Olympic marathon trials 2020
Race Recap from the Olympic Marathon Trials
I wanted to give myself a few days to soak in everything that took place over the weekend. I didn’t want my initial emotions involved too much into this recap. Here is how things went:
Arriving Thursday afternoon in Atlanta is when things first hit me. I was getting ready to compete in the most important race of my life. Yeah, this is my second time running in the trials (2016), but I was going into this race with much more experience. I arrived at the Omni Hotel and all the qualifiers were already there. Yes, they keep all the runners in the same hotel. Probably the only sport that does this. For the rest of my time, up until the race, I was either eating, sleeping, or attending meetings, checking in personal fluid bottles, getting my uniform and shoes approved, and getting my bib. Waking up Saturday morning I had this calm feeling amongst me. I was actually watching Animal Planet. Lol. The race didn’t start until noon so I had time to sit around in the hotel room. Then it was time to head down to the elite athlete tent. I got my 1 mile warm up done and headed over to the starting line.
I had a plan going into this race. I wanted to be conservative. My thought process was that things were going to play out like they did at the 2016 trials. A lot of runners bonked that day. When the gun went off it was just one huge group of runners. I hit the mile at 5:25 and when I looked back I saw 3 runners behind me. This was what I wanted. It’s a long race. I hung around 5:25-5:30 pace for the next 10ish miles or so. At this point I was still one of the back 10 runners out of 226 starters. I hit the halfway at 1:12 and decided it was time to start pushing the pace. It wasn’t a big increase (5:18-5:20 pace) but runners started coming back to me quickly. I probably passed about 5-10 runners per mile for each of the last 13.1 miles. Come to find out I passed 139 runners in the race. I also had the 9th fastest last 2 miles of the race. When I crossed the finish line I thought I had done exactly what I wanted. The goal was top 50. Unfortunately, my plan didn’t work out as I thought it would as I only finished 83rd. The runners ahead of me ran much faster than I thought they would. I ran my race, but I left too much out there on the course. Overall, it was still a great race. I felt good the entire time and had a blast out there. Even in Atlanta, I was hearing my name more times then I could count. I’m thankful for that. The wind and hills were brutal out there. I would say the wind was more of a factor than the hills. I felt like there were times where I could’ve walked faster when I was running into a headwind. Lol. Anyways, it was an amazing experience and I will never what it was like to compete with the best.