Endurance: Rock 'n' Roll Marathon

Meb KeflezighiAP Photo/Charles KrupaMeb Keflezighi is following his Boston Marathon win with a new job off the roads.
Editor’s Note: Competitor Group is a content provider for ESPN’s Endurance section

Running promotion company Competitor Group Inc. is set to name 2014 Boston Marathon champion Meb Keflezighi its first vice president of running.

The role is a part-time commitment that will allow training for elite races to remain the top priority for Keflezighi, who Competitor CEO David Abeles calls "one of our sport's great ambassadors".

In April, the 39-year-old San Diego resident became the first American man since 1983 to win the Boston Marathon. Keflezighi led for much of the race as the city celebrated its healing from the terrorist bombings near the finish line that marred the 2013 race.

Competitor Group owns and operates the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon series, a 28-race roster that along with the group's TriRock Triathlons and Women's Running Series draws more than 700,000 athletes annually. Most participants are recreational runners, but appearance fees are paid to encourage professionals to take part.

Keflezighi turned down an offer to join CGI in 2000 in order to focus on his training, and in his new role will make event appearances on behalf of the company, run in some CGI events and help create training content for runners.

"My dream has been realized," Keflezighi told USA TODAY Sports. "Boston was the capping. Now I want to inspire others to get the best out of themselves, inspire others just getting started. It's a huge honor."

Keflezighi is looking toward the New York City Marathon -- where in 2009 he became the first American winner in 27 years -- this fall, and has made qualifying for the 2014 Olympics in Rio de Janiero one of his main goals moving forward.

“Running is still a priority, but you can do much with social media, with interviews, with appearances,” Keflezighi told Sports Business Journal.

The next Rock 'n' Roll Marathon is scheduled for Aug. 4 in Dublin, Ireland, with the series returning to the United States on Aug. 31 in Virginia Beach.
Bernard KoechJacques Demarthon/Getty ImagesBernard Koech ran the fastest ever time in America although the mark won't count as a new record.
SAN DIEGO -- Bernard Koech of Kenya won the Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon in 58 minutes, 41 seconds, the fastest time ever run in America and the fastest in the world this year.

Koech's mark will not count as a record because the net elevation drop from start to finish on the point-to-point course exceeded IAAF rules.

Still, it was the first time the half marathon overshadowed the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon.

"I was expecting it to be a fast race," said Koech, who also won the EDP Half Marathon in 59:54 in March and leads the Half-Marathon Grand Prix Series. "I am in great shape. After 10K I realized I was going to run a fast time."

Koech's time ranks fourth-fastest ever.

Running a 4:25 opening mile, the 25-year-old Kenyan broke away from countrymen Augustine Kipchoge and Stephen Kibet just after the 5-mile mark on an overcast day.

Kipchoge was second in 1:00:18 and Kibet third in 61:43. The trio, which broke from the rest of the elite field just after the 2-mile mark (8:58), hit 5 miles in 22:27 before Koech shook things up with a 4:23 sixth mile, which brought him through 10K unchallenged in 27:50. He continued to stretch out his lead from there, running 44:48 through 10 miles and covering the final 5K in 13:53.

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