Kenyan, Russian win Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon


Runners from Kenya and Russia won the men’s and women’s divisions respectively in Sunday’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon in San Diego.

Richard Limo of Kenya was the men’s winner in 2:09:56, averaging under 5 minutes per mile at all seven split times in the race. Limo is the world champion at 5,000 meters.

Countryman William Chebor was second at 2:10:13, and American Nicholas Arciniaga was third at 2:11:47. The Flagstaff, Ariz., resident is the first American to finish among the top 10 runners since El Cajon’s Josh Cox did it in 1999.

In the women’s division, Yulia Gromova won for the third year in a row in a time of 2:27:38, which was one second behind her 2009 mark. Shuru Diriba was second in 2:29:09 and Sekalem Abrah third in 2:32:06. Both are from Ethiopia.

Limo and Gromova each won a $25,000 prize, part of a total purse of more than $155,000.

About 30,000 runners participated in the 26.2-mile race.

Dozens of live bands and cheerleading squads lined the route through downtown, Balboa Park and Mission Valley to the finish at SeaWorld San Diego.

For the first time, organizers incorporated a half-marathon into the race.

Oceanside’s Sergio Gonzales edged out Kevin Poole of Folsom by a nose on the men’s side, but both runners were credited with a time of 1:07:17.

Jacquelyne Gallegos of New Mexico won the women’s half-marathon in 1:21.

San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders fired a gun to signal the start of the race at Sixth Avenue and Palm Street adjacent to Balboa Park.

Celebrities taking part in the race included Kat Von F from television’s “L.A. Ink,” Tamra Barney and Lynne Curtin from “Real Housewives of Orange County,” Atom Willard from the band Angels & Airwaves, Melissa and Lance Morgan from “Biggest Loser” and running back Roger Craig, who won three Super Bowls while playing for the San Francisco 49ers.

The finish at SeaWorld San Diego was a first in the event’s 13 years. A post-race party and concert by Big Bad Voodoo Daddy was to take place at the theme park.

Maurice Luque of the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department said 37 people were taken to hospitals with a variety of mild ailments, and 31 more runners were treated along the course for minor injuries.

No illnesses or injuries were serious, according to Luque.

Proceeds from the race will benefit The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.