Josh Cox crosses the finish line in a new American-record time of two hours, 43 minutes and 45 seconds. (Photo courtesy of Rock 'n' Roll Marathon)
Josh Cox, a 1998 Liberty graduate, enjoyed quite an eventful and successful Sunday morning. He became the first American male ever to win the P.F. Chang's Rock ‘n' Roll Arizona Marathon. Cox then continued on past the finish line to shatter his own American record in the 50K (slightly over 31 miles), clocking a time of 2:43:45. Cox fell just seven seconds shy of the 50K world record (2:43:38), which has been held by South Africa's Thompson Magawana since 1988. However, he lopped more than three and a half minutes off of his own American standard, a 2:47:17 effort achieved on the same course on Jan. 18, 2009. Cox, who lives and trains in Mammoth Lakes, Calif., finished Sunday's marathon in 2:17:32, defeating runner-up Solomon Kandie of Kenya by 1:08. He then headed to nearby Arizona State University, completing the remainder of his 50K at the Sun Angel Stadium track. Cox churned out a 71-second lap on his final revolution of the track, but could not quite chase down the world record time. Cox's marathon time on Sunday met the "A" qualifying standard for the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials marathon, to be held in Houston, Texas on Jan, 14, 2012. He has already competed in the U.S. Olympic Trials marathon three times in his career, with a top finish of seventh place in 2004. Now 35 years of age, Cox gained his first taste of ultra-marathon running while still a Liberty student. He set a course record of 6:57:10 in winning the 1997 Mountain Masochist 50-Mile Trail Run. Cox also enjoyed success in both track & field and cross country during his time as a Liberty Flame. He was a four-time Big South champion, capturing back-to-back conference cross country crowns in 1995 and 1996. Cox was also the Big South outdoor titlist at 1,500 meters in 1997 and took the indoor 5K conference championship the following year. Please see below for a postrace interview with Cox, conducted by Competitor.com.
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