Chris Derrick Reveals That He’s Training For The 2016 US Olympic Marathon Trials

January 4, 2016

After the holiday break, the action finally started to heat up again over the weekend. One of the bigger races was the 2016 Jacksonville Half Marathon, where a slew of American men and women qualified for February’s 2016 US Olympic Marathon Trials.

In the men’s race, which was won by Jonathan Grey in 62:47, Chris Derrick picked up a qualifying mark by placing third in 63:41. Seeing that result, we decided to reach out to Derrick as a 63:41 half at the beginning of January could mean a lot of different things depending on the context.

We asked Derrick if he did the race just to having something to do in January to break up the monotony of training or if he did it because he was planning on racing the Marathon Trials. We also asked him if he was going all-out or just trying to run something close to marathon pace.

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Derrick won his third straight U.S. XC title in February Derrick won his third straight U.S. XC title last February

Derrick wrote back and said he is indeed training for the US Olympic Marathon Trials, to be held in Los Angeles on February 13. His statement in full was as follows:

“I am currently training for the marathon trials, though whether I do so depends on how the overall training and some key workouts go. We think that eventually the marathon will be my best event and that a marathon training block will not jeopardize my outdoor season. I have thus far tried to avoid publicity for that plan because I would like to maintain some flexibility in my decision if things don’t go as we would like. I ran the race in Jacksonville to get a qualifying mark. I would have liked to contend more strongly for the win but didn’t quite have my legs when Jon made his move.”

So there you have it. The hype surrounding 2016 US Olympic Marathon Trials just got even bigger. In recent months, we’ve learned that both Diego Estrada and Sam Chelanga will debut there and there’s been a ton of speculation about Galen Rupp, who won’t confirm or deny whether he’ll be at the Trials. Now we know Derrick is training for it as well.

Only 10 men in US history with a faster 10,000 PB than Derrick’s 27:31.38 have raced a marathon. Here is how they’ve done at 26.2.

The 10 Fastest 10,000 Runners In US History That Have Run A Marathon
10,000 PB Name 26.2 PB
1. 27:13.98 Meb Keflezighi* 2:08:37
2. 27:16.99 Abdi Abdirahman* 2:08:56
3. 27:20.56 Mark Nenow 2:14:21
4. 27:22.28 Dathan Ritzenhein* 2:07:47
5. 27:24.67 Bobby Curtis* 2:11:20
6. 27:25.61 Alberto Salazar 2:08:51
7. 27:28.19 Tim Nelson 2:14:09
8. 27:28.22 Matt Tegenkamp* 2:12:28
9. 27:29.16 Craig Virgin 2:10:26
10. 27:31.34 Todd Williams 2:11:17
11. 27:31.38 Chris Derrick* ???

* = planning on running Trials.

Estrada (27:30.53 PB) and Chelanga (27:08.39 PB from before he gained U.S. citizenship) will also join that list at the Trials and so will Rupp (26:44.36 PB) if he enters. So all together, the US Marathon Trials could include 9 of top 15 Americans ever at 10,000 (Solinsky is the only 10,000-meter man faster than Derrick who hasn’t raced a marathon besides Rupp, Chelanga and Estrada).

Talk about this development on our messageboard:
*MB: Breaking: Chris Derrick, “I am currently training for the marathon trials”
*MB: Chris Derrick running a half in Florida this weekend
*MB: 27 sub-1:05 at Jax half
*43-Year-old Kevin Castille Qualified With 1:04:33
*Jacksonville Half Marathon Results: 27 Men Go Under The 65:00 Trials Standard As Jonathan Grey Wins In 62:47 Over Fernando Cabada (63:25) And Chris Derrick (63:41)

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