At yesterday’s Litchfield Hills Road Race in Litchfield, Connecticut, ZAP-Reebok athletes Tyler Pennel and Johnny Crain both garnered top 5 finishes. Pennel finished 2nd in the fastest time ever run by an American in the race’s 43 year history and Crain finished 4th. The race took place on an uncharacteristically cool afternoon and the field was poised to take advantage of the conditions.
Linus Kiplagat wasted no time getting to the front as he flew threw the downhill first mile in 4:08. Pennel and Crain were 7 seconds back in 4:15. As the race flattened out in the middle Pennel began to eat into Kiplagat’s lead, eventually catching him before the 10k marker, which both athletes passed in 28:47. The final mile of the 7.1 mile race begins with a grueling climb up the aptly named Gallow’s Hill, where executions took place in the 18th century. Despite a strong effort from Pennel, Kiplagat pulled away up thehill and hung on for the win in a new course record time of 33:17. In the decorated 43-year history of the race only 3 men, including Kiplagat have run faster than Pennel did on Sunday. His time of 33:34 was the fastest ever run by an American at Litchfield. Crain had an incredibly strong run in his own right crossing the line 2 spots behind Pennel in 4th with a time of 34:24.
Crain will be back racing on June 24th at the BAA 10k in Boston. Pennel will next see action that US 10k Championships on July 4th at the Peachtree Road Race where he will be joined by teammates Joanna Thompson, Nicole DiMercurio, and Andrew Colley.
Click here to see Tyler’s post race interview and read the recap from the Hartford Courant.