Christo Landry’s USARC rise in 2014 heading into .US National 12K
INDIANAPOLIS -- With three national championships and two runner-up finishes, 2014 has been a defining season for Christo Landry. He will compete for another national title and the USA Running Circuit crown at the .US National 12K held in Alexandria, Virginia, Nov. 16.
Landry’s (Ann Arbor, Michigan) rise began April 6 in Washington, D.C., where he won the USATF 10 Mile Championships with a 46:41 finish, and where he felt an American flag draped around his shoulders for the very first time in his career.
“It was quite exciting,” he said. “It was something I have been aiming for ever since I finished college and started running road. To finally achieve a goal you have been working towards for four years is quite the feeling.”
One month after his hometown, 10-mile victory, the unimaginable began to take shape at the 25 km Championships in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where Landry finished in 1:14:18 to set an American record while capturing his second championship in just over 30 days.
“I gave myself a day to really savor it,” Landry said. “I got lucky enough that there was very good weather and there were strong athletes in the 25K field to push the pace where it was an opportunity to tie that record or maybe break it.
"There is a difference between knowing that a goal is within reach and actually achieving that goal," he continued. “While I knew it was possible to run the American record time, I still don’t completely believe that I have an American record.”
After earning his second national title, Landry became the frontrunner in USA Running Circuit standings, and he was eyeing the USARC crown heading into his third and most memorable victory of 2014.
Appropriately achieved on Independence Day, Landry broke the tape on July 4 at USATF 10K Championships hosted by the AJC Peachtree Road Race in Atlanta, Georgia. The battle came down to a shoulder-to-shoulder final mile, where he pulled away in the last 800 meters for the first place finish in 28:25, winning his third straight national title.
“Not to harp upon a trend, but I wasn't expecting it," he said. "During the race when I kept feeling very relaxed and people kept dropping off, that was unexpected to me. Then I turned the last corner and realized it was a good time to kick.
“To win three in a row was pretty amazing and something not too many have done before me. People who have done it are much bigger names than I was. These names are multi-time Olympians.”
The emerging USARC favorite earned two runner-up finishes after that race, competing July 26 at USATF 7 Mile Championships in Davenport, Iowa, and Sept. 1 at USATF 20 km Championships in New Haven, Connecticut.
As he prepares to end what has become phenomenal season, the .US 12K will culminate what Landry believes will be icing on the cake in area that still feels like home.
“I set very high expectations for myself going into this season,” he said. “My goal was to win USARC and to win two national titles.”
He’s more than halfway there, and very close to watching his road racing dreams come true.