World 50k Champion Tony Migliozzi Focused on Armory NYC Indoor Marathon WR, by Sabrina Yohannes

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Tony Migliozzi suburbanite.com .jpgTony Migliozzi, in the lead, 2016 NYRR Indoor Marathon WR, photo courtesy of Suburbanite.com

The Armory NYC Indoor Marathon is to be held tomorrow, March 25, 2017. Among the field is Tony Migliozzi, the World Champion over 50k, and the man who was second in 2016, and who wants to change his position by one in 2017. Here is our story from Sabrina Yohannes.

World 50K Champion Tony Migliozzi Focused On Indoor Marathon WR

By Sabrina Yohannes

Tony Migliozzi of Ohio was the reigning world 50K champion when he participated in his first indoor marathon at the NYC Armory last year, running 2:24:02 to finish well under the rare event's former world record.

Unfortunately for Migliozzi, he was the runner-up in that 2016 race, behind Malcolm Richards of California, who set a new world record of 2:21:56.

Migliozzi is again the sitting world 50K gold-medalist, having successfully defended his title in Qatar late last year, and he's contesting the indoor 26.2 miles at the Armory again this Saturday, March 25, with one clear goal.

"I really want the world record," Migliozzi told RunBlogRun on Thursday. "That's been kind of on my mind. Being second last year kind of left a bitter taste in my mouth, and I felt like I had more in the tank. The build-up this year has been a lot more specific to this race."

Migliozzi has had his sights set on the second annual Armory NYC Indoor Marathon presented by New York Road Runners for some time.

"I decided probably about a month after the 50K world championship, which was in November," he said, adding that he'd run the 2016 indoor marathon with little specific preparation, and off primarily 5K- and 10K-specific workouts. "This year, I've done a lot more mileage; I've done a lot more longer sessions, so I'm definitely well-prepared."

The 2016 Akron, Ohio road marathon champion said he's been doing repetitions on an indoor track at the Sports Dome facility in his area of North Canton, Ohio. He has a fast clocking in mind for the nearly 211 laps he will run on the 200m track of the New Balance Track and Field Center at the Armory.

"I want to break Malcolm's previous world record and I think the winner can break 2:20," Migliozzi said. "I think that's in the realm of possibility, depending on how fast we start."

Migliozzi has an outdoor marathon best of 2:17:27 clocked in Houston in 2015. He set a course record of 2:21:41 in Akron in September, where he won by a margin of over two minutes, before placing 15th at the Chicago marathon a fortnight later.

His competition at the Armory on Saturday will include the former indoor world record-holder, Michael Wardian, who ran 2:27:21 in 2010; treadmill marathon 2:21:40 record-holder Eric Blake; and 2016 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials qualifiers Christopher Zablocki and Matt Gillette.

"I know Christopher Zablocki; he is an animal!" said Migliozzi admiringly. "He runs like a marathon a month, and he destroys all of them, and he's someone who is extremely talented. I think he'll be in the mix for the race."

Zablocki, of Connecticut, won the January 29 Miami marathon in 2:18:15, and has a personal best of 2:15:39, run in Valencia, Spain in 2015.

The Virginia resident Wardian had also qualified for U.S. Olympic Trials marathons, in 2004, 2008 and 2012; and has won national ultra-running titles in addition to tackling unusual running challenges.

"He's just completed that seven marathons in seven days on seven continents," said Migliozzi. "That's got to weigh on your body a little bit." He said he thought Wardian would be in the mix as well.

Wardian accomplished that globe-trotting feat in January, running an average time of 2:45:57 for the seven marathons, run in Antarctica, Australia, Chile, Morocco, Spain, United Arab Emirates and Miami in the U.S. He told the Armory organizers he'd love to regain the indoor marathon record he lost last year.

At that April 9, 2016 Armory race, the top two finishers shared pace-making duties with Calum Neff of Texas, who had set a Guinness world record running a half marathon pushing a stroller.

"We were trading the lead every, about, like mile or two miles," Migliozzi recalled, adding about the possibility of shared pace-making this Saturday, "I think it'll happen just organically. I think we're all going to want to go under that pace, so everyone's going to have to do a little bit of work to make that happen."

Ahead of last year's inaugural race, Neff had singled out Migliozzi as the favorite, telling RunBlogRun: "He'll be my top pick, honestly. If he's healthy and in good shape and he's been training for this, on paper, he is the clear winner."

"I'm excited, I have experience from already having done it before," said Migliozzi on Thursday. He said that one lesson learned from that prior undertaking was that, "It's just so mentally fatiguing. You really have to stay focused." He added that a stretch when he briefly lost focus last year cost him some time.

"This year, I'm more prepared," he said.

Relay teams will also cover the 26.2-mile distance indoors at the Armory at various times over the weekend, and Laura Manninen of Finland and American Kate Pallardy of New York will pursue the individual marathon women's world record of 2:44:44 set in 2016 at the same venue by New Yorker Allie Kieffer.

The women's race takes place at the same time the men's field goes after Richards' mark: at noon on Saturday. The event will be webcast live at ArmoryTrack.com.

"It's been a three- to four-month build-up," said Migliozzi. "I'm ready to roll."

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