Champions Return for 36th America’s Finest City Half Marathon Elite Field

Patrice Malloy
August 13, 2013

More than 8,000 runners will take to the streets of San Diego in sold-out races


SAN DIEGO - The 36th America's Finest City Half Marathon (AFC Half) will feature three returning champions, including the women’s course record holder and a sold-out field of more than 8,000 elite, recreational and inspirational runners hailing from 46 states and 14 countries, announced Neil Finn Sports Management, Inc., the event organizer. The AFC Half and the accompanying AFC 5K are for set for Sunday, August 18.

Defending champion Tesfaye Alemayehu of Ethiopia will toe the start line with Kenyans Ernest Kebenei, Benard Langat and Nelson Oyugi.  Alemayehu won the AFC Half in 2012, finishing in 1 hour, 3 minutes and 43 seconds and was runner-up in 2011 (1:03:18). Alemayehu will no doubt be given a run for his money by fellow Africans, including Kebenei who won the AFC Half in 2009 (1:04:01) and Langat who took runner-up honors in 2010 (1:04:56). The race wild card could prove to be Oyugi, a relatively unknown who made a splash by winning last month’s six Wharf to Wharf, winning the six-mile race in a time of 27:12. It was the 21-year-old’s first race on American soil. Tonny Okello of Uganda rounds out the field’s African contingent.

 American men in the field include Sergio Reyes, Scott Bauhs and Jameson Mora of California, Fernando Cabada and Tyler McCandless of Colorado and Craig Curley of Arizona.

In the women's race two-time AFC Half champion Belainesh Gebre of Ethiopia will be looking for her third AFC victory, having won in 2009 (1:10:44) and 2010 (1:10:27), where she set the current course record.

Kenya’s Sarah Kiptoo and Stephanie Rothstein Bruce of Arizona will also also be contenders for a podium spot. Kiptoo was victorious at both the 2013 OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon (1:12:26) and last month's Grandma's Marathon, setting a new course record (2:26:32). Rothstein Bruce ran a 1:10:53 half-marathon personal best at the 2013 New York City Half Marathon and finished fourth at the 2013 USA Half Marathon Championships (1:11:38).

Other notable entrants also include San Diego residents Gordy Adsit, 59, Jerry Albert, 76, and David Parker, 63, who have run all 35 previous AFC Half editions. Additionally, 48 U.S. Army active duty men and women will be participating in a “shadow run” by running the AFC Half at the Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan, also on Sunday.

Competitors in the half-marathon will vie for $13,700 in prize money and bonuses. The AFC Half course records are 1:02:24 for the men (Peter Githuka of Kenya, 2000) and 1:10:27 for the women (Belainesh Gebre of Ethiopia, 2010).

 The AFC Half point-to-point course starts at the Cabrillo National Monument, runs along the San Diego Bay and through downtown before finishing in historic Balboa Park. The accompanying AFC 5K starts and finishes in Balboa Park.

Produced by Neil Finn Sports Management, Inc., the 2013 America's Finest City Half Marathon will benefit the Cabrillo National Monument Foundation, Cancer Patients Alliance and other local charities. During its 35-year history the AFC Half has raised more than $3.4 million for non-profit organizations.

 For more information, please visit or call (760) 692-2900.


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