BELLEVUE, Wash. (September 4, 2022) – The Rock ‘n’ Roll Running Series made its return to the Pacific Northwest for the first time since 2019 as the St. Jude Rock ‘n’ Roll® Running Series Washington took to the streets of Bellevue this weekend. Known for Bringing the Fun to the Run®, the St. Jude Rock ‘n’ Roll Running Series Washington event weekend saw over 9,000 registered runners and featured 5K and KiDS ROCK races on Saturday, along with a half marathon on Sunday. The Rock ‘n’ Roll Running Series, a best-in-class running series, provided participants a unique running tour of Bellevue, Wash. and the surrounding areas.
The half marathon race saw Roosevelt Cook, 42, of Hesperia, Calif. pull out the win in the men’s competition with a time of 1:10:00, while the women’s title went to Becca Kawaoka, 31, of Auburn, Wash. with a time of 1:19:24.
A middle school physical education teacher, Cook was happy to finally claim victory at a Rock ‘n’ Roll Running Series race in the Pacific Northwest.
“I loved being up here in Bellevue, it was a beautiful morning and the course was very nice,” said Cook. “Rock ‘n’ Roll always puts on a nice event with the bands out there, I like cheering along for the bands as they push us forward. I’m very happy to finally win one up in Washington after coming in second and third a lot. I just knew I had to win one in Washington.”
A full-time triathlete, Kawaoka saw an opportunity to get in a race in her home state that she knew would push her to compete as she continues her preparation for the 2022 Intermountain Healthcare IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship presented by Utah Sports Commission in October.
“It was a challenging course, but I enjoy that,” said Kawaoka. “It wasn’t about setting a personal best time, it was about having a personal best experience. For me, this will definitely go down in the memory books.”
In the men’s half marathon, Matthew Fox, 35, of Southport, Queensland, Australia currently living in Colorado, followed in second with a time of 1:10:05 while Robby Webster, 32, of Tacoma, Wash. came in close behind and rounded out the podium in third with a time of 1:10:57.
Finishing just five seconds behind Cook, Fox enjoyed the experience as they battled for the lead throughout the course.
“It was good fun, we were playing a little game of cat and mouse with who was in front,” said Fox. “We had a bit of a chat and kept encouraging each other. The course was nice and very scenic and the crowd was much more than I was expecting.”
A Washington native, Webster was happy to see the local running community get an opportunity to showcase what makes the area such a destination for runners.
“I have a little bit of bias since I’m from here, but I thought it was a fantastic course,” said Webster. “It was fun and interesting the whole time. I was thinking to myself this morning how lucky I am to have a race like this in my backyard and it was an amazing atmosphere.”
In the women’s half marathon, Ava Sorell, 32, of Los Angeles, Calif. crossed the finish line in second with a time of 1:21:44 and Kira Belzer, 31, of Puyallup, Wash. completed the top three with a time of 1:22:01.
Taking on the hills throughout the course, Sorell found solace in the downhill sections along the way to her second-place finish.
“It was very hilly, but I looked at the course profile beforehand,” said Sorell. “My favorite part of the course was about eight of us all balled up before the downhill and we were all chatting and just having fun. It was a great feeling of community.”
The race had extra meaning for Belzer as she was supported by friends and family, including her 15-month old daughter.
“There was a ton of people out there supporting and they made it a lot of fun,” said Belzer. “It was almost a four minute PR for me. My daughter is 15 months and she was able to be out on the course to see me between mile 7 and 8.”
It was a landmark race for Leah Reid, 44, of Vancouver, British Columbia as she took part in her 100th Rock ‘n’ Roll Running Series race.
“I thought it was a beautiful course,” said Reid. “I’ve been to Seattle a lot, but never to Bellevue. Beautiful tree-lined streets and perfect weather, you couldn’t ask for anything more.”
St. Jude Rock ‘n’ Roll Running Series Washington returned with a gorgeous urban tour of the city of Bellevue with live music and entertainment along the route showcasing the Most Physically Active Small City in the United States. Starting and ending at Bellevue Downtown Park, participants ran through Crossroads and Lake Hills before returning to downtown Bellevue and being greeted by cheering family, friends, and spectators. Several local bands, including the Nick Mardon Trio, Navy Band Northwest, Flashback Nation, and many more performed live on band stages along the route before Nevermind took the stage in front of a packed Bellevue Downtown Park as the Encore Entertainment presented by Amazon Music.
Amongst the thousands participating on Saturday and Sunday in Bellevue, select participants ran Rock ‘n’ Roll Washington as St. Jude Heroes® for the mission of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital: Finding cures. Saving children.®
Upcoming Rock ‘n’ Roll Running Series Events:
Rock ‘n’ Roll Running Series is scheduled to continue October 1 & 2 with the Publix Rock ‘n’ Roll Running Series Clearwater in Clearwater, Florida before heading to San Jose, California for the United Airlines Rock ‘n’ Roll Running Series San Jose on October 8 & 9. To see the full schedule of Rock ‘n’ Roll Running Series events, visit www.runrocknroll.com/all-events.