On Sunday, he got it, running 61:48 for seventh place at the New York City Half Marathon. The $1,000 prize money wasn't his biggest payday ever--he won $10,000 for finishing second at the U.S. 10-mile championships. But Sunday was by far his best race ever. Here are some stats about it.
-That 10-mile race, itself a breakout performance, was run at 4:44 pace. His NYC Half time is 4:43 mile pace for 13.1 miles.
-Droddy ran three half-marathons in 2016, going 64:08, 64:17, and 64:29. He initially lowered his PR by 46 seconds in Houston six weeks ago, running 63:22.
-In the NYC Half, Chris Derrick ran 61:12. That makes Derrick the No. 7 American man ever on a record-legal course and is a new PR for Derrick by over two minutes. Derrick trains with arguably the best training group in America and has been one of the most talented runners in the country for a decade; he broke the U.S. junior 5K record eight years ago. He beat Droddy by one place and 36 seconds on Sunday.
-Droddy is 3 1/2 weeks older than Derrick.
-At club cross country nationals in December, he finished in 13th place in 29:42. That's slower than the 29:28 in which he came through 10K on Sunday.
-According to Tilastopaja, which may be missing results, that 29:28 is faster than every single 10K Droddy has ever raced except for the 28:22 last summer when he qualified for the Olympic Trials.
-His half-marathon PR on a record-legal course is only 28 seconds slower than Galen Rupp's and six seconds slower than Jared Ward's. Those two men were third and sixth at the Olympic marathon last summer.
-He beat Ward, Diego Estrada, Juan Luis Barrios, Abdi Abdirahman, Shadrack Biwott, and Meb Keflezighi in New York.
-According to the McMillan calculator, Droddy's 61:48 is equivalent to a 13:21 5K, 27:43 10K, and 46:20 10 mile; Daniels has it at 13:29/28:06/46:23.
-Droddy's PRs in those events: 13:49, 28:22, 47:28.
-After what we believe to be his seventh half-marathon, Droddy is now No. 25 on the all-time U.S. list.
-He ran faster than the lifetime PRs of Jason Hartmann, Bobby Curtis, Ryan Vail, Matt Tegenkamp, Andrew Bumbalough, Ian Dobson, Bernard Lagat, Brian Sell, Rod DeHaven, Jorge Torres, Alan Culpepper, and Adam Goucher.
-Droddy's best race in college for Division III DePauw was probably 2012 cross country nationals, where he finished eighth. I was a bad college runner and finished a minute and 47 seconds behind Droddy in that race.
-Which means I came closer to beating Droddy five years ago than Meb Keflezighi and Shadrack Biwott did on Sunday.
Droddy probably can find a better contract than a temporary deal with Pizza Hut now.