The second annual Rock ‘n’ Roll Portland Half Marathon came down to the wire, as Englishman Craig Hopkins and Aissa Dghoughi of Morocco were neck and neck through the final mile. Hopkins, 24, a University of Portland graduate, was able to pull ahead for the win in 1 hour, 7 minutes and 35 seconds with Dghoughi finishing two seconds back.
“Around the 10-mile mark, I thought I had a chance because I put on a bit of a breakaway and only he followed,” said Hopkins, who led a group of three runners through 15K in 48:29. “As we hit the final mile on the steel bridge I could hear him breathing heavily, but it was only the last few meters when I knew I could outkick him.”
Hopkins, who won Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas last year and works full time as an engineer, said seeing his girlfriend cheering at the finish helped him outkick Dgoughi in the final moments.
“It was pretty crazy, it felt good to win,” he said. “The course was great, except for the on one gradual hill and that last mile, the bridge was kind of tough. This is a training run for a marathon in the fall, and my legs feel great.”
The first woman across the finish line was Christina Overbeck Crawford of Portland, who was running with her company, which produces prosthetics. The 27-year-old participated in last year’s Olympic Marathon Trials and claimed her first ever half-marathon win in 1:19:48. Running with a group of men for the first few miles, she found herself in the lead by mile 5.
“At that point the guys were going a little too fast for me so I ran it by myself. But there were ladies behind me that were pushing me to keep going,” she said. “It was really exciting to win a race and there were so many people along the course and a lot of different scenery so that was nice.”
Elena Linn, 27, of Vestavia, Alabama came in second in 1:20:38, with Eva Vail of Portland finishing in third in 1:21:34.
The City of Roses rolled out the welcome mat for 10,000 entrants visiting from 10 countries and 48 states with cool, cloudy conditions and no rain. The race started and finished in downtown Portland, with scenic Waterfront Park as a backdrop and Andy Grammer on hand as the headliner for the post-race concert.
The half-marathon kicks off the annual Portland Rose Festival. The organization’s CEO, Jeff Curtis, took part in the race, finishing in 2 hours, 43 seconds.
“What a great event to kick off the 2013 Rose Festival! As a participant in the Rock ‘n’ Roll Portland Half Marathon, it was a thrill for me to see the city turn out for the first weekend of Portland’s Party,” Curtis said.
The third annual Rock ‘n’ Roll Portland Half Marathon is set to take place on Sunday, May 18, 2014.
Name, Age, Hometown, Time
Men’s Half Marathon
- Craig Hopkins, 24, Portland, OR, 1:07:35
- Aissa Dgoughi, 31, Beaverton, OR, 1:07:37
- Aiden Irish, 22, Duvall, WA, 1:08:00
- Paul Rottich, 27, Beaverton, WA, 1:09:55
- Pat Werhane, 28, Portland, OR, 1:10:01
Women’s Half Marathon
- Christina Overbeck Crawford, 27, Portland, OR, 1:19:48
- Elena Linn, 27, Vestavia, AL, 1:20:38
- Eva Vail, 28, Portland, OR, 1:21:34
- Kimberly Cloud, 37, Turlock, CA, 1:23:52
- Carly Rees, 39, Renton, WA, 1:24:18