The Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon San Jose Builds on Smashing Debut

Duncan Kibet of Kenya clocking 1:00:22

Attracting over 11,000 entrants in its debut, the Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon San Jose reflects a successful "marriage" akin to Led Zeppelin and the Boston Marathon. The race combines great entertainment with a fast course. Experience the first anniversary of the largest half marathon in the Bay Area on October 5.

The question is "Do you know the way to San Jose?"

It has been years since Dionne Warwick's hit song, with the same title as our aforementioned question, earned her a Grammy Award. And it's now approaching three years since one of the Bay Area's latest chart-toppers launched--the Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon San Jose, an event where you will feel faster than a Ferrari on its flat course and fabulous that you found the way to San Jose.

"Last year was the first year for the Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon San Jose and it was a big, big success!" bellowed Elizabeth O'Brien, the race's event general manager.

O'Brien said 11,536 runners registered for the race and 9,527 finished, making the 2006 Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon San Jose the world's seventh largest inaugural running event, the tenth largest half marathon in the United States and the largest half marathon in the Bay Area.

The race also bolstered San Jose's economy, according to Ian Monahan, Elite Racing Inc.'s director of public of relations. Elite Racing, Inc. is a sports marketing and management company based in San Diego, which manages six musically themed world-class marathon and half marathons across the country, in addition to the Carlsbad 5000. "Strong first-year numbers translated into a total economic impact of more than $16.4 million to the economy of San Jose," Monahan said.

Registration for this year's Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon San Jose is open, said Monahan, who expects a field of 13,500. Monahan also said all registered participants get free access to the New Balance Active Trainer program, an online training program for all levels of runners, among other race perks.

To register for the Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon San Jose, visit

The Course

"The number one comment we received from runners (after last year's race) was, 'I PR'd at this race.' Runners absolutely loved the course. And the weather in October is perfect," said O'Brien.

The 2006 men's champion Duncan Kibet of Kenya ran the second-fastest half-marathon time ever on American soil, clocking 1:00:22. Three men and four women broke the old California state record times of 1:02:06 for men and 1:11:16 for women. And the one and only three-time Super Bowl Champion in the field, former San Francisco 49er great, Roger Craig, who was instrumental in bringing the race to San Jose, finished in 1:40:27.

"We thought the course was going to be good because runners go past many beautiful areas like the Rose Garden neighborhood with its multi-million dollar homes, Japan town, one of only three such places in the country, past the Egyptian Museum and to the finish area in the beautiful green city center at Plaza de Cesar Chavez," O'Brien said. "But the course was so much faster than we thought, about 85 percent of the runners finished under three hours."

"The general consensus among runners was the Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon San Jose, as a world-class event, was the best organized event they had experienced--it was fast and fun," Monahan said.

Fast and fun, two words that are synonymous with Elite Racing's Rock 'n' Roll events. The company "pioneered" the musical marathon concept with the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon in San Diego in 1998 and since then everything it touches turns, in musicspeak, double platinum.

"The Midas touch comes down to hard work," said Monahan. "Elite Racing aims to deliver a total race experience from the Heath & Fitness Expo to the post-race concert. It's not easy, but it is fulfilling to watch the runners cross the finish line with smiles on their faces."

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