As Puma re-enters the distance running space, the brand has built a quiver of talent ranging from the road to the track. The most recent addition to their lineup, Aussie Pat Tiernan.
The two-time Olympian, eleven-time Big East Conference champion and Villanova University alumnus marked the beginning of the newest chapter in his professional running career with an announcement on his Instagram.
After spending years under the guidance of Mark Rowland and the Oregon Track Club, Tiernan decided it was time to move on, and will join Puma’s distance training group led by Alistair Cragg in Raleigh, North Carolina.
“There just wasn’t an option for me at Nike. I’m a fair way in my career and seeing the success Molly Seidel has had this past year and a half gave me a lot of confidence in the company [Puma],” Tiernan explained.
Tiernan broke in his Puma kit at the Chevron Houston Half Marathon this past weekend, dropping a blazing-hot PR of 60:55, hinting at the possibility of a sub-60 half.
“Road racing is such a different experience from track and something I’ve always enjoyed, so to be able to open my season with that experience was something I loved doing,” the traditionally 5k/10k specialist said.
Tiernan’s early career was marked by strong track performances in the longer distance races, taking him to collegiate championships and two Olympic Games where he represented his home country of Australia.
With the World Championships at Eugene, OR on the horizon this summer, Tiernan won’t be quick to abandon the 10k, but remains excited to make his foray onto the streets.
“My goals [for Worlds] are to be in the lead and to make sure I’m learning from past mistakes,” Tiernan said, reflecting on his DNF at the Olympic 10k in Tokyo this summer. “That’ll be a big sign of growth when I’m able to adjust for those things and put myself in the best position possible to achieve what I want to.”
The growth mindset that drives Tiernan on his new journey is not measured by flat-out success. Instead, Tiernan places value on his sense of confidence, and uses it to reflect upon and project new growth.
“It’s not necessarily racing confidence, it’s having confidence in myself. It’s important to remember as an athlete to always bet on yourself and know you're capable of doing the things you want to.”
What are the things Tiernan wants to do? Among others, reaching for the Olympic marathon at Paris in 2024.
“The last few months is the first time I’ve really got excited about the concept of the marathon. Leading into Paris, that's the event I want to be doing.”
If his half-marathon is any indicator, we can hope to see him enjoying a post-race baguette under the Eiffel Tower over the summer of 2024.
We are excited to see everything Tiernan and the growing Puma distance crew accomplish this coming season! Congratulations Pat!
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