Double Olympic Champion to compete in first U.S. race since the 2012 London Olympics
New Orleans, LA -- January 24, 2013 -- Double Olympic gold medalist Mo Farah will compete for the first time in the United States since his illustrious performance at the 2012 London Olympics when the Rock 'n' Roll New Orleans Half Marathon returns to the Crescent City on Sunday, February 24, 2013.
"I'm excited to be racing at my first Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon in New Orleans. I've heard great things about the races and understand that the course is fast and flat. I'm sure that the competition is going to be strong," said Farah, who owns Great Britain's fastest Half Marathon performance with a personal best time of 1:00:23. "I'm over in Kenya training at the moment and will race in the UK over 3000m before I come to the States."
The 29-year-old winner of both the 5,000m and 10,000m distances at the London games was honored as the European Athlete of the Year, becoming just the second individual to receive the award for two consecutive years. After becoming a father to twin daughters Aisha and Amani, who he dedicated each of his gold medals to, Farah also received the British Athletics Writers' Association 2012 ĎAthlete of the Year' Award.
"It was a fantastic 2012 for me. Since my Olympic success it's been a bit of a whirlwind, but now I'm back training and really looking forward to racing again and seeing where 2013 takes me," added the European record holder over 5,000m, who owns 6 national distance records.
New Orleans' history for record road performances coupled with its flat course provides an ideal stage for an assault on more records. In 2010, two-time Chicago Marathon champion Berhane Adere of Ethiopia ran what was then the fastest half-marathon ever on U.S. soil at the first Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon in New Orleans. That year the men's race saw three-time London Marathon champion Martin Lel of Kenya outduel the late Olympic Marathon Champion Sammy Wanjiru. New Zealand's Kim Smith returned in 2011 to set another U.S. all-comer's record in New Orleans, and then lowered her mark to 1:07:11 at the Rock 'n' Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon later that year.
"To attract the likes of Mo Farah to New Orleans demonstrates our commitment to attract the biggest names in the world of running," said Matthew Turnbull, Elite Athlete Manager of the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon Series. "We're excited to have one of the stars of London 2012 on the starting line in New Orleans and the recruitment won't stop with Mo, as we have some great talent lined up to take him on, along with another Olympic star in the women's race."
The 2013 Rock 'n' Roll New Orleans Marathon & Half-Marathon will once again start downtown on Poydras Street, with the marathon and half-marathon running together for the first 12 miles. With a fast and flat course below sea level, participants enjoy the sights along beautiful St. Charles Avenue, running out and back before touring the historic French Quarter, Esplanade Avenue and iconic City Park. Runners will once again finish on Roosevelt Mall behind the New Orleans Museum of Art, where the Dirty Dozen Brass Band will kick off the post-race party.
Race weekend will kick off with the Health & Fitness Expo at the New Orleans Morial Convention Center. The expo is free and open to the public on Friday, February 22 and Saturday, February 23. More than 60 exhibitors and retailers will feature the latest health and nutrition information with a variety of products for sale and sample as well as free fitness related clinics.
Kids have the chance to get fit and have fun at ING KiDS ROCK New Orleans on Saturday, February 23. The non-timed, non-competitive fun run for kids in grades K-7 will take place in City Park and all participants receive a T-shirt, goodie bag and finisher's medal. Registration and more information can be found online at INGKiDSROCK.com.
For more information or to register for the Rock 'n' Roll New Orleans Marathon & Half-Marathon, please visit RunRocknRoll.com .
About Rock 'n' Roll New Orleans
The Rock 'n' Roll New Orleans Marathon & Half-Marathon will return to the Big Easy on Sunday, February 24, 2013. The streets will be rockin' with the sounds of local bands and cheerleaders lining nearly every mile of the 26.2 and 13.1 mile race courses, along with thousands of spectators. Event weekend kicks off on Friday, February 22 with a two-day Health & Fitness Expo at the New Orleans Morial Convention Center where all participants pick up their race number and packet. The expo will feature more than one hundred running and fitness retailers, exhibits and interactive clinics. All Rock 'n' Roll New Orleans participants will be treated to a finish line concert headlined by the Dirty Dozen Brass Band. For more information, please visit RunRocknRoll.com or follow @RunRocknRoll on Twitter.