San Antonians Jose Munoz, Elizabeth Eder become city's first marathon champions; Country singer Jo Dee Messina runs 13.1-mile event before headlining post race concert
By Dan Cruz, Competitor Group
SAN ANTONIO (Nov. 11, 2012) - The Rock 'n' Roll San Antonio Marathon & Half Marathon benefiting Susan G. Komen celebrated its 5th birthday in style on Sunday, Nov. 11 when more than 25,000 entrants from all 50 states and 22 countries took to the city's downtown streets.
No runner arrived at the start line with better credentials than Kenya's Stanley Biwott (right, Competitor Group), who is undefeated in five races this year, including victories at the Paris Marathon (2:05:11) and Rock 'n' Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon (1:00:03). Biwott arrived in San Antonio through New York City, where he was a favorite to win the ING New York City Marathon last Sunday before it was canceled last weekend after Hurricane Sandy devastated the region. He was the first to cross the finish line outside the Alamodome, winning the men's half-marathon in 1 hour, 1 minute and 11 seconds, breaking the previous event record of 1:02:50 set by U.S. Olympian Brian Sell in 2008.
"This was a good test for me, I knew that I could do something in New York," said Biwott, who was acknowledging the cheering spectators and bands throughout the route. "I liked the spectators and I like San Antonio. They cheer for me a lot."
Dawn Grunnagle of Dallas was first in the women's half-marathon, finishing in 1:18:09. A 1,500-meter specialist on the track, it was her second consecutive half-marathon victory after winning the Allstate Life Insurance Dallas 13.1 Marathon two weeks ago.
San Antonio resident Jose Munoz emerged victorious in the marathon with a time of 2 hours, 27 minutes and 53 seconds. The 27-year-old took the lead at the 17-mile mark, passing Kenyan Abraham Rutto, who finished second with a time of 2:33:03.
"When I passed him I told him to come up beside me and run with me," Munoz said following the race. "But he said, 'No, man, you're too strong.' Once he told me that, I said, 'This is mine.'"
Cross-country coach Elizabeth Eder, a graduate of Trinity Christian High School in San Antonio, won the women's marathon in 3:06:20. She was followed by Erin Ruyle of Georgetown, who finished in second at 3:15:46. Like Biwott, Eder wasn't supposed to be in San Antonio. She had also been scheduled to run the New York City Marathon last weekend.
Not to be outdone, perhaps the performance of the day belonged to country music superstar Jo Dee Messina, who finished the half-marathon in 2:36:50 and took the stage approximately one hour later, headlining the event's finish-line concert outside the Alamodome. To the delight of thousands of runners in the audience, Messina performed wearing her half-marathon finisher's medal, CEP compression socks and bright blue running shoes.
"Today was awesome, it could not have gone any better," said Messina, who boarded a tour bus to Austin immediately following the concert. "Those bands out there on the course motivated me for our show; they really help break up the miles when you're out there running. Living and promoting a healthy lifestyle is important to me as a mother and to combine it with my passion for music was a dream come true."
This year's event marked the 5th edition of the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon & Half Marathon in San Antonio. Over the event's 5-year history in San Antonio, runners have raised nearly $6 million for charity and out of town visitors have pumped millions more into the local economy.
5th Rock 'n' Roll San Antonio Marathon and Half-Marathon
San Antonio, Texas, Sunday, Nov. 11, 2012
1) Stanley Biwott, 26, Kenya, 1:01:09, $1,000
2) Ernest Kebenei, 27, Kenya, 1:04:15, $500
3) Shadrack Biwott, 27, Eugene, OR (Kenya), 1:06:51, $250
1) Dawn Grunnagle, 34, Dallas, TX, 1:18:07, $1,500*
2) Tia Kool 24, Austin, TX, 1:18:27, $750*
3) Lucy Kurget, 30, Round Rock, TX (Kenya), 1:19:06, 375*
1) Jose Munoz, 27, San Antonio, TX, 2:27:51. $2,000*
2) Abraham Rutto, 29, Kenya, 2:33:01, $500
3) Jeremy Daum, 26, San Antonio, TX, 2:34:44; $750*
1) Elizabeth Eder, 25, Fort Worth, TX, 3:06:18, $2,000*
2) Erin Ruyle, 34, Georgetown, TX, 3:15:44, $1,000*
3) Elizabeth Eder, 44, Fort Worth, TX, 3:06:18, $500*
For complete results, photos and more, visit Competitor.com