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Posted: May 14, 2014  

Athletics: Olympians, Local Elites to Compete at Rock 'n' Roll Portland

Source: Competitor Group

Defending champ Crawford to compete in women's race on Sunday May 18; G. Love & Special Sauce to perform at Waterfront Park; New 10K distance welcomes beginners, runners of all abilities

PORTLAND, Ore. - Several Olympians will compete in Sunday's Rock 'n' Roll Portland Half Marathon. In the women's race, Olympian and Rock 'n' Roll Marathon Series veteran Nuta Olaru will join Costa Rican Olympian Gabriela Trana and Jess Petersen, a Danish Olympian. Defending champion Christina Overbeck Crawford also returns to defend her title.

In the men's half marathon, Youssef Baba Zirari of Vancouver, Wash. will bring his 1:03:54 PR to the start line against a field of Oregon locals, including Dan Kremske of Team Run Eugene and Portland athlete Jason Griffiths. Travis Boyd of Edmonds will return sans stroller - in 2013, he set a World Record Half Marathon time of 1:13 while pushing his child.

The race will kickoff Sunday, May 18 in downtown Portland. A signature Rose Festival event, the 13.1 mile block party will celebrate its third year with more than 11,000 runners expected to participate.

"The Rose Festival is proud to welcome this great race back to our city, along with the thousands of visitors it will bring," said Jeff Curtis, CEO of the Portland Rose Festival. "We're looking forward to a third successful year of showcasing Portland to people from across the world while promoting a healthy lifestyle in our community."

The race will once again start and finish on Naito Parkway downtown, running along the waterfront and across the Hawthorne Bridge into East Portland, Laurelhurst Park and over the Steel Bridge before heading into Waterfront Park for a celebratory finish. Runners will join friends and family for a free post-race concert featuring G. Love & Special Sauce. The public is invited to attend.

Along with the half marathon, runners can take on a new 10K race. The 6.2 mile distance welcomes runners of all abilities and spots are still available in both races.

"We're thrilled to bring this running celebration back to Portland. It's a beautiful tour through a great city and the new 10K invites a whole new audience to participate in this unforgettable experience," said Alex Bennett, event director. "We hope the community will join us as well, as spectators cheering on the runners, volunteers lending a hand or at the post-race concert at Waterfront Park."

The sounds of Portland will also be on display with local bands performing at every mile of the course at band stages. Cheerleaders join the mix, encouraging runners and offering motivation along with themed water stations and thousands of spectators.

Volunteers are still needed throughout race weekend. Those interested in supporting the runners by lending a hand can sign up online at Shifts are available at the Health & Fitness Expo or on race day.

The Health & Fitness Expo will kickoff event weekend on Friday, May 16 at the Oregon Convention Center. The expo is free and open to the public featuring the latest health and nutrition information with a variety of products for sample and sale, as well as a series of interactive fitness clinics.

For more information, please visit

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