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Posted: October 28, 2012  

Athletics: Deena Kastor Returns to the Roads at Rock 'n' Roll Los Angeles Half Marathon

Halloween themed half-marathon benefiting the ASPCA starts and finishes at L.A. LIVE with live bands along the route; Reggae band the Dirty Heads to headline finish line concert

LOS ANGELES - (October 27, 2012) - It's the only half-marathon run entirely within the City of Los Angeles, the Rock 'n' Roll Los Angeles Half Marathon benefiting the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) returns to downtown's streets on Sunday, October 28, 2012. Headlining the field is Southern California native Deena Kastor, the fastest American half marathoner of all-time, who returns to racing over four months after withdrawing from the U.S. Olympic Trials with a back injury.

"I feel good, although it's not going to be a pretty race for me. I am in about 1:12 shape, but please no cameras at the finish line because it's going to be an ugly 1:12," said Kastor, who attended high school in nearby Agoura Hills. "My training is going well in Mammoth Lakes at 8,000 ft and I'll be training there for the rest of the winter, but I'm looking forward to coming down to sea level. I also can't wait for a beautiful tour of Los Angeles including running by the Memorial Coliseum, where I watched Joan Benoit Samuelson win an Olympic Marathon Gold Medal on TV in 1984 and started running a year later."

A bronze medalist in the 2004 Athens Olympic Marathon, Kastor became the first American woman to ever run a marathon under 2:20 when she won the 2006 Flora London Marathon in 2:19:36. She made U.S. half-marathon history in 2005 in Philadelphia when she shattered Samuelson's long-standing U.S. record by 41 seconds with a time of 1 hour, 7 minutes and 53 seconds. The three-time Olympian later bettered her time at Berlin in 2006 (1:07:34), and the record has stood since.

Headlining the men's race in Los Angeles is 30-year-old Fernando Cabada, the 25km American Record Holder (1:14:21). A California native, Cabada has not raced in his home state since 2007 and will face a challenge from past champion Jacques Sallberg, who won the Rock 'n' Roll Los Angeles Half Marathon in 2010.

The race begins at 7:30 a.m. on Figueroa St. and travels south down to the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, site of the 1932 and 1984 Olympic games. From there runners enjoy the famous Science Center at Exposition Park and then make their way past the iconic Shrine Auditorium, and toward City Hall, California's tallest building - the U.S. Bank Tower - and Pershing Square.

Participants run through many of the diverse neighborhoods of downtown Los Angeles including Little Tokyo and the Toy District, before winding their way back across the renowned 6th Street Bridge, catching an iconic view of the downtown skyline with the infamous Hollywood sign visible in the distance. The final miles intertwine through the high-rise corridors of downtown Los Angeles ending with a spectacular red carpet finish adjacent to the Staples Center at L.A. LIVE.

Also among the 12,000 entrants for Los Angeles' musical mash-up will be members of Team ASPCA, who will help the ASPCA provide life-saving programs and services to millions of animals in need nationwide. The ASPCA is the first animal welfare organization established in the North America and serves as the nation's leading voice for animals.

"The ASPCA is honored to be the benefiting charity for this event for the second year," said Kymberlee Setterberg, national director of community fundraising for the ASPCA. "We look forward to once again offering animal advocates the opportunity to meet their fitness goals while also raising awareness and funds to support the ASPCA's life-saving programs and services that help millions of animals nationwide."

Keeping with the Rock 'n' Roll theme, Los Angeles runners will celebrate with a post race concert headlined by Reggae band The Dirty Heads, performing their Billboard hit "Lay Me Down" at the Halloween-themed finish line festival. For more information about the Rock 'n' Roll Los Angeles Half Marathon, visit Competitor.com or follow @RunRocknRoll on Twitter.

About the Rock ‘n' Roll Marathon Series

Organized by Competitor Group, the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon Series is the 'World's Largest Running Series' with more than 500,000 runners taking part in events around the world each year. Started in 1998, the simple idea of making running fun has transformed the U.S. running landscape by infusing the course with live bands, cheer teams and entertaining water stations, creating a block-party atmosphere for participants and spectators alike. Today, the series of marathons and half-marathons has spread to more than 32 destination cities, drawing visitors from around the world.

Race weekend kicks off with a free Health & Fitness Expo with more than 100 exhibitors offering samples and showcasing the latest in running gear, sports apparel, health and nutritional information and much more. Event weekend culminates with a finish line celebration. For more information, please visit Competitor.com or follow @RunRocknRoll on Twitter.


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