Don’t worry! I didn’t forget about the men’s half marathon. I’ve been able to see page views and these previews have been growing in popularity (100+ per page). I’ve heard from many people that make earlier predictions irrelevant, including updated recent race results, injuries and missed entries altogether; however, trying to figure out who is healthy, who is entered and what kind of shape everyone is in makes this men’s half marathon the hardest of the four races to predict! I’ll give it a shot anyway:
Trevor Vidlak (LRC): Trevor dove into the half marathon distance for the first time at last November’s Good Life Halfsy, finishing in 1:11:01.8, which was much different than his experience of running much shorter distances while at the University of Nebraska. Trevor won the Novartis 10k just three weeks ago in 32:33, and assuming his training has been going well since then, Trevor will be looking at a major PR this weekend.
Sammy Rotich (IA): I’m not sure that anyone has been successful as Sammy Rotich at the Lincoln Half Marathon. Rotich has placed in the top five every year since 2010, winning in 2010, 2011 and 2014. His Lincoln Half PR came last year as he ran 1:05:14. Enough said; Sammy will come ready to run.
Alvaro Sanabria (NE): Alvaro is a former University of Nebraska – Kearney runner who is currently running for the Costa Rica national team. He has raced quite a bit this winter/spring as he tried to secure his position on the team and ran incredibly well by finishing the 2015 Drake Relays 10k in 29:53.16. The half marathon distance may be new to Sanabria, but he is no stranger to competition.
Amos Sang (MA): Amos had both his 5k and 10k season PR’s just last month, running 14:32 and 30:03. His half marathon PR is 1:03:39, which he ran in Pittsburgh in 2013, but he also ran a half marathon in 2014 of 1:05:19. Although he seems to be focusing on the shorter distances so far this year, he has the experience and the results to be a factor in the race.
Tom Nichols (LRC): After running 1:08:14 twice in 2014, Tom is able to compete with just about anyone in the area. Tom also lives in Colorado, giving him an advantage when it comes to altitude training. Tom is not training to peak at Lincoln as he looks forward to the half marathon in Duluth this summer, but if feeling good, he has the experience to compete well.
Eric Rasmussen (TN): Eric is another Nebraska runner who is extremely consistent. He has been a top 10 runner at Lincoln the past four years, and after winning the State Farm 10 mile in March and running 32:54 at the Novartis 10k, Eric is poised to keep his Top 10 streak alive.
Jesse Armijo (NM): Jesse has a 2011 PR of 2:17:19 in the marathon and 1:04:55 in the half marathon from 2008. In 2014, though, Jesse ran a 1:07:52 at the Phoenix Half Marathon. So far in 2015, he has run a 5k in 15:23.18, but not a whole lot of other results could be found. Similar to several other members of the field, Jesse has the PR’s and the experience to compete with several of the younger runners in the field.
Mike Morgan (MI): Mike is coming off running the March USATF Marathon Championships in 2:16:56, which placed him third overall. The former Lincoln Pius X graduate and fellow Nebraska Wesleyan alumni is set to speak at the expo on Saturday, and although he does not currently show up on the start list, if he does decide to run, he will immediately become one of the favorites in the race. Mike runs for the Hanson Brooks Distance Project in Rochester Hills, Michigan and has a healthy resume underneath him.
Tanner Fruit (CO): Since graduating from University of Nebraska – Kearney, Tanner has raced very little. However, when he does race, he’s prepared to run fast. Tanner placed 11th overall at the 2014 Shamrock Shuffle in Chicago, running 23:55. After dealing with an injury following Shamrock, Tanner debuted at the half marathon distance in Dallas by running 1:08:28 this past December. Tanner is a young and extremely talented runner who could be in the mix up front early on.
Top 10 Predictions:
1. Mike Morgan (MI)
2. Sammy Rotich (IA)
3. Tanner Fruit (CO)
4. Amos Sang (MA)
5. Alvaro Sanabria (NE)
6. Trevor Vidlak (LRC)
7. Jesse Armijo (NM)
8. Eric Rasmussen (TN)
9. Tom Nichols (LRC)
10. Mike Rathje (LRC)
Other Men to Watch – Cory Logsdon (TN), Derek Fey (NE), York Thomas (TN), Ryan Dostal (LRC), Casey Kear (TN)
Overall Master’s Winner – Ivan Ivanov (LRC), Ben Schneider (MN)
I appreciate everyone stopping by this week to hear more about road racing in Nebraska. It shows that we can always use more coverage within the community. Happy Running!