Conner Mantz Runs 2nd Fastest American Debut Marathon – 2:08:16

By Mike Knapp
October 9, 2022

CHICAGO – Conner Mantz kicked off a huge week in his life by running 2:08:16 to finish 7th in his marathon debut at the 2022 Bank of America Chicago Marathon which was won by Benson Kipruto in 2:04:24. On Saturday, the 25-year-old from Utah gets married.

Mantz went to the starting line eyeing Leonard Korir’s American marathon debut record of 2:07:56, set at Amsterdam in 2019, but Mantz had to settle for the second-fastest American debut time.

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Working with fellow American Frank Lara through the early stages of the race, Mantz was on track through the first half, splitting 63:45 at 13.1 miles. At 40K, the record was slipping out of reach and he ran 6:48 to the finish (5:00 pace), to come up 20 seconds short.

Running Too Quick from 10-15k Did Mantz In

Conner Mantz Marathon Debut in Chicago Conner Mantz in Chicago (Kevin Morris photo)

“The goal was trying to break the American debut record and while I didn’t quite get it, it was a great experience,” he said. “I could tell I went out a little too quick.” 

Mantz said some pacing issues early contributed to not having a lot in the tank at the end, particularly from 10K-15K, which he ran 14:52 (2:05:28 pace), his quickest 5K of the race. That finally reared its head at about Mile 24, and he said he absolutely was out of gas with a mile to go. 

“I wanted to get to 20 miles at 2:08 or 2:07-high pace and then start cranking it down,” Mantz said. “I think that (10-15K) kind of put me through a little bit of a wringer and I while I didn’t feel great at when I hit 20 miles, it was more so at 24 miles and on to the end.” 

While lots of things can be simulated in training, it’s never able to really cover everything that might happen in the race. In the pre-race press conference on Friday, both Mantz and coach Ed Eyestone talked about having to take on some “unknowns” during the real thing. It was those unknowns that Mantz can take away from this race for future marathons down the road.  

“I think a couple of the unknowns were just how beat up your body feels at 24, 25, 26 miles,” Mantz said. “I hit a big wall with one mile to go. The longest I’d run was 25.2 miles, so I was surprised that I hit a wall. 

“Another unknown was fueling close to the end of the race. I don’t think I’ve had that much liquid in my stomach in a race, and at the end I didn’t want to take any liquid I just wanted to run, so those are the two biggest things.” 

Still, Mantz’ debut was pretty spectacular, and while he wants to focus on his wedding Saturday first, he seemed to really hint that there were more marathons in his future. 

But up first is his wedding and a well-earned break.

Mant’z 5k splits

Dist  Split    5k time
05K    00:14:59 14:59
10K    00:30:21 15:22
15K    00:45:13 14:52
20K    01:00:22 15:09
HALF   01:03:45
25K    01:15:31 15:09
30K    01:30:49 15:18
35K    01:46:10 15:21
40K    02:01:28 15:18
Finish 02:08:16 (15:29 5k pace for final 2.195k)

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Video: Mantz at Post-2022 Chicago Press Conference

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