Sara Hall and Tim Ritchie were crowned victors today at the 2017 USATF Marathon Championships held in conjunction with the California International Marathon (CIM) in Sacramento. Their winning times were 2:28:10 and 2:11:56, respectively.
The two champions achieved their glory through very different means, as Hall led the entire women's race while Ritchie did not emerge as the leader until mile 23 after marathon debutante Parker Stinson led most of the way.
Hall was the top woman in the race for all 26.2 miles; she started out quickly with a 34:34 split through 10K (2:25 pace) and clocked 1:13:38 for the half-marathon, a slight slowdown but still on target for sub-2:30. Her final time of 2:28:10 is the second-fastest of her career, which is even more impressive considering that CIM is her third marathon of 2017 and comes just five weeks after setting a personal best of 2:27:21 in Frankfurt.
The California native said she doubled back after Frankfurt because she couldn't resist the prospect of a U.S. championship so close to her residence in Redding, and her recovery from race in Germany had gone swimmingly.
Roberta Groner took runner-up honors in 2:30:38 and Carrie Dimoff was third in 2:30:54.
In the men's race, 25-year-old Stinson secured a sizable lead just two miles into the race. By 10 miles, the Oregon alum led the field by 75 seconds while running 2:09:30 pace.
Stinson with a 75+ second lead at 10 miles! pic.twitter.com/cxl2Vp725b— Kim Conley (@KimConley) December 3, 2017
At the half marathon mark, Stinson split 1:04:41. Jonathan Grey was starting to break away from the pack into a clearcut second position by now, splitting 1:06:03. By mile 19, Grey cut the gap to just 40 seconds. At mile 22, Stinson stopped to walk and appeared to be clutching his side due to cramping.
Now, Ritchie and the chase pack passed Grey and made their way up past Stinson by mile 23.
Ritchie held on for the win in 2:11:56. Tyler McCandless took runner-up honors in 2:12:28 and Kiya Dandena ran 2:12:56 for third.
Stinson would place 30th overall in 2:18:07, while Grey ran 2:20:08 for 44th place.