Conner Mantz hopes to break 2:08:00 in his marathon debut at next month’s Chicago Marathon. He vocalized his goal in an interview with CITIUS MAG’s Kyle Merber after winning the 2022 USATF 20K Championships in New Haven, Connecticut in 59:09.
“I think if everything goes as planned, I think sub-2:08 is realistic,” he said. “If everything goes perfect, I think a sub-2:07 is a big stretch goal.”
Watch the full interview with Mantz below:
Mantz is a two-time NCAA cross country champion and won the 2021 U.S. half marathon title. He has a 60:55 personal best for 13.1 miles, which puts him at No. 9 on the all-time U.S. list. This summer, he ran a personal best of 13:11.81 for 5000m for a 5th place finish at the U.S. Outdoor Track and Field Championships. He also took 7th in the 10,000m U.S. Championship race at the Prefontaine Classic in late May.
The fastest marathon debut by an American man is 2:07:56 by Leonard Korir from the 2019 Amsterdam Marathon. Last year, Galen Rupp was the top American in 2:06:35 and finished second to Ethiopia’s Seifu Tura Abdiwak, who won in 2:06:12.
Only five American men have run under 2:09 at the Chicago Marathon: Khalid Khannouchi (2:05.56 in 2002; 2:07:01 in 2000; 2:08:44 in 2004); Galen Rupp (2:06:21 in 2018; 2:06:35 in 2021); Dathan Ritzenhein (2:07:47 in 2012); Ryan Hall (2:08:04 in 2011) and Abdi Abdirahman (2:08:56 in 2006).