LOS ANGELES — Through the opening miles of the Olympic Team Trials Marathon on Saturday morning, Tyler McCandless ran near the front of the pack, often next to pre-race favorite Meb Keflezighi.
Then, about the five-mile mark, he moved into the lead, even opening a 10-yard gap on the field in Los Angeles. For about three miles, McCandless pushed the pace. The announcers of the nationally televised event noted that McCandless had a Ph.D. in meteorology and had won the Kauai Marathon, so he was used to running in the heat.
The pack pulled him in shortly after the eight-mile mark and while the 29-year-old McCandless hung on for several more miles, he eventually faded and dropped out at the 20-mile mark.
“I felt I had chills but wasn’t sweating anymore,” he wrote in a Facebook post.
The three-time winner of the Kauai Marathon and two-time winner of the Kauai Half Marathon said he was feeling good going into the 26.2-mile race and decided to take a chance and go to the front.
“Breakthroughs don’t happen without taking a risk,” he wrote. “Today I took a risk but a breakthrough didn’t happen.”
Many on Kauai watching the race unfold were proud of McCandless.
“Amazing effort Tyler,” wrote Robin Jumper.
McCandless, who lives in Boulder, Colo., and graduated from Penn State, said he gave it his all.
“The marathon is humbling, but the incredible support from friends and family is more humbling,” he wrote.
“Thank you all and I’ll be back and striding towards new goals again soon.”