RUNNERS PLUS ELITE RUNNER MAURA LEMON QUALIFIES FOR THE 2020 OLYMPIC MARATHON TRIALS
Maura Lemon raced at the California International Marathon on December 2 where she ran a 2:42:42 to qualify for the 2020 Olympic Marathon Trials. Read her experience from the event:
"So, going into the race, my goal was to sit right with the pack and shoot for just under 2:45:00. My previous PR was just last April in Toledo (2:45:37), so I knew I could hang at that pace. When the race went out, I settled in with the first of two packs of women all shooting for the standard. We got out well and under pace for the first half (1:21:18). I was happy to have the cushion and figured I would just stick with that pack until I couldn't, but I was able to keep the second half of the race almost dead even to the first (something I have never managed to do in a marathon yet). My training was right where it needed to be and my race plan carried me through some of the tougher last couple of miles. Even with a couple of hiccups at the beginning of the race, like having to stop to tie my shoe, I was able to find my flow and just keyed off the more experienced runners around me.
The atmosphere at this race was unbelievable. There were about 100 women all gunning for the same goal and the camaraderie between us made it feel like I was running with teammates rather than competitors. We shared nutrition and water bottles during the race, encouraged each other, and took turns pacing each mile. I have never been in a race like that before.
Making the Trials has been a goal of mine for the last 10 years, basically, ever since I watched my college coach, Ann Alyanak compete in 2008. Between working full time and being a mom to 2 kids, there were definitely times where I thought this would never come together, but I am surrounded by people who helped me realize my dream. Ed and Ann Alyanak wrote my training and helped me figure out my race nutrition plan. Fellow Dayton runners like Emily Zimmerman, Lizzy Gleason, Katie Chu, and Lindsey Cummings ran so many of those miles with me and encouraged me through every step of the training. My amazingly supportive husband buoyed me up during many moments of doubt along the way and was my partner throughout this long process. I am honored and incredibly humbled to represent Runners Plus and the city of Dayton on this national stage and look forward to competing alongside other great runners from the area, including the woman who inspired me in the first place, Ann Alyanak, who qualified earlier this year at the Illinois Marathon."