Mark Pinales (at right) ran stride for stride with Rory Tunningley at the Thundercloud Turkey Trot 5 Miler

You never know who is going to show up for the Thundercloud Turkey Trot. Lots of folks were in town during the break last week, and some of them are pretty darn fast. That would be the case with Allie Kieffer, who won the women’s race.

So who is Allie Kieffer? Well, she just happens to be one of the top women distance runners in the country. We’re talking fifth pace at no less than the New York City Marathon (2017) in a time of 2:29:39., and in 2018 placed second at the US 20K Road Championships in 1:09:20 behind winner Sara Hall.

Kieffer, who recently relocated to Austin, ran 27:51, averaging 5:34 a mile over the rolling course. Kieffer must have inspired the other women, as the next two—Portland Oregon’s Hanna Grubb (29:36) and Lizzy Gregory of San Francisco (29:38) were also under 30 minutes.

While the women’s race featured out-of-towners, the men’s race was all about local heroes.

Mark Pinales, fresh off a record-setting run at the Run form the Water 10 Miler (49:40) ran stride for stride with Rory Tunningley and Allen Sumrall as the three former Longhorns ate up the miles at a 4:53 pace.

“Mark, Allen and I ran the first two and a half miles together, and I had a slight lead on them, but they were both basically on my shoulder,” said Tunningley, a 2020 Olympic Marathon Trials qualifier.

“When we turned onto MoPac service road, Mark and I broke away from Allen and started to pick up the pace. I made a few small moves trying to break Mark, but he responded every time and he stayed on my shoulder.”

With about a mile to go in the race Pinales started to push more, but Tunningley stayed with him. With about half a mile to go Pinales opened up a small gap that Tunningley wasn’t able to close. He held the lead to the finish, nipping Tunningley 24:25 to 24:30. Sumrall, who is on his way to earning his government at the University of Texas was not far behind, taking third place in 24:56.

Upcoming Races: Saturday, December 14 at 9:00 a.m., the Cedar Park Santa Dash 5K at Gupton Stadium in Cedar Park. Saturday, December 14 at 8:30 a.m., the Jingle Bell Run 5K at Camp Mabry, 2200 West 35th Street in Austin.