tyler with flag

Tyler Pennel made his return to the Twin Cities this past weekend for the first time since winning his national marathon title there last year, this time for the US 10 Mile Championships. Pennel embedded himself in a large lead pack over the first half of the race as the men came through 5 miles in a relatively conservative 23:45 for the downhill portion of the course. Once the climbing began in the 2ndhalf the lead pack of over a dozen men started to slowly thin out. Approaching the 9 mile mark the lead pack was whittled down to 4 athletes: Pennel, Jim Spisak, newly minted American and 13:04 5k runner Sam Chelanga, and 3 time US Olympian and former American Record holder Dathan Ritzenhein. Pennel saw his opportunity to attack a short uphill section and began to push.

“I just kept trying to push a little bit more every couple of minutes,” said Pennel. The move dropped Spisak first and shortly afterward Ritzenhein began to lose contact with Chelanga and Pennel. Coming down the steep hill with 600 yards remaining Pennel made his final hard push to the finish dropping Ritzenhein for good, but he couldn’t shake Chelanga, and with less than 100 yards to go Chelanga snuck by Pennel for the 1 second victory in 46:47 to Pennel’s 46:48. Ritzenhein finished 3rd in 46:53. Pennel will contest his final US Championship of the fall at the US 12k Road Running Championships in Arlington, VA on November 15th along with teammate George Alex.

Joining Pennel in Twin Cities was Griff Graves who made his marathon debut at the Twin Cities marathon. Running most of the race by himself, Graves had an impressive day finishing as the top American and 7th place overall. Graves is already qualified for the Olympic Marathon Trials and will toe the line in LA in February with the valuable experience of his race in Twin Cities under his belt.

Also racing this weekend were Sinead Haughey and Cole Atkins. Haughey and Atkins ran the Apple Festival 4 miler in Erwin, TN with Haughey picking up her first professional win and Atkins turning in a 2nd place finish in his first race back since injuring his hamstring in the Boston Marathon this spring. Next up for Haughey will the be US 10k Championships next Monday, October 12th. Atkins will be racing the Governor’s Cup 8k on October 24th.

You can check out Tyler’s post race interview here!