Tomsich qualifies for U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials

April 29, 2019

Tony Tomsich (center) with Chad Trammell (left) and Forest Tarbath (right)

Tony Tomsich qualified for the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials on Sunday with 11 seconds to spare.

“I feel pretty on top of the world. Everything I could have imagined came together yesterday,” Tomsich said by phone on Monday. “I threw my hands up like 20 meters from the line because I knew I was going to get it.”

Tomsich, formerly of Fairbanks and now living in Vancouver, Canada, ran the Eugene Marathon in 2 hours, 18 minutes and 49 minutes to punch his ticket to the 2020 trials.

Tomsich achieved the 2:19 standard while placing second overall and winning $500. Kyle King of Denver, Colo., triumphed in 2:18:04 and separated from Tomsich after mile 15.

Tomsich metronomically clocked a pace of 5:18 per mile and now ranks 5th all-time among Alaskan marathoners.

The result was a personal best by more than seven minutes and a remarkable improvement from last September’s Berlin Marathon, which he dubbed a “classic blow-up marathon horror story” after he slowed dramatically towards the end and finished in 2:26.

“It took a little time to mentally regroup from that,” said Tomsich, a former cross country and track coach at UAA who competed collegiately at Western Washington University.

Tomsich, 32, ran the first 12 miles with Anchorage’s Chad Trammell and Forest Tarbath, who were entered in the half marathon. Tarbath, a Service High School grad, placed 11th in 1:09:23 while Trammell was 13th in a personal best 1:09:25. Both the marathon and half marathon finished at the 50-yard-line of Autzen Stadium in Eugene, Ore.

Anna Dalton of Anchorage raced to 19th place among women half marathoners in 1:21:10.

Two other Alaskans have previously qualified for 2020. South Anchorage High School grad Aaron Fletcher won the Indianapolis Marathon in 2:17:23 in November, 2018, and Dalton ran 2:44:24 in December, 2018, at the California International Marathon to qualify for the women’s trials by 36 seconds.

As of April 18, 159 men and 286 women had qualified for the marathon trials, which will be Feb. 29, 2020 in Atlanta.

“It’s an incredible celebration of distance running in the U.S.,” Tomsich said.

-By Matias Saari, Alaska Sports Blog Contributor