(Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-US PRESSWIRE)

Shalane Flanagan To Renew Rivalry With Kim Smith At San Diego Rock 'N' Roll Half Marathon

(Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-US PRESSWIRE)

**UPDATE: Flanagan has withdrawn from the race.

SAN DIEGO – (May 28, 2012) – Famous for lining race routes with live bands and cheerleaders, the original Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego Marathon & ½ Marathon will celebrate its 15th birthday on Sunday, June 3, 2012. The 2012 event will feature half of the six-member U.S. Olympic Marathon team to the same event less than two months before the London Games, securing the women’s Olympic Marathon Trials winner Shalane Flanagan for Sunday’s half-marathon.

“Once they qualified for the Olympic team, I knew they would be focusing on London,” said Matt Turnbull, elite athlete recruiter who expects two a highly competitive races Sunday even though the big prize ahead is London. “We identified a couple of the runners who I knew would fit our race. It was good timing. The half-marathon is good timing for their full marathon and San Diego fits in that category. Of course, these guys have London in mind, but knowing their personalities, they don’t like to get beat.”

The women’s race should boil down to a clash between Flanagan and Kim Smith, the New Zealand Olympian and owner of the fastest women’s half-marathon in the United States, 1:07:11, last year at Rock ‘n’ Roll Philadelphia.

“I’m excited to run in the Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego Half-Marathon,” Flanagan, 30, said. “It’s a wonderful place to go and run. The climate will be just right and I’m really looking forward to it. This will be my fourth Rock ‘n’ Roll event, having done Philadelphia, San Antonio and Miami most recently. The race fits in perfectly to my schedule as I continue to prepare for the Olympic Marathon.”

Flanagan set an Olympic Trials record of 2:25:38 in only her second marathon, bettering the previous mark by 2:47. Her winning time was a PR by nearly three minutes. Sometimes, though, Flanagan can be her own worst enemy.

“My strength as a runner is also my greatest weakness,” she said. “Sometimes I am just too stubborn and aggressive.”

Against a veteran like Smith, she’ll have to be very aggressive.

The event will kick-off with the wheelchair invitational beginning at 6:10am on Sunday, June 3, followed by the Marathon, ½ Marathon and Two-Person Half Marathon Relay at 6:15am. Further information about Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego is available online at: Competitor.com.

Tags: San Diego Rock N Roll

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