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America's Tyler McCandless and Japan's Yuki Kawauchi encounter at the Chicago Marathon

After running miles 3-15 alone at the Bank of America Chicago Marathon, I caught up to reigning Boston Marathon champ Yuki Kawauchi. When I caught him I said, “come on Yuki, stay with me” and he tapped my side.

I looked back a minute later and he was right on my tail and I said “good” to him. He stayed there until about mile 21 when he tried to push past me.

We went back and forth over the last few miles multiple times. Once, he slipped on a turn, nearly fell and looked concerned, I said to Yuki “you’re okay, you’re good.”

The rain and wind picked up and neither of us were running near where our goals were. But, we pushed each other to the best we could on ”off” days. We were both struggling, yet with 300m to go he found another gear and blew me away.

There no doubt he found that gear from mental toughness and I’ve learned something from it. Moral of the story: even if you’re day isn’t what you envisioned and trained for, NEVER give up because you’ll gain indispensable experience and inspiration from it! 

I ran 2:16:37, 20th overall and 7th American.  I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have faster goals, but Sunday was a real test of character and I’m proud of how I competed. It was wet, rainy and windy, and I got stuck with nobody around for the majority of the race until dueling it with Yuki Kawauchi over the last several miles.

I went through halfway in 1:06:36 and simply had to be gritty and fight for every second over the second half of the race. Having a less ...than ideal weather day, and simply not having my best day out there, but toughing it out to finish with my third best marathon time is something I’m proud of.  

(Editors note: Yuki Kawauchi finished 19th in 2:19:26 his 82 marathon under 2:20. Tyler is sponsored by Altra Running and rabbit.  media@TrackTy)

(10/09/2018) ‚ö°AMP
by Tyler McCandless
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