Ryan Hall, who ran 2:04:58 to finish fourth at the Boston Marathon in April, will run the Dodge Rock 'n' Roll Virginia Beach Half Marathon on September 4 in preparation for the Bank of America Chicago Marathon on October 9. Photo: PhotoRun.net

The U.S. half-marathon record holder hoping to be first American to win 11th edition of the event.

Virginia Beach, VA – It’s the original half marathon of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series, featuring three days of music on the beach, 13.1 miles of entertainment and a spectacular oceanfront finish line festival. And after nine straight years of Kenyan domination, an American will toe the start line as the favorite to become the event’s first U.S. champion.

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Ryan Hall, the American record holder in the half marathon, has confirmed that he will be racing in the eleventh edition of the Dodge Rock ‘n’ Roll Virginia Beach Half Marathon on Sunday, September 4, while the soundtrack of the weekend will be provided by a star-studded Verizon Wireless American Music Festival lineup featuring the Stone Temple Pilots, ZZ Top and Bret Michaels headlining the Labor Day Weekend extravaganza.

“I’m looking forward to my first Rock ‘n’ Roll event of the year in Virginia Beach,” said Hall, America’s fastest distance runner, who has spent the past month training in Europe.  “It will be nice to head back to the U.S. and run on home soil after the summer season as I continue to prepare for the Olympic Marathon Trials. I’m sure there will be some great competition and I’m looking forward to a good solid race on Labor Day Weekend.”

It was also revealed on Wednesday that Hall will compete in the Bank of America Chicago Marathon on October 9–just 14 weeks before the U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon in Houston on January 14, 2012.

“I wouldn’t run if it would compromise my ability to make the Olympic team,” Hall told the Chicago Tribune. “All my decisions are based on my long-term goals.”

Entering its 11th year, the Dodge Rock ‘n’ Roll Virginia Beach Half Marathon is Virginia’s premier running event, attracting between 15,000 and 20,000 participants to the city on Labor Day weekend. Each half-marathon participant receives free entry into the three-day American Music Festival by presenting their race number.

The entertainment kicks off on Friday night, September 2 with headliner Stone Temple Pilots on the 5th Street Beach Stage, followed by a matinee performance with ZZ Top on Saturday. Runners will celebrate their half-marathon finish on Sunday night to the party anthems of legendary rock star Bret Michaels.

““With the Stone Temple Pilots performing on Friday night and Ryan Hall racing on Sunday, 2011 is shaping up to be our best event yet,” said Megan Bitsoff, Event Manager. “We are proud to be part of the Hampton Roads community with a world class road race that ignited the half-marathon boom over the past decade.”

Throughout its history, the Virginia Beach event has produced some great champions including Paul Tergat and Martin Lel. If Hall was to follow in their footsteps he would have to break the stranglehold of African domination at the race; nine of the ten races to date have seen the champion hail from Kenya aside from year one, which was won by Shadrack Hoff of South Africa.