Andrews Remains Healthy, Cruises from Start to Finish
LOWELL -- Tyler Andrews arrived at the starting line for his first Ashworth Awards Baystate Half Marathon having run only three times over the previous three weeks. An Achilles injury limited those training runs to 30 minutes each.
Before that injury, the 28-year-old former Concord resident was running vigorously toward the California International Marathon in Sacramento on Dec. 2, which is also the U.S. Marathon Championships. Andrews figured if all went well over 13.1 miles in Lowell on Sunday, he would be back in the game for Sacramento.
“I think overall, it was pretty good,” said Andrews, satisfied with how he felt while winning in 1:09:44.4. “A great course. Thanks for having me.”
Andrews led this half marathon from the starting gun on, finishing one minute, one second ahead of second-place Shane Whalen, 29, of Hooksett, N.H.
“This is the first run I’ve had of more than 30 minutes in a month,” said Andrews. “I was hoping for negative splits, but it was really windy on the second loop. The turnaround here to the bridge, it was a little blustery.”
Andrews grew up in Concord and attended Concord Academy. His collegiate running career at Tufts University was modest compared to what he has done since as a distance runner. In May, he missed the world record in the 50k (31.1 miles) by about 2 1/2 seconds, running a 2:46:06.8 in Santa Barbara, Cal. His time did give Andrews a 50k world record on the track (125 laps).
Andrews also has the world record for a half marathon run on a treadmill, clocking in at 1:03:38 during a fundraiser at the Boston Marathon Expo in 2015.
Andrews’ marathon PR is 2:15:52, which he ran at the Mohawk Hudson River Marathon in Albany, N.Y. in 2016. He is a three-time winner of the Vermont City Marathon. The first marathon Andrews ran was Boston in 2014. He finished 35th overall in 2:21:33
Other than fundraisers on a treadmill, the half-marathon distance has been less kind to Andrews. But he led all the way on Sunday.
“From the gun, I was running with whoever was leading the marathon,” he said. ”(After the first mile), I was really by myself. That made it tough with the wind.”
Andrews recently moved to Cambridge after living in the Washington, D.C., area for three years. He is director and co-owner of STRIVE Trips. His company organizes youth trips abroad that combine athletics, cultural exchange and community service.
Andrews said he probably will not race again before the U.S. Marathon Championships in six weeks.
“I have to focus on staying healthy,” he said. “Make sure (the Achilles is) good and strong, ready to go.”
On the women’s side, this was the first half marathon run by winner Allie Hackett of Cranston, R.I., who is upping her racing mileage since finishing her collegiate track career in May. Allie and her twin sister Michaela were both standout distance runners at Abilene Christian University in Texas.
Having recently joined the Boston Athletic Association, Allie Hackett won here in 1:17:35.2. Hackett finished 43 seconds ahead of second-place Rachel Hyland, 31, the former Andover resident who was fourth among women at this year’s Boston Marathon.
Hackett, 23, who ran a 33:51 10k on the track in college, hoped to run 1:16:30 on Sunday in her first half marathon. She was off by about a minute. She finished 11th overall among 1,119 finishers in the half marathon.
“It was a lot colder and windier than I expected,” said Hackett. “Given these conditions, I’m pretty happy.”
Hackett left Abilene Christian with a master’s in accounting. She will squeeze in her first full marathon before starting a job in the Boston office of Ernst & Young in January. Her first go at 26.2 miles will be the upcoming California International Marathon.