The Couple That Runs Together Wins Marathons: Champions Return to Half Moon Bay to Defend Their Title

21d711fce1184dbe96693a05ad7a5f30The couple set Half Moon Bay International Marathon course records last year and hope to do it again on Sept. 29.

The Half Moon Bay International Marathon (HMBIM) announced Monday that the 2012 men’s and women’s champions will be returning to defend their title at the 2013 event.

The 2012 overall winner, Kimberly O’Donnell will join the men’s winner, Ryan Neely, at the starting line of the event to be held Sept. 29, 2013. Both athletes also set new HMBIM course records in 2012.

“I look forward to running in this year’s Half Moon Bay International Marathon and defending my title. The course has spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean, the marathon is very well organized and the staff and volunteers are very helpful and friendly,” said O’Donnell, a 23-year-old PhD student at University of California, Santa Cruz.

Odo pf changs croppedO’Donnell has an impressive running history and so far in 2013 has placed 1st at the OC Marathon, Newport Beach, 1st (course record) at First Wave Half Marathon in Santa Cruz, 1st (course record) Rodeo Valley Trail Run, Sausalito and 3rd place in the Arizona Rock n’ Roll Marathon.

Ryan Neely, Kimberly’s boyfriend, will also be defending the men’s title and course record. Neely, 23, ran track and cross country at Harvard and is currently enrolled in the Neuroscience Graduate Program at UC Berkeley. Ryan recently took 1st place at the Rock n’ Roll Arizona Marathon with a winning time of 2:31; it was the second marathon he had ever participated in.

“We are thrilled and excited to welcome Kimberly and Ryan back to defend their titles. Having the past year’s champions return lends another level of excitement to what we believe will be an amazing Event,” said Eric Vaughan, HMBIM’s Executive Director.

Featuring “26.2 Miles of Running Heaven,” the Half Moon Bay International Marathon was founded in 2011 to showcase the unique beauty of the California coast along with some of the best weather a marathon athlete could ever hope for. HMBIM Partner GoPro will once again provide a $500 cash prize to both the men’s and women’s champions for the 2013 full marathon event.

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Rachel C. , PhD
Research Scientist Consultant @ U-VIB
PhD, Doctor of Philosophy in Counseling
NREMT-P (National Registry of Paramedics)
– 911 Medic for over 15 years
– Scientist for over 7 years
– Runner for LIFE

source: HalfMoonBay by Christa Bigue

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