Croft Defends Rock 'n' Roll Seattle Marathon Crown

27 Jun 2012 09:07
Jean-Loup Fenaux
Press Release

Kokebe men’s marathon winner; Scribner, Calway ½ marathon champions; more than 22,000 participants run on new course at 4th edition.

SEATTLE – (June 23, 2012) – Miles of entertainment under cool, cloudy skies delivered a true Seattle experience for more than 22,000 participants on Saturday morning at the 4th Rock ‘n’ Roll Seattle Marathon & ½ Marathon benefiting the American Cancer Society. The wet weather subsided for most of the morning, resulting in near ideal running conditions.

Sheila Croft of nearby Redmond, Wash. defended her marathon title in convincing fashion, placing 5th overall with a victory that put her nearly 12 minutes ahead of the second-place woman. An avid triathlete who won her age group at both the full Ironman and half Ironman world championships last year, Croft clocked 2 hours, 41 minutes and 41 seconds to annihilate her previous personal best by 9-plus minutes.

“I’m really happy. I didn’t have any expectations, but I went out to win it, gave it my all and pushed as hard as I could,” said Croft, 37, a nurse at the University of Washington Medical Center. “I really enjoyed the new course and the weather was perfect, you couldn’t have asked for better conditions than we had today.”

Croft won her first marathon at Rock ‘n’ Roll Seattle last year in 2:50:17, and recently ran 2:48:17 at the Boston Marathon in April, where she finished 13th. Romanian Olympic marathoner Nuta Olaru, 41, who recently became an American citizen, finished second in 2:53:28.

Ethiopian Teshome Kokebe, 30, took first place in the men’s marathon, finishing in 2:31:47. Kokebe, who resides in locally in Lynnwood, finished runner-up at the event last year.

“It feels good to win, but the second half was hard for me with my hamstring feeling bad,” said Kokebe, whose time was more than ten minutes slower than his personal best. “The course is really challenging. After the half-marathon and marathon separated I was out in front by myself and nobody was helping me push the pace.”

Robert Scribner, 26, of Rochester Hills, Mich., won the half-marathon in 1:06:00. Scribner runs with the Hansons-Brooks Distance Project, a professional running team sponsored by Brooks Sports, which is headquartered in Bothell, Wash. The company will soon relocate to downtown Seattle.

“This is probably the biggest half-marathon I’ve ever won and it was a lot of fun. I knew the course was pretty tough so I just wanted to compete, but I found myself out in front pretty early,” said Scribner. “I was rolling pretty well through 10 miles and then the next couple of miles were eye openers with the hills, so I just try to remind myself the uphill is going to end and I knew there would be downhill after that. Just get through it and then you can make up some time. I was really happy to hold on for the win.”

Kelly Calway, 30, of Manitou Springs, Colo. captured the women’s half-marathon in 1:18:18. A member of the U.S. Army World Class Athlete Program runner and Bronze Star Medal recipient, Calway finished 25th at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials this past January in a PR 2:37:10.

“The race was great, I was totally stoked to come back and win,” said Calway, who place third here last year. “The course changes were cool, it was challenging definitely with more hills than I expected, but you got to see a lot of scenic views. There were spectators everywhere and I felt like all of Seattle came to cheer us on.”

4th Rock ‘n’ Roll Seattle Marathon

Seattle, WA, Saturday, June 23, 2012

1) Teshome Kokebe (ETH), 30, Lynwood, WA, 2:31:47, $1000
2) Cheyne Inman, 26, Vacaville, CA, 2:34:44, $500
3) Eric Brill, 23, Bellingham, WA, 2:37:50, $250

1) Sheila Croft, 37, Redmond, WA, 2:41:41, $1000
2) Nuta Olaru, 41, Boulder, CO, 2:53:28, $500
3) Danya Crawford, 32, Midway, UT, 2:55:52, $250

4th Rock ‘n’ Roll Seattle 1/2 Marathon
1) Robert Scribner, 26, Rochester Hills, MI, 1:06:00, $1000
2) Will Christian, 29, Annapolis, MD, 1:08:37, $500
3) Justin Englund, 22, Pullman, WA, 1:09:27, $250

1) Kelly Calway, 30, Manitou Springs, CO, 1:18:18, $1000
2) Erin Richard, 26, Rochester, MI, 1:19:47, $500
3) Hallie Janssen, 37, Portland, OR, 1:20:49, $250

St. Jude Rock 'n' Roll Seattle Marathon & 1/2 Marathon