THOMSON, TULIAMUK TAKE USATF HALF-MARATHON TITLES IN FORT WORTH
By David Monti, @d9monti
(c) 2023 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved – Used with permission.
NOTE: This story was written remotely; please note that Monday’s Race Results Weekly will be transmitted near the end of the day so that all of the NCAA Conference Championships results can be included –Ed.
(26-Feb) — Jacob Thomson and Aliphine Tuliamuk were crowned national half-marathon champions this morning at the USATF Half-Marathon Championships hosted by the Cowtown Marathon & Half-Marathon in Fort Worth, Texas. Thomson, 28, who represents Under Armour, won his first-ever national title with an explosive sprint finish in 1:02:38. Tuliamuk, 33, who runs for Hoka Northern Arizona Elite, won easily in 1:09:37 after running most of the course with her teammate, Lauren Paquette, who finished second in 1:09:51. Today’s victory was Tuliamuk’s 12th national road running title. Both winners earned $12,000 in prize money.
The men and women ran separate races, and the men went off first. The early pace was slow, just 15:23 through 5-K, and some 15 men were running in the lead pack. Thomson was among them and felt that the pace was too slow. So, he decided to inject a surge just to shake up the race.
“We were just kind of trotting that first four miles,” Thomson told Chris Nickinson in his post-race broadcast interview. “I don’t need it to be a time trial, but I want it to be an honest race. I think I can suffer pretty good, so I wanted to make sure that everyone else suffers just as much, if not more.”
Thompson built, perhaps, a 10 second gap, but his lead slowly evaporated as the chase group, led by defending champion Leonard Korir, caught him just past the 10-K mark (30:16). The pace was still modest and 13 men remained in contention for the podium: Thomson, Korir, Brian Shrader, Biya Simbassa, Scott Fauble, Futsum Zienasellassie, Matt McDonald, Colin Bennie, Colin Mickow, Jared Ward, Kevin Koski, and Shadrack Biwott.
In the second half, Thomson was careful about his positioning. He stayed off the lead, but always close to the front. When Shrader surged after the 15-K mark (45:06) Thomson covered the move and was part of a five-man breakaway with Shrader, Korir, Zienasellassie, and Simbassa. He stayed patient and waited for final meters before making his bid for victory. Shrader had faded, and Korir and Simbassa pushed to the front with about 400m to go. …
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