Greenville Track Club-ELITE - a post-collegiate, Olympic-development program
10 USA Olympic Trials Qualifiers
10 USA Olympic Trials Qualifiers
ASICS Greenville Track Club-ELITE athletes competed in two different traditional July 4th events on Monday. Jason Weitzel traveled to Atlanta, GA for the 53rd running of the Peachtree Road Race and Mackenzie Lowe ran the Red, White & Blues Shoes 5K at Furman University in Traveler's Rest, SC.
This year's Peachtree hosted a deep international field, including 14 of the top 25 finishers. Kenya's Rhonex Kipruto was targeting the 27:01 course record over the 10K route, but the oppressive weather conditions quickly put an end to that. However, he still blitzed the field with a quick 27:26. The temperature was 75 degrees and rising with 97% humidity as the runners assembled for the 7:00 am start (the elite women started at 6:50 am). The race once again attracted tens of thousands of runners as it is the largest 10K in the world.
Weitzel, who ran 28:59.5 for a track 10,000 on June 10th, passed two miles with a 9:15 split. However he felt a twinge in his left hamstring soon after. He did split 14:39 for 5K, but had to run cautiously due to the injury for the last half of the race and was unable to run hard on the final downhill segment. His finishing time of 31:14 was good for 25th place overall, but well off his road 10K best of 29:22.
"We are disappointed that due to his in-race injury Jason was not able to demonstrate his current level of fitness," stated coach Mike Caldwell. "However, looking at the positive, it was the final race in this training macrocycle. So we'll use the post-cycle break to recover, heal and prepare for some late summer and fall races."
Lowe stayed close to home as she ran the 11th Edition of the Red, White and Blue Shoes 5K, a race she won last year when it was conducted in Simpsonville to to COVID-19 restrictions at Furman. Similar to Atlanta, the weather conditions were oppressive with extreme humidity. Although passing the first mile in 5:30, she slowed over the final 2 kilometers and finished second among women with a time of 18:11.
ASICS Greenville Track Club-ELITE was established in 2012. The program produced four qualifiers for the 2016 USA Olympic Trials Marathon in Los Angeles, one qualifier/participant for the 2019 Pam American Games Marathon in. Lima, Peru, three qualifiers/two participants for the 2020 USA Olympic Trials Marathon in Atlanta, GA and one qualifier and participant in the 2021 USATF Olympic Track & Field Trials in the 3000m Steeplechase. The program's runners set four South Carolina State road race records in 2020 (5K, 15K and Half Marathon--twice) and three (15K, 10-Mile and 20K) in 2021. ASICS GTC-ELITE also produced the South Carolina Men's 2020 Long Distance Runner of the Year.
The post-collegiate, Olympic development program is sponsored by ASICS, the 50-year-old Greenville Track Club, Joy Real Estate (Adopt an Athlete partner), The Borch Foundation, generous individual contributors and partnerships with Performance Therapy, Carolina Spine and Rehab, Roll Recovery products, FinalSurge (on-line training log), ElliptiGO, NormaTec Recovery Boots, Cocoa Elite recovery products, Stryd Running, Coach Bob Williams Pace Calculator, the DorsiFlex (stretching device), the MOBO board (balance & mobility), On Pace Wellness (nutrition coaching) and LEVER Movement (treadmill body weight support). The club is a proud and active member of both the Road Runners Club of America and USATF.