At one point, Chris Solinsky was poised as one of the toughest athletes not only in the United States, but also in the world. Being engaged in a sport that normally sees winners of east African decent, Solinsky never backed down from a race, and put America back on the map for distance running.
In races that typically saw Ethiopians and Kenyans battling it out, Solinsky broke up the monotony, and made other American runners believe they could mix it up with the Africans. Solinsky was a force to be reckoned with, that is, until he tore his hamstring in 2011.
After having a string of phenomenal seasons, Chris Solinsky came face to face with one of the largest setbacks of his career. In the middle of an Olympic year, Chris Solinsky’s heavy mileage and hectic workouts ended up being too much for his body to handle. His season ended abruptly, and for the last few years, Sol has been trying to work his way back to the fitness that earned him sub-13 5K and sub-27 10K PRs.
While it may have taken time, it looks as though Sol is well on the way to recovery, and beginning to get in shape for a run at a World Championship team spot this summer. While this may be a stretch, this is one of the toughest men in distance running we are talking about. While Sol’s first race back to competition wasn’t incredibly telling of fitness (an 8:05 3K indoors) his next crack at racing was a huge leap in the right direction.
In a stacked field at the Stanford Invitational Meet, Solinsky ran a 13:23 5K. While this is nearly 30 seconds off of his PR, 13:23 is a massive improvement on an 8:05 3k. Now, with a solid race under his belt, and a renewed sense of confidence, Solinksy will try and hit the “A” standard of 13:15 at a meet in Occidental, California in the end of May.
While winning races isn’t new for Solinksy, getting injured is. Sol’s hamstring tear is one of the only major injuries the 28-year-old has experienced in his career. The injury was a result of an increase in mileage, nearing the 150 miles per week mark. While his return to racing form is evident, the question remains whether or not Chris Solinsky will be able to return to world-class form? If his progression this season so far is any indicator, those in the distance world better watch out.