Jump to content
  • Bloop

The Last-Minute OTQ Chasers

SIbbetson

190 views

Throughout my Olympic Trials Qualifying time-chase, I've connected with many amazing women who shared the same goal.  Over the past couple of years, I've celebrated with several who have reached the goal.  I've commiserated with several who have missed.  I've connected with many who kept dreaming.

Before the Houston Marathon, I was included in a message group with the 2:45 pacer and other women planning to run with the group.  While I struggled with feeling like an outsider because I was struggling to find the same importance in the pursuit as I previously did after losing my brother, I related to the women and their passion.

IMG_0807.jpg

Group photo before Saturday's shake-out run

82853976_10156632955217477_612503967527600128_n.jpg

No one plans to try for the OTQ on the very last day the qualifying window is open, 6 weeks before the Trials.  The women in this group hadn't achieved the standard for one reason or another:  near misses (one woman had run 2:45:02), injury (one woman was in a boot at her goal race), disagreeable weather, pregnancy, illness, simply a bad day, etc.  Some had breakthrough performances in the fall, such as dropping 5-10 minute PRs for 2:48-2:52s and wondered if they could dream a little bigger still.  Some had already raced 3 fall marathons, coming close each time.  Some had raced attempts just 2 weeks prior to Houston!

82323220_10156632955442477_2402831462475759616_n.jpg

Pre-race note in Runners World

83410110_10156632955352477_4226160592773185536_n.jpg

Pre-race note in Fast Women newsletter

These ladies were the most determined grittiest women you'll find.  Every single person felt that the perfect day would be her finishing in the very back of the huge pack in 2:45:00.  I passionately wanted every one of the women to get it, and I believe they all have a sub-2:45 in them.  I really realized that the difference between those who qualified and those who didn't was often just things aligning slightly differently - whether that was weather, a pace group, health, timing, etc.  It's just a different perspective when you're one of the 2:46s versus one of the 2:44s.

83322254_10156632954682477_364077892281303040_n.jpg

My friend Liz from Portland was among the

dreamers - she & I ran the Portland Marathon

together in 2009 (I ran a PR of 3:08 then)

Everyone loves the stories about the woman who got the standard in her first marathon, of the woman who ran it off of 50 miles a week, of the woman who ran it despite surgery or injury, of the woman who ran it 6 months postpartum (or while pregnant!), of the woman who did it because she just wanted it bad enough.  I guarantee that every women in the Houston last chance group wanted it more than bad enough.  I'm thrilled for every woman who made it to the Trials - especially those for whom it didn't come easy to - and I celebrate this amazing time in U.S. women's marathoning.  But!  I admire the tenacity of the underdogs so much.  Some women tried for 10 years before they got it - others tried for 10 years to narrowly miss it.  Some ran several 2:45:XXs.  Some debuted with 4:00 marathons and kept showing up.  Talent is a beautiful thing, but hard work is even more beautiful.

83102218_10156632955087477_5041012744631877632_n.jpg

Shake-out run taking off

82354506_10156632955077477_5251721684100055040_n.jpg

Pre-shake out chatter

I am so thankful this goal has connected me with so many strong women, with so many hard-working dreamers.  I was so honored to be part of the Houston group.  I now have friends all over the U.S. who understand how I felt on January 20.  The goal is gone, but the spirit and community live on.

My dad's video from the OTQ shake-out run is here.

See the pre-race mention of the 2:45 pace group in the Fast Women Newsletter here.

My short Houston race recap is here.

Read my longer race recap part 1 here, and part 2 here.

Our group was featured in Runners World here (3 screenshots from article below)! 

IMG_0846.PNG

 

IMG_0853.PNG

 

IMG_0858.PNG

 

82271117_10156632954622477_5557143139300409344_n.jpg

Happy group

82618263_10156632954702477_450211872264683520_n.jpg

I'm glad Runners World didn't use this one since my face is halfway blocked!

IMG_0808.jpg

Shake out run

IMG_0809.jpg

Shake out run

82338557_10156632954982477_3602054840542298112_n.jpg

My dad cheered for me at every attempt

82844488_10156632954947477_9153182122230415360_n.jpg

My husband supported this chase 100%

 

  • Like 4


11 Comments


Recommended Comments

Love this. And loved tracking your quest.

A guy from my local group was there and ran 2:18:31 to get his OTQ and will be going to Atlanta.

  • Like 1

Share this comment


Link to comment
4 hours ago, BANGLE said:

Love this. And loved tracking your quest.

A guy from my local group was there and ran 2:18:31 to get his OTQ and will be going to Atlanta.

Awesome for him!

Share this comment


Link to comment

You are so inspiring! Glad you kept going after it. I’m sure your brother in heaven is so proud.

  • Like 1

Share this comment


Link to comment

It’s tough when the door closes but as you said, I’m sure God has a plan, even if it doesn’t make sense now. Your perspective on your opportunity (focus on the good) is refreshing. 

  • Like 1

Share this comment


Link to comment

ugh bronchitis. My son tried to swim at a college conference meet with bronchitis, to help his team score, but looked grim doing it..  and that was just in sprints, can't imagine trying in a marathon.. 

Bravo !  anyway. 

We are proud of you and your journey. 

in a previous life, I needed 2:39 to qualify for national championships in South Africa, ran 2:41:26 on an uphill course (it was changed from all previous years, so the last mile climbed 250ft) and an 80 degree day (low 60s all previous years).. that's still my PR, what with one thing and another. 

A friend did qualify with a 2:38, said the championships were terrible 😉 running all alone at the back of the field, getting the sympathy cheers. So them's the sour grapes ;_) 

  • Like 1

Share this comment


Link to comment

ps I'd looked for your name at CIM and not found it, now I know why.. may Mark's memory be eternal 
God bless.. 

Share this comment


Link to comment
On 1/24/2020 at 9:06 PM, ocrunnergirl said:

You are so inspiring! Glad you kept going after it. I’m sure your brother in heaven is so proud.

That means a lot - thank you!

Share this comment


Link to comment
On 1/25/2020 at 2:56 PM, CompulsiveRunner said:

I am so proud of you. 

Aww, thank you!

Share this comment


Link to comment

I love that one can find community in anything. It makes the highs that much more wonderful and the lows that much more bearable. 

Share this comment


Link to comment

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...