Saturday was the Olympic trials in the marathon, and man was it awesome. I was supposed to be going on a retreat with my team this weekend but because of weather and black ice leading up to the cabin and the safety of the girls, we had to cancel the weekend. We are going to reschedule, but that was a bummer. That left me with a wide open weekend with not much to do yesterday so I got to watch the entire thing. Tanner and my dad were outside building the bench portion of our mudroom that I'll show a picture of momentarily.
If you don't know about the olympic trials, you have to qualify in order to get to that point and then once you get there, the top three in the men and women are what will make up the team for the US. I think it's very interesting that to qualify for the trials, you had to have at least a 2:45 marathon for the women, and 2:19 in men. There are many that start the race, and my thought process is those that run a 2:45 marathon must know that they are just there for the experience and not that they would ever actually make the top 3 because the winners ran a 2:28 and 2:09 (women and men respectively). There were some really interesting things that happened during the marathon, so I thought I'd give a recap and my opinion.
The winner in the men is a guy named Galen Rupp who has NEVER RUN A MARATHON. Say what? He has a lot of experience in running but just not that distance. He qualified for the trials with a half marathon time, and then he beat everyone. How crazy right? He seems like such a nice guy and I'm very happy for him although I can't help but think of the guy in fourth place that has been in the game for a while, and knows that if this guy hadn't come out of nowhere then he would be going to the Olympics, but what's fair is fair. Galen clearly has a big future in marathon running ahead of him with that kind of speed.
Side Note: the temp was 70 degrees making it the hottest Olympic trials in history! That's obviously going to affect everyone.
The winner for the women was Amy Cragg. What's interesting about her is that she got fourth in the last olympic trials and says that she has been working for four years straight to come back from this. I just imagine her day after day, year after year putting in the work and it makes me really happy for her. Her training partner is Shalene Flanagan and the reason this matters is because Shalene took third however after the race even Shalene said that she wouldn't have made it through without Amy. The effect these two had on one another was like nothing I've ever seen. Amy's time probably would have been much better, but she would not leave Shalene behind. She kept glancing behind her and cheering her on. It is such an individual sport and yet she never left Shalene in the dust. I'm not even sure I would have done that... like yea I'm pretty positive I wouldn't have. When the second place girl started closing in, that's when Amy took off so she could secure the title.
If you're a fan of marathon running at all, you've probably heard of Meb Keflezighi who is a rockstar in the men's marathon running world. He is 40 years old (the oldest to ever qualify) and yet again secured the Olympic team. He is a refugee from Africa, and he is one of 10 siblings that came to the US in 1987 having never seen a car or TV. He is the epitome of good character, and if you don't like Meb then GET YOUR LIFE TOGETHER. haha! He's so sweet and great.
You've probably also heard of Kara Goucher. She has a long story of where she's been over the past few years, but this was her fighting chance to come back and make the olympic team. Unfortunately she got fourth. She even says in the post interview that she knows that the other girls were just simply better than her and she did everything she could. She was also crying during this interview, and it was really pitiful.
The other people that have secured the spot are:
Women: Amy Cragg (who I mentioned earlier-2:28:20), Desi Linden (forreal, she's a beast-2:28:54)), and Amy's training partner, Shalene Flanagan (2:29:19)
Men: Galen Rupp(2:09), Meb(2:12), and Jared Ward (2:13)
I really just want to go into all the details about all of the other contenders that didn't even place like Sara Hall because I love her, but I'm trying to keep this short and sweet.
I think that just like always, it's so important to draw inspiration from these people. They work so incredibly hard. They train day after day, year after year, for moments like this. They put their heart and soul into everything that they do, and train like you've never seen before in running. It's so inspiring, and makes me feel so happy and proud to even be in the running world. It means so much to so many people, and it leaves me more motivated than ever to do my 12 miles on Sunday.