The Twin Cities Marathon played host to the USA Marathon Championships for the second straight year.
It was quite a marathon debut for Tyler Pennel. In his first crack at 26.2 miles, Pennel captured the USA Men’s Marathon Championship, held at the Twin Cities Marathon on Sunday, in a winning time of 2:13:32. Pennel, who runs for Reebok’s ZAP Fitness team, has built a solid resume at smaller races and now has a marathon title to add to it. Pennel held off Jared Ward (2:14:00) and Scott Smith (2:14:40) to win.
“I wanted to relax until 20 miles,” Pennel said. “Scott went first, then I did. I was scary to run the last few miles alone. Miles 23 and 24 were all out. I was happy when I got to Summit, because those earlier hills really hurt.”
On the women’s side, Esther Erb came from behind to win the USA Women’s Marathon Championship title in a time of 2:34:01, holding off Heather Lieberg (2:34:09) and Brianne Nelson (2:34:24).
“I couldn’t sleep last night I was so excited,” Erb admitted. “I was up for about three hours in the middle of the night thinking about the race. I was trailing them for a really long time. I had to stop at mile 20 for the bathroom and I made up time pretty quickly.”
This is the second straight year the Twin Cities Marathon in Minnesota has played host to the USA Marathon Championships. In addition to the elite field, nearly 9,000 runners finished Sunday’s race.
Here are photos from the day, from Competitive Image: