It is so tough to try and predict what will happen in a marathon. Even if you can actually predict who actually shows up to the start line, there are so many unknowns (i.e., training, injuries, sickness, weather, etc.), and it’s especially hard to tell how someone will recover from marathons ran a couple weeks or even a couple months earlier. With that being said, here’s what I’m thinking for the men’s marathon:
Edward Tabut: Edward is the defending Lincoln Marathon champion as he ran a course record of 2:17:07 just last year. Training out of Minnesota, Edward had a very successful 2014 campaign as after winning Lincoln, he competed in both the Quad Cities Marathon (2:26:50) and the Monumental Marathon in Indiana (2:19:57). Edward also ran 1:08:15 at the Earth Day Half Marathon in St. Cloud, MN on 4/18/2015 with the next closest finisher coming in five minutes after Edward.
Troy Harrison: Troy is from Pennsylvania and has been a mainstay at the Lincoln Marathon over the past few years. He ran 2012-2014, finishing in 2:43:24, 2:31:50 and 2:46:04, respectively. Nixon Cherutich: Nixon is probably the individual who has done the most racing so far in 2015. He ran a 1:05:08 half marathon in Guadalajara, Mexico on 2/22/15, followed by a 2:16:48 marathon one week later in Torreon, Mexico. He has personal bests of 1:04:26 in the half marathon (10/9/2011) and 2:14:46 in the full marathon (5/6/2012). Based on the times he has already run this year, Nixon, who trains out of Kentucky, appears to be the guy to beat.
Chad Sellers (LRC): Chad had a very successful marathon year in 2014, including finishing the 2014 Lincoln Marathon in 2:43:03. He also ran the 2014 Grandma’s Marathon in a time of 2:35:31 and showed some speed by running the 2014 Good Life Halfsy Half Marathon in 1:12:08.8. Just a couple weeks ago, Chad finished the Boston Marathon in 2:41:53.
Ryan Regnier (LRC): Similar to Chad, Ryan also just ran the Boston Marathon a couple weeks back (2:47:08). Although he had the Lincoln Marathon in mind the entire time through training, Ryan has also posted some solid times lately, including a 2:41:28 at the 2014 California International Marathon, a 1:12:41.5 at the 2014 Good Life Halfsy, and a 2:41:44 at last year’s Lincoln Marathon. Ryan will be looking to improve both his time and his place.
Alex Sico: Alex is out of Colorado, and there are not a lot of other results for him out there. The 27 year old did run a 2:39:20 at the 2014 Lincoln marathon and the assumption would be that he comes back to improve upon last year’s performance.
Kenneth Rayner: Kenneth is from Massachusetts and has participated in both the 2013 and 2014 Lincoln Marathons, running 2:35:11 and 2:40:30, respectively. Similar to Alex, there are not a lot of results out there, but if history is any indication, this 24 year old will be ready to run on Sunday.
Justin Herrick: Justin trains out of IA and is married to Danna Herrick who was mentioned yesterday. Justin’s personal best is 2:42:14 at the 2013 New York Marathon, and he finished in 2:44:25 at the 2013 Lincoln Marathon. I’m not sure if Justin will run with his wife or not, but with his Ironman background, he’ll have the strength to compete against the other guys in this race. Jon Kuehler: Jon is a Nebraska native who currently lives in Colorado. Jon has been running quite a few ultra and trail races but did get out on the roads to run 2:40:42 at the Boston Marathon a couple weeks back. It would seem that between Chad, Ryan, Alex, Kenneth and Jon, there should be a pretty solid pack aiming for sub-2:40, however, I would expect both Ryan and Jon to start conservative and build to their goal(s).
Pete Kostelnick (NRGE): Pete is another trail and ultra guy who will be jumping on the roads for the race. He ran 2:53:22 at Lincoln last year but showed some early season speed in running 34:08 at the Leprechaun Chase 10k in March. With another year of running experience, I think he will be ready for Sunday’s challenge.
Top 10 Predictions:
1. Nixon Cherutich (KY)
2. Edward Tabut (MN)
3. Chad Sellers (LRC)
4. Ryan Regnier (LRC)
5. Alex Sico (CO)
6. Kenneth Rayner (MA)
7. Jon Kuehler (CO)
8. Troy Harrison (PA)
9. Justin Herrick (IA)
10. Pete Kostelnick (NRGE)
Other Men to Watch –Kyle Clouston (NRGE), Jeff Nielsen (NE)
Overall Master’s Winner – Robert Douglas (NY)