Will Team Tactics Lead to an American Runner Winning Grandma’s Marathon?
Grandma’s Marathon is Saturday, June 21st. Below is a guest post from Sam Rush who attended the press conference for us, and had a chance to hear the elites discuss the race. He will be live tweeting the race, so follow us here.
Will team tactics lead to another American runner winning another top US marathon?
At the pre-race press conference for the men’s marathon, Dominic Ondoro (wearing No. 1), a 2:08 Kenyan runner stated he will be working with his fellow Kenyan runners to earn the win tomorrow. If you flashback to the Boston Marathon this year the story behind Meb Keflizghi winning the race was how the other American runners worked as a team to make the Kenyan runners and Ethiopian runners in the field work on their own to catch Meb.
One of those American runners was Nick Arciniaga, who finished second American and 7th overall. Nick (No. 2) will be running tomorrow along with fellow Flagstaff runner and sometimes training partner Jordan Chipangama (No. 7), and Twin Cities Track Club Member, Joe Moore (No. 20).
If the race starts tactically, meaning a slow pace, this scenario may play out. Jordan usually takes a bit to get going and Joe’s personal record (PR) in the half was set this year in Houston in similar conditions to what is expected tomorrow.
Follow us live on twitter to see if team tactics are played with Nick Arciniaga achieving the Minnesota Marathon sweep as he won Twin Cities Marathon and USA Marathon Championship last fall.
Coming back this year is last year’s winner and course record holder Sarah Kiptoo (wearning No. F1). When asked if she plans on breaking the record she stated,
I will try, but it will not be my main goal.
Asked about her fitness she stated she was not in the same shape. However, with returning runners Doreen Kitaka (2nd in 2013, wearing No. F2) and Pasca Myers (5th in 2013, wearing No. F5) she may have some incentive to get out front again and push the pace.
Besides following Sarah keep an eye out for 17-year old professional runner Alana Hadley. In Indianapolis last year she ran a 2:41:55 and is the 2nd youngest ever to qualify for the US Olympic Marathon Trials. Currently she is balancing high school, looking at colleges and running 105-115 miles weeks in her attempt to break 2:40.
Another runner with a full schedule is Gisela Olalde (F11) who balances her training with working a full time job and raising several energetic children as she looks to extend her 3-race wining streak. Those with a Minnesota connection, Jenna Boren DeNucci (F8), a former-local chiropractor looks to lower her personal record she set here last year and marathon debutant Emma Lee (F30), course record holder for the Fargo Half Marathon set this year.
Follow us live on twitter to see if Sarah breaks the record again, Alana breaks 2:40, Gisela continues here 3-race win streak, Jenna PRs again and Emma builds off her course record from the Fargo Half Marathon in her marathon debut.