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Rock n Roll Arizona makes course error, elites run 286m short

A course error led to the race running a little short

As the result of an error on course that had runners turning around too early, some elites and front-of-the-pack runners finished 286.5m short of the half-marathon distance at Sunday’s Rock n’ Roll Arizona Marathon and Half in Phoenix. Instead of heading a little further west on McDowell road, the course ran 286.5m short, according to the AZ Central.

Race director Paul Huddle told the publication, “It’s a very frustrating mistake. We completely own it.” While the winning times won’t count as course records, the error was noticed about 90 minutes into the race and corrected for the remaining runners. The marathon wasn’t affected by the mistake and no one was affected who was attempting to qualify for the upcoming US Olympic Trials (Sunday was the final day to qualify).


The women’s winner, Kellyn Taylor and Steph Bruce have already qualified for the trials and were using this race as a tune-up effort ahead of the February event. The women crossed the line together in 1:09:13 (roughly 1:09:58 as an adjusted time). Daniel Kemoi of Kenya won the men’s race in 1:00:25.

RELATED: Malindi Elmore shatters Canadian marathon record in 2:24:50

Both the men’s and women’s winning times would have been course records, but for the mistake. The records of 1:09:43 run by Deena Kastor and 1:01.12, run in 2019 by Daniel Mesfun, still stand.

Half-marathon results (note: the course was short for some of the half marathoners, including the elite runners)

Stephanie Bruce – 1:09:13
Kellyn Taylor – 1:09:13
Bridget Belyeu – 1:12:25
Sylvia Bedford – 1:12:32
Eden Meyer – 1:12:38

Daniel Kemoi – 1:00:24
Panuel Mkungo – 1:01:01
Brian Shrader – 1:01:07
Daniel Mesfun – 1:01:45
Matt Mcdonald – 1:01:45