners coming to San Antonio this year,” said Matt Turnbull, Elite Athlete Coordinator for the event. “Last year proved what a flat course San Antonio offers and we should see some terrific competition at this year’s race.”

Leading the women’s field is returning ‘Texas Showdown’ Champion for the half-marathon Melisa Christian of Dallas. Christian owns a personal best of 2:42:07 from in her ninth place finish at the 2007 ING New York City Marathon, which qualified her for the 2008 U.S. Women’s Olympic Marathon Trials in Boston. She recently won the Dallas Running Club Half Marathon on November 1st with a time of 1:18:11.

“I really liked the (San Antonio) course,” said Christian, who will compete in the half-marathon. “It was well laid out, and with all the participants, it was impressive how well the event was organized. My training has been going great and you never know what can happen on race day. I’m hoping we have perfect weather like last year.”

The elite women' s field features veteran runners who have performed well at past Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathons. Russia' s Tatiana Pushkareva, 24, finished fourth in San Antonio last year with a PR of 2:34:55 and won the 2009 Country Music Marathon in Nashville. Countrywoman Svetlana Ponomorenko, 40, won the 2008 Country Music Marathon. She returns to Texas as a master’s runner after winning Dallas Marathon in 2006 with a PR (personal record) of 2:29:55.

Expected to join them in the lead pack is 2008 Olympian Dorota Gruca of Poland. Gruca, who trains in New Mexico, finished 30th in Beijing Olympic Marathon with a time of 2:33:32. She owns a marathon PR of 2:27:46 when she finished 13th at the 2005 World Championships in Helsinki, Finland. Kenya’s Evelyne Lagat has a personal marathon best of 2:42:14 from a 7th place at the 2009 Houston Marathon. The sister of U.S. distance great Bernard Lagat, she finished 6th at the ING Philadelphia Distance Run September 20th in 1:12:25.

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