Linden, Keflezighi to pace Rock ‘n’ Roll half marathon

SAN DIEGO (AP) There will be some major star power pacing the half marathon portion of the Synchrony Rock `n’ Roll San Diego Marathon on Sunday.

Desiree Linden, the first American woman to win the Boston Marathon in 33 years, will pace the two-hour group while Meb Keflezighi, a former winner of the Boston and New York marathons, will pace the 90-minute group.

Linden, 34, is a two-time Olympian who attended Hilltop High in suburban Chula Vista. She won the Boston Marathon on April 16, holding on through icy rain and a strong headwind.

Keflezighi, 43, retired from competitive marathoning after finishing 11th in the New York City Marathon. He is the only runner to win an Olympic medal and the Boston and New York marathons.

He became a U.S. citizen in 1998, a decade after his family left war-torn Eritrea. He attended San Diego High and UCLA.

Heading the field for the women’s half marathon is Mesert Defar of Ethiopia, a two-time Olympic champion in the 5,000 meters. Leading the men’s field will be Feyisa Lilesa of Ethiopia, the marathon silver medalist at the 2016 Olympics.