Four Alaskans place among Top 125 at Berlin Marathon
While Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya was shattering the world record at the Berlin Marathon on Sunday, several Alaskans set personal records while finishing among the Top 125 at one of the highest-profile running events on the globe.
Tony Tomsich, who grew up in Fairbanks and was a running coach at the University of Alaska Anchorage, led the charge in 2 hours, 26 minutes and 31 seconds. That placed him 61st in a field of more than 40,000 finishers.
Tomsich now lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. A dual citizen due to having a German parent, Tomsich actually registered representing Germany. Tomsich was ambitiously seeking to qualify for the 2020 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials by running faster than 2:19, and he was on pace after completing the first half in 1:09:11. However, Tomsich’s pace began falling off between 25-30 kilometers, though he still completed the race with an average pace of 5 minutes, 35 seconds per mile.
Tomsich has had a breakthough 2018 season that included running 1:06:47 for the half marathon. Prior to racing Berlin, he called the event the “biggest and most exciting running race of my life” in a Facebook post.
Meanwhile, Anchorage dentist Chad Trammell clocked 2:27:54, good for 74th overall and ninth among Americans. After a first half of 1:13:23, he slowed down by barely a minute in the second half (1:14:31) while many others dropped off by five minutes or more.
Two other Anchorage runners also excelled. Jacob Kirk ran 2:31:13 for 118th place by running nearly even splits for each half, while training partner and close friend Ryan Cox posted 2:31:41 for 124th place. Kirk and Cox ran together for about 25 kilometers of the 42K race.
The only female member of the Alaskan contingent, Anna Dalton, traveled to Berlin to support her friends but did not race. Alaska’s top female distance runner, Dalton posted recently on Facebook that she made the difficult decision not to race after too many sub-par workouts. She subsequently discovered an iron deficiency that she is addressing.
“My goal for the marathon hasn’t changed, the timeline just has,” said Dalton, who also aspires to qualify for the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials.
The group plans a “mini-tour” of Spain before returning to North America.
Kipchoge crushed the world record by more than a minute with a superlative 2:01:39, raising hopes that a sub 2-hour marathon may be within reach.
– By Matias Saari, Alaska Sports Blog Contributor