This year's edition has some new flavor as people from last year's list have moved, gotten hurt, been taken out by some fresh new blood and/or realized how stupid running truly is. I was hoping this would be the year of Connor Kamm's debut on the list but he spent too much time being hurt and once again, took up the trumpet as a hobby. When he's in shape, he can probably beat anyone in the world in running and/or trumpeting(?) as he was an All-State trumpet performer in high school (as well as an insanely fast runner..when he's not hurt, of course).
But here's my list. If I overlooked someone, let me know (trail races and downhill marathons don't count).
Men's Top 5
1. Scott Wietecha: 34, 2:17:02, Chicago Marathon. So close to being a 2:16 marathoner, but if he never runs a marathon again, he will always be a 2:17 guy. The guy loves making excuses. He claims Chicago was too hot and too windy. He also said the tape that he attached his gels to his bottles with was too sticky, and he spent too much time trying to rip off his gels. Then his last "real" marathon race before that (2:17:17, Houston 2014) was because he was sick or something a few weeks out and missed a couple weeks of workouts. Yeah, he will say he was on 2:13 pace for almost 21 miles, but he went out in 66:18, like an idiot. And then his marathon race before that (2:18:53 at the 2013 Houston Marathon) was too cold, rainy and windy and he whined about how it sleeted for nearly 30 seconds during the race. What excuse will 2016 bring?
|Is that Barak?|
3. "Wild" Bill Martin, 25, 2:28:48, Rocket City Marathon. His 2:28 was on a balmy day and he beat some pretty solid runners in the race to take the overall win. He also would completely smoke Joey in a sprint, as he ran a 3:46 1500m a few years back. He was a thorn in my side during the 2015 edition of the Flying Monkey Marathon but unofficially, it wasn't me who beat him but the portajohns. And for some reason, he thinks I'm crazy for taking four gels during a marathon, but I bet he also believes Renato Canova when he says EPO doesn't work on Kenyans.
|I had the hardest time finding a picture of him.. After spending way too much time going through photos on the Nashville Striders webpage, as well as Facebook, I decided to type in "Chris Duncan marathon" into Google and take the first image, no matter how random or inappropriate it could potentially be. As the running gods would have it, it was actually a picture of the real Chris Duncan. What a waste of time.|
Women's Top 5
1. Gisela Olalde, 31, 2:34:10, California International Marathon. Had a baby in late March and got in shape super fast to run two really impressive marathons within a couple weeks of each other, as she won the Philadelphia Marathon two weeks before CIM (which was her fourth marathon in ten weeks). She's wanting to represent Mexico in the 2016 Olympics and I've heard she's going to take a stab at sub 2:30 in Rotterdam this year. She's definitely a diamond in the rough, as I don't think she has any sort of sponsorship and I believe she's coached by her husband, who has only been running for a few years. She may take a top three spot for the Nashville men next year!
Instead of a picture of Jeannette, I decided to go above and beyond and post a short-clip from one of my old, completely random school movies where two supervillains attempt to take over an office building in Nashville. And for some reason, on phones, this plays the whole video (which was actually my rough draft. On laptops, it cuts to the right part (9:34) ).
2. Jeannette Faber, 33, 2:51:53, Rocket City Marathon. My fellow Newton teammate, who also represented the US in the marathon at the 2014 World Championships. She didn't race a marathon this year but ran Rocket City as a steady long run and also for some lotto tickets to take a stab at the $1.5 billion Powerball lottery. With several planned marathons next year, she should have no problem getting into the 2:30s again, as she ran 2:32 a few years back.
3. Julie Ulery, 33, 2:56:58, Boston Marathon. Ran her time in the tough conditions at Boston last year. She's pretty new to serious training and should be able to improve quite a bit. But for some reason, she thought moving to Florida would be a good idea, so she won't be on the Nashville list next year. Maybe she did it for the people watching or outrageous news stories. Regardless, she was Nashville's fastest woman marathoner, who races in headphones and/or does exercise videos.
4. Ashley Evans,29, 2:59:19, Indy Monumental Marathon. She ran 2:49 in her marathon debut a few Chicago's ago but the marathon is a tricky distance to figure out. She's consistently one of the top road racers in the area and is a Jill of all trades as she competes on the roads, trails and even in triathlons.
5. Beth Meadows, 29, 3:04:50, Boston Marathon. I guess with ten available spots, having one of those trail runner people on the list is somewhat acceptable, She recently completed the 100 miler at Pinhoti and since she's going to stop playing in the woods as much this spring, she should be able to take a crack at the mid 2:50s in the marathon distance. And according to her Strava, she runs with "pups" much more than humans. Maybe that's a trail runner thing, I don't know.