Readers Roundtable: Who Are You Cheering for at the Olympic Marathon Trials?

imageJust five days until we hit the road to cover the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon! For most of the racers, it’s going to be the culmination of years of hard work. For a lucky three, it’s going to be the day they punch their ticket to the Olympics in Rio. For a few others, it’s going to be a day they put it all on the line but come up a few places short of Olympic glory. For many of the runners, almost all of whom are used to competing to win in any other race, the Olympic Trials is one race where simply running from the start to the finish is the goal, even if that means she’s DFL.

The best part of the race from our perspective? Getting to know the women inside the flashy race kits. What makes a woman a killer athlete? What’s it like to run the Olympic Trials as your first marathon? How about for those who tried for years before finally making it? How about the moms? The masters? The professionals? The formerly sedentary? Those who have overcome illness, injury, or devastation to get there?

So today we’re asking you: 

Who do you want to make the Olympic team?

Who do you want to have a breakthrough day?

Who would you like to know more about? 

Tell us! Who are you cheering for at the Trials and why?

And stay tuned! This week, besides our usual awesome stuff, we have so much more Olympic Trials coverage coming your way, including more athlete profiles, fan resources, and fun features!

Salty Running boss and mother of 3 little ones with PRs of 3:10:15 (26.2), 1:25:59 (13.1) and 18:15 (5k). I love to write about running culture, mental training, and fitting in a serious running habit with the rest of a busy life.

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  1. I’m so excited to watch the coverage this weekend! I’d like to see Desi, Shalane and Amy make the team but I also have to root for Maegan Krifchin as the dark horse. She used to run around here(Upstate NY), so to me its a “local” thing- she’s only run one marathon and it was outstanding, but also ran and won a few major half marathons as well.

    Personally, I hope as many women as possible have breakthroughs. Asking a lot, I know. But the reality is, even if they don’t have a chance at making the team I hope each woman who is able to- goes big, and runs brave. Feed off the other women and push each other to personal bests and push through the hard miles while enjoying the good miles.

    1. I definitely agree with you on who I would like to see make the team! Beyond that I’m cheering for my friends Carrie Dimoff and Olivia Mickle! They both qualified in the half and I’m excited to see them crush the full marathon distance! : )

  2. I’d love to see Serena Burla have a great race and she’s definitely someone I’d like to learn more about! She’s a mom, had cancer which required the removal of part of her hamstring and has come back since then to run a 2:28! She kinda choked at the last Trials so it would be a great redemption story too!

    1. I agree that would make a great redemption story, I’d love to hear how she used her previous experience at the trials to come back stronger and if it made her change anything about her training or racing strategies

  3. Desi is my favorite to make the team. Others are probably obvious, e.g., Shalane, but probably wouldn’t count out Kara, Amy, and a few others. I’ll be especially watching for the masters runners as they so impress me, like Colleen, Deena, and Magda (with her ultra wins), and Caitlin Smith (another ultra who was one of our OTQ interviewees).

  4. I’ll be keeping an eye on Samantha McClellan. She’s a B-standard gal but she’s still really new to the marathon, so I’m predicting exciting things for her in LA. She lives here in The Woodlands, TX, and I met her at the track last week! I don’t know what kind of workout she was doing, but I was busting my butt with V02 max mile repeats (that’s 5:50ish pace for me…) and I STILL had trouble catching her! These ladies are inspiring!!

  5. I’m just excited for the race! Between Salty and Runner’s World coverage, I feel like this is the first Trials that I know more than one or two people competing by name. I have really enjoyed the lead-up and wish them all the best!

  6. I’ll admit that as a recreational runner, I only know the big names like Kara, Shalane, and Deena (and a few who I’ve read about here on SR). I did get excited when I saw Katie DiCamillo’s name, since at first I thought she was the children’s book author. (Nope, not that Kate.) Maybe I’ll cheer for her for the association!

  7. Can’t wait to be out there and cheer! I will be cheering for everyone. My top 3 women are Shalane, Sara Hall and Amy Hastings (Cragg). I think the dark horse will be Alia Gray from Boulder. She is fit as hell and just ran a 1/2 PR in Houston. She also PRd on the track a few times last summer. Coached by Vigil–I look for her to be in the top 10.

    Kara is looking fitter than ever, and I see her running with the CU team and Jenny Simpson and Emma Coburn a lot on Sundays. I think she has a shot, and it wouldn’t surprise me if she made the team. She wants it really bad. There was an article in the Boulder paper last week interviewing her. She wants it more now than before.

    Colleen is looking fit and is having great workouts. I look for her to go under 2:40 and be in the middle of the pack. Her experience will carry her through a great race. She is the oldest female competitor in the race–amazing!

    It will be very exciting to watch!

    As for the men…I think that’s up in the air. I think Meb will place in the top 3 or at least in the top 10. I do not look for Galen Rupp to make the team, and there is speculation he is running to only pace someone.

    I think Jeffrey Eggleston will be the dark horse. Also keep an eye out for Fernando Cabada.

    1. Nice recap, Vanilla! That got me really excited. I had a dream the other night that Kara won and Amy and Shalane finished 2-3. I doubt that will happen but it would be pretty cool if it did!

  8. Desi, Shalane, and Annie.

    Who do you want to have a breakthrough day?
    I want to see Esther hold her own with the front pack.
    Kara. As much as I pick on her, I want to see that she can come back and be at the front.
    I want to see my buddy Becky Boyle make the best of her screwed up situation.
    I hope for good things from Becki, Alana, Caitlin, and our own Tea.
    But of course, I’ll be cheering the loudest for Dani Miller. It doesn’t matter what happens. She is still my hero.

    And I hope to be cheering for Kelsi again soon too.

  9. I don’t have any favorites for making the team, but I’ll be cheering for the local female athlete from Central Virginia, Rachel Ward. She qualified last fall in her debut half in 1:12.. I’m excited to see how she’ll do in her debut marathon!