Tyler McCandless


Fort Collins, CO




Road Racing, 5k to Marathon

Growing up playing soccer, Tyler thought; “What better way to get in shape for soccer than to run high school track?” In his first high school track meet in 2002, Tyler ran a 4:56 mile in a dual meet and instantly began to love running. It was that same year that he began to love the simplicity in the fact that consistency, dedication, positivity, and a strong inner belief can lead to extraordinary results and accomplishing lofty goals, and he continues to love that simplicity of the sport today.  

He ended up switching from soccer to cross country and track and ended his high school career with a still-standing school and PIAA District XI record 9:13 3200m. In college, he improved each year and culminated his Penn State running career by earning All-American honors in the 10k in 2010, his final race in Penn State uniform.  

After graduating with a BS and MS in Meteorology, Tyler moved from State College, Pennsylvania to Boulder, Colorado to finish his Ph.D. and shift his running to competitively on the roads. In his first marathon in 2010, Tyler ran 2:17 and qualified for the 2012 Olympic Marathon Trials. Since then, he’s been steadily competing on the roads, in races from the mile to the marathon, with highlights of earning a 2nd place finish at the 2017 USA Marathon Championships and competing in three Olympic Marathon Trials.  

Off the track, Tyler is a husband to his wife, Kristin, and a father to his son, Levi. In his professional career, Tyler is a Data Scientist at E Source, providing advanced analytics to help utilities make better decisions to improve reliability. 

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  • 2017 USA Marathon Championships, 2nd place in 2:12:28 

  • 3x Olympic Marathon Trials Qualifier 

  • 9x Top 10 Finisher at USA Championships 

  • All-American at Penn State in 10,000m 

  • 3x Kauai Marathon winner and 6x Kauai Half Marathon winner (course record holder for both) 

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How fast do you think you could run a backwards mile?
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What is one of your most memorable non-competition runs?

This summer two good friends and I ran the Boulder Skyline Traverse that covers five major peaks (Bear Peak, South Boulder Peak, Green Mountain, Flagstaff Mountain and Mt. Sanitas). Definitely the most vert I’ve done in a run with spectacular views on a hot day. 

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If you had to pick one race or event this year that you anticipate will be your most proud achievement or moment, which one would it be and why? Do you have a special connection?

I’d really like to execute a great marathon in the fall, so hopefully a major marathon like Boston or Chicago, or potentially going after a win and fast time at the California International Marathon. 

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What is your favorite event to watch that you don’t participate in?

Live updates from Western States or Leadville 100…or an Olympic Trials 1500m.

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Do you have any quirky running habits?

Not really…you’d have to ask my training partners ;-) 



Eat a slice of pizza mid-race or drink a milkshake?


Run on an empty stomach or a full bladder? 

Empty stomach.

Do a beer mile or a milk mile?

Beer mile.

Run in the freezing cold or the sweltering heat?

Sweltering heat…preferably humid.

Be met at the finish line with your favorite beverage or favorite meal?

I’d need some time afterwards to let my stomach settle…then both a beer and chicken tenders would be ideal, or a nice plate of nachos. 

Come across a snake or a rat on your run?


Run with a blister on your foot or a cramp in your side?

Blister, but I don’t get them running in Altra shoes. 

Give up core work or stretching and still stay injury-free?

I haven’t stretched a muscle since 2010. 

Run uphill in the first half of your run or the second?

First half.