asics Greenville Track Club-ELITE - a post-collegiate, Olympic-development program
On an extremely humid (100%) and wet morning in Columbus, OH, ASICS Greenville Track Club-ELITE's Mark Leininger placed 15th in the 2017 USATF Half Marathon Championships. His finishing time was 1:07:13 and earned him $400 in a high caliber field. The championships were run in conjunction with the Ohio-Health Capital City Half Marathon and the field included defending champion Christo Landry and 2016 Olympian Leonard Korir. Korir edged former NCAA cross country champion Sam Chelanga for the victory as the two Kenyan native runners were clocked at 1:03:04.
After passing the 2-mile mark in 9:39, Mark hit the 5-mile split at 24:47, which is 4:58 per mile pace, but slowed to 5:00 min pace over the next mile as the lead pack began to build a gap. He eventually ran solo as the top ten increased the pace. Leininger remained in almost the same position after being 14th at 5-miles, passing one and being passed by two other competitors. His time was well off his personal best of 1:04:26.
"After seeing the weather conditions, we decided to run more for place than time since it is a USA Championship," explained his coach Mike Caldwell. "Although Mark is disappointed with the time, it was his best finish at a USA road championship." Leininger previously had placed 16th at the USA 10-Mile Championships last October.
GTC-ELITE produced four qualifiers for the 2016 USA Olympic Trials Marathon in Los Angeles and is sponsored by ASICS, the 45-year-old Greenville Track Club, Greenville Health System, ScanSource, Joy Real Estate, the Bare Minimum Track Club, generous individual contributors and partnerships with Performance Therapy, Carolina Spine and Rehab, Soleus Running Watches, Boston Bill Sunglasses, Roll Recovery, FinalSurge, The ATI Running Academy, ElliptiGO, NormaTec Recovery Boots and CocoaElite recovery products.