MOUNT MORRIS — With Tim Chichester’s 15th place overall finish and 3rd place for American’s at the TCS New York City Marathon behind him, he is now focused on the next goal, making the United States Olympic Trials.
Chichester, who went to Mount Morris Central School and ran for SUNY Geneseo under legendary Coach Mike Woods, inched closer to his goal of qualifying for the Olympic Trials with a time of 2:221:25 at a pace of 5:24/mile as he raced through the windy streets of the Big Apple.
“It was a great experience running a marathon in my home state. I felt like I had the hometown advantage,” said Chichester who was the 11th overall finisher at the 2012 Boston Marathon. “I’ve run six marathons now, two of them being out of country, and haven’t run a marathon in New York until now. The crowd’s cheering was unbelievable, and really gave me some extra strength at the end of the race. The race reminded me of my experience at Boston in a lot of ways.”
As amazing a runner that Chichester his, he continues to be an underdog when it comes to elite marathon runners. He continues to start in the non-elite corrals which can be challenging to navigate crowded fields, especially in courses with narrow streets.
“I was going into the race as an unknown or as a wild card. My typical race strategy is to hit a specific split each mile, but this time I decided that I was just going to run as a competitor and let my time take care of itself,” said Chichester, who started in the sub-elite corral. “Eventually the two groups converge on each other and we run the rest of the race on the same route. It was at this point that I could see the lead pack, and throughout the race, elite runners would drop off the lead pack and I would ‘reel them in’ as a way to work my way up. I had no idea what place I was in towards the end of the race, but I knew I must be doing well because people from the crowd started to give me USA chants.”
There was more than just one Chichester in the hunt in New York City. His sister Jessica had a great race too, cracking the top 50 in the women’s race with a time of 2:59:19, 49th overall in the women’s field.
So far, just over 160 American runners have qualified for the 2016 Olympic Marathon Trials and Tim Chichester will need to run a sub 2:18 marathon to make the race. In 2012, Chichester’s ran 2:21:10 at the Boston Marathon was the 2nd fastest American in the race on that day.
“I am going to give it one more shot this January at the Jacksonville marathon. It has been a dream I have been chasing for a while, and every time I fall short, it just encourages me to train harder and try again,” said Chichester who has now moved back from Mexico and is now living in Wellsville where is a Special Education Teacher for BOCES. “I am working closely with Coach Mike Reif from Genesee Valley Harriers to make one last rally for the Olympic trials. It’s difficult to teach full time and train, but I have the best support team with my teammates, family, friends and of course my loving fiancée.”