North Central College - Naperville, IL

Alumnus Pat Rizzo takes eighth at Pan American Games marathon

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North Central College men’s cross country and track & field alumnus Patrick Rizzo ’05 finished eighth Sunday at the Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico.

Rizzo told the Chicago Tribune he didn’t have any problem with the mile-high altitude as he clocked 2 hours, 21 minutes, 58 seconds in what was a tuneup for January’s Olympic trials.

“This is the same elevation as my hometown of Boulder (Colorado),” he said.  “I was planning on running somewhere in that 2:20 to 2:22 range, given the altitude and temperature.”

Brazil’s Solonei Silva, 19, won in 2:16.37.

“This is actually perfect for my build up (Olympic Trials),” Rizzo told the Tribune. “I already have a real solid base from doing this marathon buildup. So my plan from here is spending two weeks just laying real low, relaxing and living like a 28-year old and then get serious again for an eight-week buildup.”

Rizzo earned four NCAA Division III All-America certificates in track & field and three in cross country during his time at North Central, winning a total of four College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin (CCIW) individual championships. He was the champion of the 2010 Rock N' Roll Chicago Half Marathon and finished in 10th place (the second American finisher) at the 2009 Chicago Marathon in a personal best time of 2 hours, 15 minutes, 48 seconds. Rizzo was the 15th finisher (the third American) at the Boston Marathon that same year.

Rizzo is a native of Schaumburg and currently lives and trains in Boulder, Colo.