San Diego running
Sunday’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon kicked off early Sunday. Photo credit: RWB Multimedia Inc., via @RunRocknRoll on Twitter

Several San Diego runners found themselves among the top finishers during the 23rd running of the Rock ‘n’ Roll marathon and half-marathon Sunday.

About 20,000 participants, ranging in age from 12 to 86, set out from the starting point in Balboa Park, organizers said.

Maj. Jason Brosseau of Colorado Springs, Colo., won the men’s marathon in 2:46:36. Yong Xu of San Diego followed in second with a time of 2:48:34, while Jeff Devlin of Seattle finished third in 2:49:07.

Sammi Groce of San Diego won the women’s marathon 2:56:44. Hannah Mcinturff of Salt Lake City finished second with a time of 3:03:40 and Rochelle Yang of San Diego followed in third with a time of 3:05:12.

“I ran here two years ago and placed third,” Groce said. “It’s a really tough marathon course, so I wanted to come back and get revenge on it. It was still hard today but I feel stronger than I was two years ago since I started lifting weights during the pandemic.”

In the half-marathon, Spencer Johnson of San Diego won on the men’s side with a time of 1:06:06. Dante Capone of San Diego placed second in 1:07:23, and Roosevelt Cook of Hesperia finished third in 1:07:31.

Sylvia Bedford of South Jordan, Utah, won the women’s half-marathon in 1:16:43. Kara Roper of Grand Junction, Colo., finished second with a time of 1:20:24, and Elizabeth Ben-Isha of Pasadena placed third with a time of 1:21:17.

More than 1,000 health care workers started among the front corral as a thank you to front-line workers during the pandemic.

The events traveled through Hillcrest, North Park and Normal Heights before the marathon broke off from the half-marathon near mile 8. The marathon route also ran through Mission Hills and Old Town before both distances finished at Waterfront Park.

Several local bands, including Bobby Tunes, Come Back Buddy, Miss Demeanor, Sonic Tonic, The Surf Birdz and Naruwan Taiko’s Japanese drums performed on stages along the route, where cheerleaders and crowds gathered.

– City News Service