Meb Keflezighi returns to the heart of Silicon Valley on Sunday in attempt to win his third-consecutive San Jose Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon title.
Much like the last two years, Keflezighi will be using the the San Jose race as a rust-buster and preparation race for the New York City Marathon just over a month away on November 6.
In 2009 he set his half marathon personal best in a time of 61 minutes flat, a precursor to his New York City Marathon win a month later. Keflezighi replicated a win in San Jose last year, this time in 61 minutes, 45 seconds before going on to finish sixth in New York.
Just 69 days after New York, Keflezighi will take on some of America’s best marathoners at the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials on January 14 in Houston, Texas. With a top three finish, he will qualify for his third Olympic team.
San Jose also marks the first race for Keflezighi as a representative of his new shoe sponsor Skechers.
A graduate of UCLA, Keflezighi is among the most heralded runners in American history. In 2009 he became the first American to win the prestigious New York City Marathon since Alberto Salazar won in the Big Apple in 1982. Prior to the win Keflezighi had already cemented his status among U.S. distance running legends having won an Olympic silver medal at the Athens Games in 2004.
The elite field that will face Keflezighi includes a trio of athletes from the Hansons-Brooks Distance Project – Drew Polley, Robert Scribner and Brendan Martin – and the Bay Area Track Club’s Bolota Asmerom.
American record holder Deena Kastor continues her return from pregnancy to headline the women’s field that features a number of elite Bay Area runners.