Marty Hehir of the U.S. won The Marathon Project on Sunday morning, posting a massive PB of 2:08:59 to finish just ahead of fellow American Noah Droddy, whose 2:09:09 result was also a lifetime best. Hehir and Droddy spent much of the race in the lead pack, but when that group dwindled to just a few men after the 35K checkpoint, they took off to fight for the win. Hehir eventually built a sizeable gap between himself and Droddy, and it proved to be enough, as he crossed the line with a 10-second lead to take the win.
Going into The Marathon Project, Hehir — who trains with Canadians Justyn Knight and Ben Flanagan on the Reebok Boston Track Club in Virginia — owned a PB of 2:11:29. He ran this time at the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials in February, a race in which he finished in sixth, just three places off a spot on the American Olympic team for the Tokyo Games. That result gave him the sixth-fastest seed time heading into Sunday’s race, although on paper, he was still two minutes and 20 seconds slower than top-ranked Scott Fauble, who has a PB of 2:09:09. None of that matters now, as Hehir leaves Arizona with the fastest PB of anyone in the field.
Hehir looked to be struggling in the final couple of kilometres in the race, but Droddy was unable to catch him, and he, Droddy, ended up in second. Before Sunday, Droddy’s best marathon result was a 2:11:42 from the 2019 Chicago Marathon. Like Hehir, he smashed his PB, running more than two and a half minutes faster than he did in 2019. Hehir’s and Droddy’s results at The Marathon Project catapulted them up the U.S. marathon rankings, and they now sit at numbers eight and 10 all-time, with American running legend Meb Keflezighi in ninth between them.
Third place went to Colin Bennie, another Reebok Boston Track Club athlete, in 2:09:38. Like the two men before him, Bennie also ran to a PB finish, beating his previous best of 2:12:14, which he ran at the U.S. Trials earlier this year. Bennie finished just ahead of Fauble, who ran 2:09:42. Check out full results from The Marathon Project here, and to see how the Canadian runners fared in Arizona, click here.