SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 2, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Over 5,000 running enthusiasts from 24 countries participated in the sold out 13th annual US Half Marathon through San Francisco on Sunday. Thousands of crew, volunteers and spectators supported the racers along the 13.1 mile route.
"The US Half Marathon is a one-of-a-kind event which offers participants a unique opportunity to race through some of San Francisco's most iconic areas," said Ryan Dawkins, Race Director of the US Half Marathon.
"We are honored and excited by how much this event has grown over the last thirteen years. Saturday's expo was the largest since our inception in 2002. The turnout for today's race was incredible and we would like to congratulate all of the finishers," Dawkins added.
The 13.1 mile route started and finished at the Aquatic Park Waterfront and passed through many of the city's most iconic areas including the Marina, Crissy Field, Fort Mason, the Presidio, Muni Pier and a signature crossing the Golden Gate Bridge.
The top male finisher was Greg Rolfes, 27, of San Francisco, CA, with an official race time of 1:17:24. "Winning for the second year in a row is something I am incredibly proud of," said Rolfes.
"I was able to keep a 5:50 pace throughout the race. I tried not to worry about anyone else and just enjoy the view," Rolfes added.
The top female finisher was Verity Breen, 47, of San Rafael, CA, with an official race time of 1:30:05. "Winning is always good and a privilege," said Breen.
"This is probably one of the most beautiful races of the calendar year and getting to run across the Golden Gate Bridge is an amazing experience. I come back every year," Breen added.
At the finish line, race participants received cutting-edge finisher medals. Racers also received a reusable water bottle and official finisher's shirt.
Former cardiac surgeon and television host Bassem Youssef, 40, of Cairo, Egypt, completed his second half marathon and found the course scenic but challenging.
"I was thinking maybe I'll finish in three hours, but I ended up finishing in 1:43, so that is good," said Youssef.
This year, participants were able to raise funds for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital by joining the St. Jude's Heroes team. The money raised will be put to immediate use funding research and programs for children battling life-threatening diseases and cancers.
"We are so grateful to partner with the US Half every year because they are instrumental in helping with St. Jude awareness in the Bay Area," said Minerva Suarez, Regional Development Director for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.
"Thanks to the US Half and our St. Jude Heroes that run for a reason, we are able to keep providing treatment at no cost to our families. We believe that all a parent should worry about is their child getting better. We can't thank all of our Heroes and the US Half enough for allowing us to be a part of this," Suarez added.
Fundraiser Pegeen Brosnan joined the St. Jude's Heroes team because St. Jude Children's Research Hospital has a special place in her heart.
"I am inspired to be a St Jude's Hero because of the significant progress St Jude Children's Research Hospital has made in survival rates for many childhood cancers," said Brosnan. "My best friend from high school died from leukemia which today more than 90% of children would survive. My donors know that St Jude treats the families with respect and provides essential support during treatment, and effectively uses donations."
The 14th annual race will be held on November 8, 2015 next year. To register or request information about The US Half Marathon, visit www.runsf.com.
ABOUT PROJECT SPORT, LLC: Project Sport, LLC ("Project Sport"), is a subsidiary of RaceForce, LLC, and a leading sports management and event production company focused on the running and cycling community. Based in Oakland, CA, Project Sport events combine athletic challenge, destination travel locations and marquee entertainment to produce unique events with a world-class experience. For more information regarding Project Sport, LLC, visit www.projectsport.com.
ABOUT RACEFORCE, LLC: RaceForce, LLC ("RaceForce") is a subsidiary of OmniForce, LLC, and a leading endurance and athletic event production company based in Los Angeles, CA. Using an extensive network and wealth of core competencies including: Strategic Marketing; Sponsorship Acquisition and Production Support, RaceForce partners with existing events to offer support where helpful while maintaining the event's grassroots identity. RaceForce events are legendary and cherished by their respective community. RaceForce events include: The Surf City USA Marathon and the Surf City 10 Mile, 10K, 5K & Kids Run in Huntington Beach, CA; The US Half Marathon, Echelon Ride to Revel Cycling Series, San Francisco Turkey Trot, The Livermore Half Marathon & The Town's Half Marathon in Oakland. For more information regarding RaceForce, LLC, visit www.raceforce.com.
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