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Results of the Inaugural Rock ‘n’ Roll Portland Half Marathon

It was an Oregon sweep Sunday as two in-state residents took home the titles at the first-ever Rock ‘n’ Roll Portland Half Marathon. Ryan Bak (of Bend) and American marathon star Kara Goucher (of Portland), each prevailed. Craig Blanchette (double-amputee participant in the wheelchair division and Olympian) was the first finisher of the race. Beneath a steady Portland mist, runners from 49 states and 16 countries kicked off Portland’s annual Rose Festival. The lead pack of 6 men (who all owned half-marathon personal bests within one minute) ran an opening mile of 4:57 through the downtown skyline, before crossing the Hawthorne Bridge into east Portland.

“This was my third weekend in a row racing and it was great to have a decent pack of guys who were all competitive. When the three of us were together until mile 12, I was thinking this is really going be a race,” said Bak. “There was a lot happening with little surges here and there, and it was a great feeling to win with the sprint at the end in front of the spectators in my home state. This was my first Rock ‘n’ Roll event and it was a lot of fun. Great to have it so close to home.” He finished in one hour, five minutes and 26 seconds.

With a competitive men’s race, Goucher arrived to the starting line as the most talented runner in the women’s field, using the local race as a fitness test for the upcoming Olympic Marathon in London (Sunday, August 5). She completed the 13.1-mile event uncontested, crossing the finish line with a time of 1 hour, 13 minutes and 5 seconds. “The race was a lot of fun, but I picked up a stomach bug on Friday afternoon and considered not running. However, I couldn’t pass up a chance to run in Portland,” said Goucher, whose time was a far cry from her half-marathon personal best of 1:06:57. “I moved out here seven years ago and Portland has really embraced me and my family. Our son was born here, we love it here and it feels really good to get out and run here in my local community.”

Jeff Curtis crosses the finish line

The first ever Rock ‘n’ Roll Portland Half Marathon is a signature event of the Portland Rose Festival. Participating in his first half-marathon, Rose Festival CEO Jeff Curtis completed the event in 2:08:17. With more than 11,000 finishers, the event becomes the largest inaugural half-marathon in the United States this year. (The second Rock ‘n’ Roll Portland Half Marathon, a signature Rose Festival event, is set for Sunday, May 19, 2013.)

RESULTS – 2012 Rock ‘n’ Roll Portland Half Marathon

Men’s Half Marathon

1. Ryan Bak, age: 30 (Bend, OR – time: 1:05:26)
2. Tibor Vegh, age: 28 (Flagstaff, AZ – time: 1:05:34)
3. Philemon Terer, age: 27 (Kenya – time: 1:06:05)
4. Sage Canaday, age: 26 (Sheridan, OR – time: 1:06:16)
5. Craig Leon, age: 27 (Eugene, OR – time: 1:07:49)

Women’s Half Marathon

1. Kara Goucher, age: 33 (Portland, OR – time: 1:13:05)
2. Sheila Croft, age: 37 (Redmond, WA – time: 1:16:51)
3. Hallie Jansen, age: 37 (Portland, OR – time: 1:19:11)
4. Eva Vail, age: 27 (Portland, OR – time: 1:21:34)
5. Renee Knapp, age: 31 (Eugene, OR – time: 1:22:20)