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McDonald, Kulik Win 2013 Savannah

Savannah Marathon

SAVANNAH, Ga. – November 9, 2013 – The first time was the charm for both Eric McDonald and Alyssa Kulik on Saturday morning, as McDonald won the men’s race and Kulik took the women’s contest at the 3rd edition of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Savannah Marathon.

McDonald, of Groveland, Mass., completed the course in 2 hours, 29 minutes, 47 seconds to earn the victory. He took the lead for good at mile 17, passing second-place finisher Steven Ryan of Brooklyn, who finished in 2:41:12.

“I saw him slightly out of the corner of my eye when we came around the track at Savannah State and I knew it wasn’t going to be long before he got me. At least he didn’t sit on me for a while, he just passed me and was gone,” said Ryan, a Running Manager at Champion System who built a substantial lead over the first 15 miles. “The first half was great, the second half not so much, but that’s racing. The course was beautiful, you couldn’t ask for better weather with people out everywhere. It was an amazing event.”

Kulik, an All-American at Clemson University, finished in 2:53:09. She owns the fastest 3000-meter steeplechase time in Clemson history, and won the event at the 2011 Penn Relays.

“My goal was to qualify for Boston in 2015. I started out a little faster than I was planning on going and I felt good so I just went with it, but I hit the wall at 20 miles and was able to hold on,” said Kulik, who is currently attending grad school at the University of South Carolina. “It was my first time in Savannah and I heard great things about this race. I really liked the energy on the course, the crowds cheering and the energy really kept me going.”

Three-time all-American Lauren Blankenship of Smyrna, Ga., who ran track and cross country at Samford, took second in 2:56:26 and Erika Shaughnessy of Douglasville, Ga., was third in 3:01:20.

Craig Dye of Bluffton, SC, won the men’s half-marathon in 1:12:18 and Erin Fondren of Auburn, Alabama, captured the women’s race in 1:21:25.

“We were looking to go about 5:39 mile pace, but ended up running 5:35s. We knew that if we ran our pace we’d be in contention for that number 1 spot so we just ran our race and at 10 miles we decided to make our move,” said Dye, who was competing alongside one of his Palmetto Running Company teammates. “What makes this race so nice and special is just that there are so many people on the sides cheering you on the whole way, at the water stations with the bands you find yourself going a little quicker and not feeling the pain as much. It’s definitely one of my favorite races.”

The event attracted more than 18,500 entrants to the Georgia destination on a morning very cool, sunny and perfect running conditions. The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team In Training program raised more than $570,000 through the event. Race day festivities concluded with a finish line concert, headlined by Jackyl , who were welcomed on stage by SiriusXM radio host Luc Carl.

Carl, who recently authored a book titled “The Drunk Diet”, paced the 2:15 half-marathon group to finish with a time of 2:14:18. Hanging backstage before the concert, he summed up his experience, “we crushed it out there today.”

3rd Rock ‘n’ Roll Savannah

Savannah, GA, Saturday, November 9, 2013

Men’s Marathon

1) Eric McDonald, 23, Groveland, MA, 2:29:47
2) Steven Ryan, 33, Brooklyn, NY, 2:41:12
3) Marty McCormick, 33, Arlington, VA, 2:42:00

Women’s Marathon

1) Alyssa Kulik, 23, Columbia, SC, 2:53:09
2) Lauren Blankenship, 29, Smyrna, GA, 2:56:26
3) Erika Shaughnessy, 36, Douglasville, GA, 3:01:20

Men’s Half Marathon

1) Craig Dye, 30, Bluffton, SC, 1:12:18
2) Seth Tucker, 27, Bluffton, SC, 1:13:11
3) Daniel Smoak, 25, Greenville, SC, 1:14:22

Women’s Half Marathon

1) Erin Fondren, 21, Auburn, AL, 1:21:25
2) Lauren Osborne, 23, Chapel Hill, NC, 1:22:43
3) Jesse Ward, 25, Boise, ID, 1:25:23

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