At 6 feet 3 inches Actor Will Ferrell stood out among 12,000 runners in costume at the start line of yesterday’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Los Angeles Halloween Half Marathon benefiting the ASPCA on Sunday morning, October 28. Sporting a “Ron Burgundy” mustache and a “Funny or Die” branded T-shirt, the 45-year-old move star finished the 13.1-mile race in 2 hours, 3 minutes and 50 seconds.
American Idol finalist Skylar Laine performed the National Anthem and a handful of celebrities and media personalities joined Ferrell to take part in the Halloween-themed festivities, including Actor Eric Nenninger finishing with a time of 2:25:15 and television personality Brandon Jenner completing the race in 3:02:17. Bachelor star Dr. Andy Baldwin ran a time of 1:35:30, while Actress Andrea Barber finished the half-marathon in 3:02:33, and also paced in the top-10 at the accompanying Halloween Costume contest at the finish line.
“I’ve run 17 marathons and 19 half-marathons, and today this was the most fun I’ve ever had doing a run,” said Scott “Movie” Mantz of Access Hollywood. “I dressed up as Captain Kirk, and to mix Star Trek and running, my two favorite things on Halloween, it was so much fun. I think every runner had a great time out there today.”
ESPN SportsCenter anchor Neil Everett and Olympic gold medal gymnast Shawn Johnson participated in the accompanying 3.5-mile “Mini” marathon in support of the ASPCA.
“The ASPCA is honored to be the benefiting charity for this event for the second year,” said Kymberlee Setterberg, national director of community fundraising for the ASPCA. “We look forward to once again offering animal advocates the opportunity to meet their fitness goals while also raising awareness and funds to support the ASPCA’s life-saving programs and services that help millions of animals nationwide.”
While a majority of the attention was on the party at the back of the pack, the front of the elite race featured several impressive performances. Blazing through the first mile unchallenged in a fast 4 minutes and 43 seconds, U.S. 25k record holder Fernando Cabada added to his lead with every stride on his way to winning the third annual event in 1:04:56. Cabada, who has gradually been ramping up his training after taking some time off following his seventh-place finish at the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials in January, was pleased with his effort. Masters ace Peter Magill of Pasadena, who was running his first half-marathon, finished 4th overall and set the U.S. single age group best for 51-year-olds with a time of 1:10:19.
In the women’s race, crowd favorite and American marathon and half-marathon record holder Deena Kastor led through the 9-mile mark before Mary Akor, who won last Sunday’s Des Moines Marathon in a course record 2:35:01, took the lead and went on to win with a time of 1:14:19. Sunday’s half marathon was the first race – road, track, or otherwise – for Kastor since a back injury forced her to miss the U.S. Olympic Trials in June.
Race weekend kicked off Saturday morning with ING KiDS ROCK Los Angeles, where 1,300 future marathoners participated in a one-mile fun run to emphasizing the importance of a healthy lifestyle. The school children were joined on the run by Los Angeles Lakers Legend AC Green; WNBA Hall of Famer Ruthie Bolton; Olympic Medalists Rod Dixon and Jim Ryun, along with Celebrity Chef Antonia Lofaso who delighted participated with a series of healthy cooking demonstrations.