USATF Colorado Half-Marathon Championships

Once again, USATF Colorado put on an outstanding event as part of the Heart & Sole Half-Marathon around the Boulder Reservoir.  The race had a very talented elite field vying for prize money of $1500, $1000, 500…

Open Men (Taken from ColoradoRunnerMag.com) Note that some of the guys have run significantly faster than stated here – Rizzo and Kenyon have run faster 10ks.

Jeremy Freed (24, Broomfield) –  Competed for Colorado State University, graduating in 2010.  He is now sponsored by Newton Running and a member of Team Alchemy.  He won the 2011 BolderBoulder 10K citizen’s race in 30:28, one second faster than American half marathon record holder Ryan Hall ran in the professional race.  Freed was also runner-up at the Teva Mountain Games 10K and at the Pearl Street Mile.

Matt Levassiur (30, Alamosa) – 10th at the 2011 Classic 10K in 31:22, 2nd at the 2011 Four on the Fourth 10K, winner of the 2011 Superior Downhill Mile, 3rd at the 2011 Vail Pass Half Marathon.  Levassiur has competed at the national level around the country since graduating as a several time All-American from Adams State College.  He is now sponsored by Boulder Running Company / adidas.

Augustus Maiyo (28, Colorado Springs) – Competed for University of Alabama, he was a 2007 All-American in Cross Country. He became a U.S. citizen in 2010. Maiyo is currently training as part of the World Class Athlete Program and eyeing the 3000M steeplechase in the 2012 Olympics.

Tyler McCandless (24, Boulder) – Penn State alum currently sponsored by Mizuno. Tyler finished 11th at the Grandma’s Marathon in 2:17 and sixth at the 2010 Cal International Marathon in 2:17. He has competed on the roads around the US for the past year, racing a number of US Championship events. He is currently co-owner and coach of Hudson Training Systems, LLC and also coaches locally at the high school level.

Kenyon Neuman (24, Boulder) – Competed for the University of Colorado, graduating in 2010. At CU, he helped the Buffs to win their first Big 12 track championship, earned multiple All-American and Big 12 awards, and ran as fast as 13:41 for 5000M and 29:25 for 10000M.  He recently won the Pearl Street Mile in 4:15.  He is now sponsored by Newton Running and a member of Team Alchemy while training for an Olympic trials marathon qualifying attempt.

Pat Rizzo (28, Boulder) – Winner of the USATF Colorado 10K state championship in 29:59.  Rizzo has run as fast as 2:15 for the marathon, 1:05 for the half marathon, and 29:51 for 10K.  A graduate of North Central College in Illinois, he is now sponsored by Mizuno.

The goal of the race was to be patient and start slow before negative splitting the second half.  This was exactly how the race played out too.  It felt very easy the first 6 miles cruising along the rolling uphill first half.  After the turn back towards the Reservoir, the pace picked up rapidly, going from a 526 to a 4:38 mile 7-8.  This dropped the field down to Augustus, Jeremy, Kenyon, and myself.

Somewhere around mile 9.

Rizzo waited patiently until the 10th mile, catching up and putting in a great move to break the field.  I rallied back and out-kicked Augustus in a fast last 2 minutes of the race.  I was very excited to finished 2nd in 1:08:30, 12 seconds behind Mizuno Teammate and current training partner Patrick Rizzo.  The course is mostly on gravel/dirt roads and the previous course record was 1:10 and change. The $1,000 payday ties my highest ever as well.  I felt strong nearly the entire race, except during Rizzo’s move during the 10th mile.  The last 10k was in approximately 31:10 and I went from about 35:05 first 6.5 to a 33:25 last 6.6 miles.  After a 23 mile long run last Sunday on Magnolia Road (8300-9000ft) where I only took nearly 0 calorie GU Electrolyte tablets in water to cap off a 121 mile week, this race was a fantastic result.  I also had another great workout on Wednesday of this week with Rizzo…running 2×200 (33s), mile(4:43), 3 mile tempo (15:26), mile(4:38), 2×200(33s) with 4 minutes recovery before/after the tempo…all on a bike path marked 3k loop.  With the exception of the workout and race, all of the miles (98ish) this week were in full sweats too!

Photo with our Happy Gilmore checks! Thanks Bret Stevens for taking this sweet photo!

Thanks to everyone for the support and encouragement for this race and the folks of USATF Colorado and the Boulder Running Company for putting on a great event!  Also, thanks to RunColo.Com for covering the race.  Hope everyone had a good weekend and a shout-out to two athletes I coach Neal Palles and Seth Hasty for significant half-marathon and 5k PRs this weekend!

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