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Ethiopia's Shura Kitata runs fastest half in US and Linden are winners at Rock ’N’ Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon

Fall marathon season is in full swing, and the elites have started their tune-up races in preparation. So far, it’s been successful: Reigning Boston Marathon champion Desiree Linden took first at the Rock ’N’ Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon this weekend. The women’s field was stacked, and included Linden, Sarah Sellers, who finished second at Boston, and Kellyn Taylor. In the race, Linden was neck and neck with Taylor, until Linden pulled away late. Linden topped the podium with a time of 1:11:49, while Taylor took second with a 1:12:07. Taylor captured the attention of the running world in June when she won the Grandma’s Marathon in Duluth, Minnesota in 2:24:28, the seventh-fastest marathon time ever for an American woman. The men’s race was won by Ethiopia's Shura Kitata in a stunning 59:17.  This is the fastest half marathon run in the United States and the 6th best winning time in the world in the last 12 months.  Parker Stinson finished second, in 1:03:02, and Canada’s Cam Levins was third, in 1:03:10. Cam Levins also raced Philadelphia as a tune-up, in his case for the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon on October 21. Stinson will run Chicago on October 7. (09/17/2018) ⚡AMP
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Desiree Linden who has been itching to get back to racing is set to run Rock 'n' Roll Philadelphia Half

The 2018 Rock ‘n’ Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon will once again include a world-class group of elite men and women when they toe the line on September 15-16. With the depth of the elite field, the half marathon, which will take place on September 16, is set to be one of the most thrilling races of the year, taking runners along the flat and fast course that starts on Benjamin Franklin Parkway, runs through Center City before winding along the city’s scenic Schuylkill River and finishing at the iconic “Rocky Steps” of the Philadelphia Art Museum. Headlining the field will be Desiree “Des” Linden who won the 2018 Boston Marathon, becoming the first American woman to win the race in 33 years. Linden is a two-time Olympian from San Diego, California representing the United States of America at the last two Summer Olympic Games with her best finish coming in 2016 in Rio when she placed seventh. Her personal best in the marathon is 2:22:38 and 1:10:34 for the half marathon. “I’ve enjoyed the post-Boston victory tour, but I’ve been itching to get back to racing,” said Linden. “I can’t wait to head to the Rock ‘n’ Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon to test out the legs and find out where I’m at with my fall marathon training. With the fast course and stellar competition the Rock ‘n’ Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon always brings, it will be the perfect jumpstart to my fall racing season.” (08/26/2018) ⚡AMP
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2018 Rock 'n' Roll Philadelphia Half the star-studded men’s field is led by Feyisa Lilesa

The star-studded men’s field is led by Feyisa Lilesa, the Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Marathon silver medalist. The Ethiopian distance runner has recorded a personal best of 2:04:52 ranking him in the top-ten fastest marathoners ever. Lilesa also boasts a personal best in the half marathon breaking the one-hour barrier at 59:22 and last year he won the New York City Half Marathon. “I’m looking forward to the Rock ‘n’ Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon,” said Lilesa. “The race has a great history. World records have been set there, and it has had some fantastic champions. I am aiming to add my name to that list.” Lilesa will face some tough competition with four-time Olympian Abdi Abdirahman, and 2015 World Marathon Champion Ghirmay Ghebreslassie, toeing the start line beside him. Somalian-born Abdirahman represented the United States at the Olympics in 2000, 2004, 2008 and 2012 and placed 3rd in the New York City Marathon in 2016. He has personal bests of 2:08:56 in the marathon and 1:01:07 in the half marathon. Ghebreslassie hails from Eritrea and made a name for himself winning the 2015 World Marathon Championship. In 2016, he became the youngest male to ever win the New York City Marathon at 20-years old. His personal bests are 2:07:46 for the marathon and 1:00:09 in the half marathon. “It’s great to welcome so many fantastic athletes to the Rock ‘n’ Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon,” said Josh Furlow, Managing Director of North America for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series®. “As the fall marathon season begins, athletes will be using this race as a measure of how months of training have been going. Having Olympic medalists and World Champions line up against World Marathon Major winners shows the regard with which this race is held. We’re looking forward to another fantastic edition next month.” (08/23/2018) ⚡AMP
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