Quinn Family Foundation Rock 'n' Roll St. Louis welcomes 13,000 runners
Former Wide Reciever Isaac Bruce completes first marathon with TASK, charity raised $300,000
Fischer, Aitken win half marathon
St. Louis, MO - October 27, 2013 - As sunrise broke over the iconic Arch, 13,000 runners readied themselves for a chilly early morning journey through St. Louis. The Quinn Family Foundation Rock 'n' Roll St. Louis Marathon & Half Marathon to benefit TASK returned for a third year with thousands decked out in red in celebration of their hometown Cardinals' World Series bid.
Defending marathon champion Charles Beiseman, 32, won handily despite being seven minutes over his previous time. Beiseman was the solo marathoner in a pack of half-marathoners for the first half of the race, before being left on his own at the split. Finishing in 2:39:59, the De Soto resident pushed through some tough moments in the final miles to win.
"It was a good course," he said. "I went out planning to go faster than I did today but I got light headed and my muscles got tight. But I still managed to win luckily and had a decent day. I pulled it off."
Behind Beiseman was St. Louis local Patrick Fitzgerald in 2:47:24 and Gedion Yitref, of Chicago in 2:47:35. In the women's marathon, Emily Kurian, 30, returned to claim redemption after placing 2nd in 2012. Kurian attended St. Louis University and currently lives in Wisconsin.
"It was harder, but I raced a lot safer this year. Last year I went out fast to see what I could do and then it was a lot harder to hold on. But that comes with experience - I'm still fairly new to marathons," said Kurian, who was happy with the win but mentioned her main goal was personal satisfaction. "Winning was always a hopeful goal in my mind but every time I run it's a race against myself. I try not to be too competitive against other people and just focus on the personal experience."
The men's half marathon saw Michael Aitken, 31, of Saint Ann, Missouri, victorious in 1:10:23. After running in a pack of three from the start, Aitken saw his opportunity as a big hill at mile 2 approached. Aitken, who runs with the Michelob Ultra team, ran solo for the remainder of the course. Tony White, 28, of Nashville, TN, placed second in 1:13:29, followed by North Carolina's Paul Jones in 1:14:42.
"I generally prefer a flatter course but hills give you a chance to separate yourself from the pack. I pushed up the hill early and got a little bit of separation," said Aitken.
Wisconsin's Dani Fischer barely felt the chill as she took the women's half marathon win. Fischer, a University of Wisconsin alum and runner, used the race as preparation for next month's Rock 'n' Roll San Antonio Half Marathon.
"This is warm for me!" she said with a laugh. "I'm pretty satisfied with today. It was a tough course but I enjoy the rolling hills here. You're using different muscles so it's not mundane."
Among the runners was first time marathoner and former St. Louis Ram Isaac Bruce. Bruce competed on behalf of the race's benefiting charity, Team Activities for Special Kids, and finished in 6:06:31. Bruce serves as a Team Captain for the TASK Force. More than 60 TASK runners participated in the race this year, raising more than $300,000 at the 3rd annual event.
Team Activities for Special Kids (TASK) is a non-profit St. Louis organization that provides safe, accessible activities for children with special needs. More than $2.5 million has been raised since the inaugural Rock 'n' Roll St. Louis race in 2011. With the funds raised, the organization was able to purchase its own facility in Fenton, Missouri and begin a campus-wide transformation into an accessible sports and classroom complex. This new campus has allowed TASK to expand programs and serve thousands of youngsters with disabilities.
The 4th annual race will return to St. Louis on Sunday, October 19, 2014.
2013 Rock 'n' Roll St. Louis Marathon & Half Results
Name, Age, Hometown, Time
1. Charles Beiseman, 32, De Soto, MO, 2:39:59
2. Patrick Fitzgerald, 39, St. Louis, MO, 2:47:24
3. Gedion Yitref, 23, Chicago, IL, 2:47:35
1. Emily Kurian, 30, Madison, WI, 2:50:30
2. Juli Stults, 26, St. Louis, MO, 3:07:42
3. Mychelle Ehli, 27, Waukesha, WI, 3:13:09
Men's Half Marathon
1. Michael Aitken, 31, Saint Ann, MO, 1:10:23
2. Tony White, 28, Nashville, TN, 1:13:29
3. Paul Jones, 38, Apex, NC, 1:14:42
Women's Half Marathon
1. Dani Fischer, 25, Wausau, WI, 1:18:14
2. Sydney Messick, 25, Manhattan, KS, 1:21:25
3. Amanda Albrecht, 23, Festus, MO, 1:25:38