There’s a new girl in town. Actually, Allie Kieffer has been living in Austin off and on for about two years. Originally from West Islip, New York, she is one of the top women distance runners in the country. She took fifth pace at no less than the New York City Marathon (2017) in two hours, 29 minutes and 39 seconds, a time she lowered there in 2018 with a personal best of 2:28:12.
Here in Austin, she’s gone three for three: winning the Thundercloud Turkey Trot in 2019, the Austin Half Marathon in February of 2021, and just this past week, the Run for the Water 10 Miler for a solid victory.
Kieffer, 34, polished off a mega-training week with the race, as she is now gearing up for the USA Track and Field Half Marathon Championships, set for December 5 in Hardeeville, South Carolina.
“I’ll hit 100 miles this week. I wanted to run marathon pace through the hills, and It went better than I thought.”
Kieffer ran the entire race with no other woman in sight. She broke the tape on the South First Street bridge in 54:56, smashing Jessica Harper’s 2018 course record of 57:22 by more than two minutes. 2020 Austin Marathon champ Sarah Jackson cruised home in second, clocked in 59:53, while Brittany Truitt took third in 1:01:58.
Mitch Ammons, 32, fought off Ready to Run’s Rory Tunningley to win the men’s race, coming within reach of Mark Pinales’ 2019 record of 49:40. “About three miles out, I had the course record (Mark Pinales’ 49:40 set in Mark Pinales’ 2019) running through my mind,” said Ammons, 32. “I thought maybe I could snag it, but with a mile to go, I knew I couldn’t.”
Passing through mile one in 5:00 flat, Ammons was a bit behind Tunningley. “We traded off the lead for the first three miles. Good sportsmanship,” he said.
Ammons hit five miles on the hills of Scenic Drive in 25:02, a few steps ahead of Tunningley, a 2016 and 2020 Olympic Marathon trials qualifier, and steadily pulled away on the second half of the course. Ammons broke the tape in 50:28, ahead of Tunningley’s 51:51. Jefferey Stein was third in 52:18.
The Run for the Water race was the third event in the six-race Austin Distance Challenge series. Next up is the Decker Challenge on January 2, 2022 (Note: The Decker Challenge has a new venue: COTA (Circuit of the Americas), and the 3M Half Marathon, set for January 23, 2022. The series culminates with the Ascension Seton Austin Marathon & Half Marathon on February 20, 2022.
Upcoming Races: Saturday, November 20 at 9:00 a.m., the Lockhart State Park Turkey Trot 5K at Lockhart State Park. Thursday, November 25 at 9:00 a.m., the Cedar Park Turkey Day 5K in Cedar Park. Thursday, November 25 at 9:30 a.m., the Thundercloud Turkey Trot Five Miler at Riverside Dr. And Lady Bird Lake.