LetsRun.com Team Announced for Paris – Meet the Winners of the Marathon Trials Contest Sponsored by Relay Goods

While it will take a few more months for Leonard Korir to know if he is on the US Olympic Marathon team for Paris, there is no doubt who is on the LetsRun.com Marathon Team for Paris as we are proud to announce the winners of the $20,024 Marathon Trials Prediction Contest Sponsored by Relay Goods.

While we always joke how smart our audience is, this year’s contest winners prove it as we had a doctor, nuclear engineer, and D1 runner win our Marathon Trials contest. Plus, we had one of the top high school coaches in the country win our NCAA XC contest which we also recap below.

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Overall winner Brian Atkinson is a doctor, repeat winner, Olympic trials qualifier, and married to an Olympic trials qualifier

The Atkinson family

The overall winner of the marathon trials contest was Brian Atkinson, who is a sports medicine doctor in Asheville, NC. If that name sounds familiar, it should as Brian not only won our 2017 USAs contest, but ran the Trials in 2016 finishing in 72nd place. Since the 2017 contest, Brian has gone from med student to doctor, and his wife Kayla is now the standard bearer for the family’s running accomplishments as she qualified for the 2020 Trials, but didn’t run as she was pregnant with their oldest daughter. Brian says he now lives vicariously through his former Duke teammate Clint McKelvey who was 40th at the Trials.

Men’s winner is a nuclear engineer who runs a mile every year in a suit

Austin Allen and son at Worlds

The winner of the men’s portion of the marathon trials contest was Austin Allen who is a nuclear engineer in Washington state where he works on the reactors on the US Navy’s nuclear submarines & aircraft carriers.  Austin is a huge track fan who “started following high school, collegiate and professional running after being mesmerized by Kenenisa Bekele in the ’08 Olympics.” He drove down to Worlds in Eugene and watched the USA sweep the 100m with his 3 month old son in his lap.

As for his men’s picks, Allen picked the top 3 perfectly, and said Zach Panning would be 4th (he was 6th) and CJ Albertson 5th (he was 5th). Very good picking.

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And like Mantz and Young, Allen went on a mission for the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. He didn’t run much on his mission, but when he got back he and another buddy who went on a mission decided they would run a mile time trial in the suits they wore on their missions. He says, “Our first time trial was back in 2015 and we have maintained the tradition by running a mile time trial in those very suits every Labor Day weekend ever since.”

Austin said the mile usually is run in the 5:40-6:00 range, and they wear training shoes (Saucony Triumphs for him), but not spikes. A couple of years ago his buddy ran 5:20 and he ran 5:23 in a losing effort. Last year, they did it at a high school track hosting a soccer game, and had a crowd watching the festivities.

Women’s winner is a current D1 runner

Alex (l) and UNC Charlotte teammates

The women’s contest winner was Alex Fernandez, who is a 19-year-old freshman on the track team at UNC Charlotte. He was one of only two people in the entire contest to pick Fiona O’Keeffe to win the race. While Alex isn’t old enough to be a nuclear engineer, he clearly is very smart and a regular LetsRun.com podcast listener. He knew there was a case to be made for Fiona O’Keeffe and “decided to make the bold prediction that she would win. I thought on a good day, O’Keeffe could run away with it. I think the younger talent in the marathon is starting to really show with O’Keeffe, Lindwurm, and Mantz this year.”

And props to Alex’s teammate Harper Clark, who turned Alex onto the LetsRun.com Track Talk Podcast.

All the winners get the shoe of their choice from Relay Goods, the LetsRun.com shirt of their choice, and a year membership to the LetsRun.com Supporters Club.

NCAA XC Contest Winners

We never recapped the NCAA XC contest winners.

Tim Goldsack is the king of LetsRun NCAA XC prediction contests

Tim Goldsack (l) and Chris Catton (r) of RUNCCG at PRRunningCamp.com

Our individual winner was Tim Goldsack, and “Timo” is now the unofficial king of LetsRun.com NCAA XC contests as this was his third win. His first wins came way back in 2004 and 2007. So his career in winning NCAA XC contests is about as long as Kipchoge’s career at the top of the sport.

Tim is also one of the top online running coaches in the world. He and Chris Catton are the coaches at RunCCG, which started seven years ago. Since then they have coached:

293 College Runners
211 State Champs
7 Olympic Trials Qualifiers
939 State Medalists
Congrats to Timo.

Team winner ran for Don Bosco Prep

William Griffith

William Griffith, 33, an integrated marketing consultant for startups and organizations, was the winner of the team contest. William ran for high school powerhouse Don Bosco Prep and ran the 4×400 at the Penn Relays. Ever since he’s sprinted and hobby jogged going up in distance after a brief stint on the NYU team.

Proud dad and former 4:20 high schooler miler wins individual contest

Robert Dunn and Lauryn

Robert Dunn, a Radiologic Technologist from Texas, won the prizes in the individual NCAA XC contest. A 4:20 high school miler back in the day, he’s now shifted to sharing his passion for the sport with his daughter Lauryn who just ran a 14-second PR in the 1600 of 5:25. Go Lauryn!

Thanks to Relay Goods for sponsoring the contest. If you want to save big on shoes check them out. Wejo got a pair of Brooks Ghosts from them and is a fan.

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