Boulder’s Rizzo eighth in Marathon at Pan American Games

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GUADALAJARA, Mexico – Patrick Rizzo of Team USA finished eighth in the men’s marathon in two hours, 21 minutes, 58 seconds on the final day of competition at the XVI Pan American Games Sunday.

Rizzo, 28 who trains in Boulder while working for Runners Roost, said he didn’t have any problem with the mile high altitude (elevation 5,138 feet) for the race, which included four laps on a 10,000-meter course along Avenue Vallarta by the Arcos de Guadalajara Monument to downtown Guadalajara.

“I live in Boulder (Colorado) so I’m the exact same altitude that we were at. I had a real good training block. The support was fantastic here, random people shouting USA, USA. It didn’t matter what country you were from, the fans were cheering for everyone. The international community is amazing in the village and in Guadalajara in general.

“I was planning on running somewhere in that 2:20 to 2:22 range, given the altitude and temperature and that’s exactly what I ran. But the race didn’t unfold quite as much as we were expecting with people to break apart and fall off. So I executed exactly what I was planning to, but the outcome was just different than I expected.

Rizzo went through the splits at 10k (33:11)…20k (1:06.28)…30k (1:40.11)…40k (2:14.23).

“This is actually perfect for my build up (Olympic Trials). I already have a real sold base from doing this marathon buildup. So my plan from here is spending two weeks just laying real low, relaxing and living like a 28-year old and then get serious again for an eight-week buildup. For me eight weeks is plenty of time and I’ve generally peaked about then which was part of the danger of this training block being 16 weeks. I was in very good shape about the last six weeks” added Rizzo.

Jeffery Eggleston (Greece, N.Y.) dropped out of the marathon due to illness, according to Dr. Gloria Beim, chief medical officer for Team USA.

Brazil’s Solonei Silva, 19,  earned the gold medal, winning in 2:16.37 under sunny skies with the temperature reaching a high of 74 degrees during the race. Columbia’s Diego Colorado (2:17.13) and Juan Cardona (2:18.20) claimed the silver and bronze medals, respectively.

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