ZAP Reebok athletes traveled to Jacksonville, FL this past weekend to contest the US 15k Road Championships at the Gate River Run. The US 15k Championships is always one of the most competitive national championship events on the road every year as it brings together athletes from a wide range of backgrounds, from the shorter track distances all the way up to the marathon. This year proven no different as there were several records set for depth on both the men’s and women’s side.
Veteran ZAP Reebok athlete, Alissa McKaig, toed the line as her only race before running the Boston Marathon next month and she put together an impressive showing with her 6th place finish. There was a large lead pack through the early stages before the race broke open during the second half. “I wasn’t really sure what to expect because I was getting ready for Boston, but the plan was just to compete and get back into that kind of mindset after doing a lot of miles, and I can take a lot of confidence away from today,” said McKaig after her race. Alissa finished with a time of 50:35, an average of 5:26 per mile, and her next race will be the Boston Marathon on April 15th.
On the men’s side Tyler Pennel continued his strong performance on the roads in his first year as a ZAP Reebok athlete. Pennel was part of a large pack through the 10k mark, which was passed in 29:20. “I figured they’d go out a little harder up front, but they just went out a few seconds faster than I wanted to so I figured it was better to run with someone than not,” said Pennel after the race. The strategy paid off as Pennel stuck his nose in the mix up and was rewarded when the race broke open over the final few miles with a top 10 finish at his first US Road Championship, finishing 9th in 44:17. Pennel will turn his attention toward the track with his first track race of the spring being at the Raleigh Relays on March 29th.
Also competing for ZAP Reebok over the weekend were Sarah Crouch, turning in a 20th place finish and Cole Atkins who finished in 46:29, an average of 5:00 per mile pace. Sarah and Cole will both turn their attention to some shorter events both on the road and track this spring and will also be competing at the Raleigh Relays at the end of the month.