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Landry, Tuliamuk-Bolton Take Titles at USATF 25 km Championships

5/14/2016
 
INDIANAPOLIS – Christo Landry continued his USATF Running Circuit success Saturday morning at the USATF 25 km Championships, hosted by the Fifth Third River Bank Run, where he beat a strong men’s field, while new U.S. citizen Aliphine Tuliamuk-Bolton won her first USATF title handily in Grand Rapids,.
 
The USATF 25 km Championships are the sixth stop on the 2016 USATF Running Circuit. Next up on the circuit, the USATF 20 km Championships take place Sept. 5 in New Haven, Connecticut.
 
A large men’s pack formed right from the start, with 13 men joined together through the first few miles of the race. Over the first five miles, former BYU teammates Jared Ward and Spencer Gardner took turns leading, while Nick Arciniaga and Christo Landry also shared pacing duties.
 
Passing by the six mile mark, Andy Wacker took to the lead and hammered the pace for the next mile, building up a sizable lead, but the chase pack caught Wacker over the next two miles, with Ward, Landry and Michigan resident Jake Riley taking over lead duties.
 
The front running trio pulled the pack through the tenth and eleventh miles, where the hilly terrain started to string out the field. At mile eleven, Landry, Riley and Ward put in a surge that broke the rest of the runners, pulling away and making it a three-man race.
 
Just past the half marathon split, Landry put in another surge that Ward and Riley couldn’t cover. The 2014 USATF 25 km champion continued to grind over the final two miles, reversing the finish with Ward from 2015, when Ward won narrowly over Landry.
 
Landry crossed the finish line first this time in 1:15:32. Ward took home second in 1:15:44, while Riley placed third in 1:15:57. Behind the front trio, Nathan Martin finished strong to outlast the rest of the chase pack, taking home fourth in 1:16:31, as Will Nation took home fifth in 1:16:39.
 
Rounding out the top ten, Gardner and Wacker placed sixth and seventh respectively, running 1:17:13 and 1:17:17. Arciniaga, Fernando Cabada and Zach Ripley took home eighth place through tenth place, with finish marks of 1:17:37, 1:17:54 and 1:18:04.
 
As expected in the women’s race, Tuliamuk-Bolton and defending champion Lindsey Scherf jumped to the early lead, setting a pace no others in the field decided to follow. The duo pushed hard the first four miles of the race, stride for stride.
 
Behind Tuliamuk-Bolton and Scherf, a quartet of experienced veterans formed, with Michigan resident Dot McMahan, Kelsey Bruce, Esther Atkins and Clara Santucci maintaining a tight pack for much of the race.
 
As Tuliamuk-Bolton and Scherf passed mile five, Tuliamuk-Bolton ratcheted up the pace, putting a small gap on Scherf, one she would never give up.
 
Moving into mile seven, it was clear Tuliamuk-Bolton would win the race if she simply maintained pace, and maintained she did, building her lead mile after mile before crossing the finish line victoriously in 1:25:24, well ahead of Scherf’s runner-up finish of 1:27:03.
 
For Tuliamuk-Bolton, Saturday’s victory gave reason to celebrate. Racing in her first USATF championship, having earned U.S. citizenship in late April, Tuliamuk-Bolton showed she’ll be force in the USATF Running Circuit moving forward, while also making a statement that she could very well challenge for a Team USA roster spot for the Olympic Games this summer.
 
Coming in third, Santucci pulled away from the chase quartet over the final few miles, crossing the finish in 1:27:53. Atkins came in fourth, two second ahead of McMahan, 1:28:39-1:28:41, while Bruce ran tough to place sixth in 1:29:58.
 
Completing the women’s top ten results Portland-based Jennifer Bergman finished seventh in 1:35:24. Alexandra Niles and Elizabeth Ryan finished eighth and ninth in 1:37:05 and 1:37:29, while Melissa Gacek took home tenth in 1:39:29.
 
In the USATF Running Circuit standings, Landry’s win bolsters his USATF Running Circuit lead with another 15 points, giving him a total of 54 points. Landry’s total is well ahead of second place Craig Lutz and third place Ward. Ward’s runner-up finish gives him another 12 points for 32 total, one point behind Lutz.
 
Scherf’s runner-up finish, giving her 12 more points in the standings, moves her up to fourth place overall with 27 total points. USATF Half Marathon and 15 km champion Tara Welling continues to lead USATF Running Circuit standings, while Desi Linden and Amy Cragg sit second and third.
 
About the USATF Running Circuit
 
The USATF Running Circuit is a USATF road series featuring USATF championships from one mile through the marathon and consistently attracts the best American distance runners with more than $500,000 to be awarded in total prize money. A total of $30,200 in prize money is awarded at the USATF 25 km Championships.
 
The first ten U.S. runners earn points at each USATF Running Circuit race. For the USATF 25 km Championships, scoring is set as 15 for first, 12 for second, 10 for third, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2 and 1, with those earning the most points receiving prize money at the end of the series.
 
The mission of the USATF Running Circuit is to showcase, support and promote U.S. runners. Since its inception in 1995, the USATF Running Circuit and its races have provided over $7 million to U.S. distance runners.
 
Contributed by Scott Bush

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