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Twin Cities Marathon (USATF Ch)


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  • Twin Cities Marathon (USATF Ch)

    I am aware that by pretty much all measures this is not a significant race (no fast times, and top-tier USA marathoners usually not there), but I have always found it interesting, because (a) it is a championship, & I like that sort of racing; (b) the nature of the course, with meaningful climbing in the last third of the race, makes it a tactical and physical challenge, beyond the usual; and (c) I get to watch some journeymen/women and perhaps up-and-coming athletes compete. Today's race was (at least for this viewer) another interesting championship. Linked on front page, but top finishers here:

    1. Tyler Pennel 2:13:33 debut
    2. Jared Ward 2:14:01 PB (1 previous marathon - 2:16:18, Chicago 2013)
    3. Scott Smith 2:14:41 PB ( ditto -- 2:16:04, California Int'l 2013)
    4. Nathan Martin 2:15:46 ( ditto -- 2:19:18 NAIA Championships 2013)

    Tyler Pennel was a D2 10k champion in 2012, & 3 times 5k runner up. Never raced longer than 15k prior to this year. I was really impressed with the way he took control of the race from about 20 miles on, through the most challenging sections.

    Nathan Martin is a rather interesting story -- see this:
    He ran NAIA at Spring Arbor (MI). At the NAIA Ch in 2013 he won the 10k (29:57) on Thursday evening May 23rd, then came back on Saturday morning May 25th to win the marathon in 2:19:18, setting a new NAIA record, and winning that race by 8+ minutes. He spent most of this race in the back of the lead pack, and moved up at the end to get a 3 1/2 minute PB & an OT qualifier.

    On the women's side it was:

    1. Esther Erb 2:34:00
    2. Heather Lieberg 2:34:08 PB (previous 2:39:55 Cal Int'l 2013)
    3. Brianne Nelson 2:34:22 PB (previous 2:34:44 Duluth 2014)
    4. Ariana Hilborn 2:35:20 PB (previous 2:37:29 Duluth 2011)

    Lieberg & Nelson ran together to lead the race comfortably for about 24 miles, when Erb finally reeled them in and went on to win. Erb has a few marathons on her resume, and has run faster once (Boston, this year). Was the NCAA D3 10k champion in 2008.

    Lieberg is also an interesting story --
    35 yo, mother of 3, school teacher, played college basketball & took up running recreationally later. A career moment for her.

    Hilborn did not run in HS or college -- also took it up recreationally, to get to where she is now:

    I enjoy non-D1 college success stories, and other "didn't run til later" success stories, by the way.
    Last edited by Master Po; 10-05-2014, 07:04 PM.

  • #2
    Thanks for the great post!
    I was most impressed by Lieberg.
    Every time Nelson seemed to be breaking away, Lieberg would be right back by her side, or on her heels.
    Then, ironically, it wasn't Nelson who beat her, but Erb, who came from 2-300 yards back in the last few miles to beat them both!
    But Lieberg held on and finished a strong 2nd.

    Also very impressed by Pennel.
    Looked VERY strong running alone the last few miles.
    I think he could very well be our next sub-2:10 marathoner!!

    Livestream was mostly good, except for the first 15 minutes, when mine stopped a few times, or jumped 30 seconds in a clip.
    Always love the voice of Tim Hutchings, but wished Carrie Tollefsen was the other half of the play-by-play!

    ADD: Note that Lieberg runs for Oiselle!
    With Kate Grace and Kara Goucher.....and now US Champ Lieberg.....they're making quite a name for themselves!!
    Last edited by aaronk; 10-05-2014, 10:16 PM.


    • #3
      Yes, great post. It is inspiring to read about some of these runners who are not quite at the national level but pretty damned good otherwise, especially the ones who got into the sport post-college.


      • #4
        I meant to say something about the broadcast -- I thought they (especially Hutchings) did a very good job. I assume they did not have much of a budget to create that broadcast -- an excellent example of what can be done to present an event in a straightforward and entertaining way -- no frills, and met the primary requirement of any sportscast -- the viewer could actually follow the competition.