Andrew Colley and Tristin Van Ord rewrote the ZAP record books with their Half Marathon PR’s in Houston today. Andrew closed well to take 5 seconds off teammate Tyler Pennel’s 10 year old record of 1:01:44 to run 1:01:39 and take 8th place overall in the World Athletics Gold Label event. Tristin lopped 38 seconds of the women’s mark of 1:12:10 (held by former athlete – and new author! – Sarah Crouch) with her 1:11:21 personal best.
Josh Izewski narrowly missed his personal best, running 1:03:22 while Annmarie Tuxbury ran 1:14:37. Tyler Pennel felt his hamstring tighten up early in the race and stepped off the course to prevent further damage 3 weeks out from the Olympic Trials. For all 5 athletes, the goal of the race was to get in a hard, marathon specific effort 3 weeks out from the Trials, and with the exception of Tyler’s hamstring those goals were met very well.
Andrew took up residence in a large chase pack early in the race. Andrew was comfortable clipping off 5k splits of 14:41, 14:28, and 14:33 over the first 15k. Just prior to 15k the race turned into a stiff headwind and Andrew took to the front of his group. His 14:53 split was the slowest of the race, but with the wind the large group was quickly reduced to 4 and began to pick off runners from the lead pack. Andrew kicked his way into the top 10 over the final miles, finishing 8th with a 43 second personal best of 1:01:39.
Josh ran with the 2nd chase pack through the early stages, gradually picking up the pace through 15k before experiencing the same pack splintering headwind. His 1:03:22 was only 6 seconds off his personal best and was good enough for an 18th place finish.
On the women’s side Tristin ran the opening 15k near 1:10:30 pace, running 5k splits of 16:42, 16:40 and 16:51 before slowing slightly into the headwind. Fighting through to the finish her time of 1:11:21 smashed her previous PR by over a minute. Teammate Annmarie Tuxbury had a strong run as well, 1:14:37, and commented after the race “that’s the best I’ve ever raced on a 95 mile week so I’m happy with that!”
Annmarie’s sentiment is worth mentioning. One of the messages the coaches have delivered to the team this week is when comes to racing during marathon training there is a lot more variability on how your legs are going to feel day to day. Due to the timing of the Trials, everyone was in a heavy training block and week coming into the race. Tapering for this one would have compromised training for Orlando and several of the athletes felt some of the accumulated fatigue. Houston served not only as an opportunity to race a world class field and sharpen the racing instincts, but also to put another big effort in ahead of Orlando. See you in 3 weeks!
Full Houston Results here.