October 30, 2015
32-year-old Nick Arciniaga of Flagstaff, Arizona’s Team Run Flagstaff (and Under Armour) was the only American at the pro men’s press conference on Friday (2009 Champ Meb Keflezighi is also running the race, but had his media day yesterday. Click here for more on Meb’s NYC preparations).
Nick is hoping for a top-five finish and PR (2:11:30) in the 18th marathon of his career on Sunday.
“My best day would be to win, but I have a legitimate shot of actually finishing top five this year, Arciniaga said. “It’s always going to depend on that last 10k for me. Past 20 miles is going to be the biggest challenge, I’ve only gotten it right a couple of times. I’ve been to 20 miles on pace to run a big breakthrough numerous times. This will be my 18th marathon, so I’m hoping my experience will get me to the finish line a little bit better,” said Nick, who has five times run between 2:11:30 and 2:11:56.
Nick is coming off a “disappointing” 2:18:02 14th place finish in Boston where he faded tremendously over the second half after going out in the 4:40s with the leaders and nearly setting a 15k pr. Nick went out so hard because he didn’t want to run by himself in the wind, and had done well going out with the leaders in past World Marathon Majors.
After Boston, Nick said he knew he wanted to do another marathon before the Olympic Trials. He had run well in New York in the past (8th in 2009, 10th last year) and is not worried about the 15 week gap between New York and the Olympic Marathon Trials in LA in February. Nick noted he ran his PR at the Houston Marathon, 15-16 weeks after Chicago in 2011. He selected New York after knowing he would not be picked for the US World Champs or Pan Am team.
Nick Believes Around 20 Americans Potentially Can Run Sub 2:10
On the Olympic Marathon Trials in LA, Nick said he believes there are a little more than 20 guys who potentially have the ability to run sub 2:10 and make the team, so he will not be discounting anyone.
Nick had a slight setback in August with a hamstring injury and had to spend a few weeks in September with his mileage “really low” as he rehabbed his leg, but he said things have gone well for him since as he’s trained more as a half-marathoner than marathoner.
“[The] last 5 weeks, I’ve probably been training a lot more for a half marathon and feeling ready to run a good half marathon. I’m know I can carry that through 20 miles. I’m hoping my experience in the marathon gets me through that last 10k.”
Nick likes to do a lot of his training by himself in Flagstaff, but has a mix of guys to train with between his team and the other training groups that come through Flagstaff throughout the year.
Nick Thinks He Can PR
On his overall chances Nick said, “I think I have a chance of a PR.”
A PR (sub-2:11:30) in New York would place Nick very well because the difficult New York City course equalizes the field. “PR-wise, these guys are minutes better than me, but on a course like this it can be a great equalizer having a hilly course. Especially this year, the field is thinner [than in years past]. There aren’t as many Kenyans or Ethiopians as there was even last year. So I’m hoping that leads them not to be as aggressive early on so I can actually stick with the group and get pulled along and not have to worry about setting my own pace earlier in the race,” said Nick on this year’s field. He said last year his PR ranked him 20th in the field, but this year he’s ranked 10th in the field.
A PR from Nick or Meb would be tremendous on Sunday, and it’s nice having a few Americans in the field less than four months before the Olympic Marathon Trials.
10:15 Video with Nick below: