South Jersey native Teal Burrell ran her first marathon in 2005 in 4:07. On Saturday, she’ll be lining up for her second Olympic Trials. If that sounds familiar, that may be because you remember her from her stint blogging on this site as Tea. To find out what Burrell has been up to and how she feels about her second Trials, we spoke with her from her home in Richmond, Virginia, where she lives with her husband and two-year-old daughter.
Burrell took the long road to the marathon. She ran in high school, but lacked the confidence to try her hand at collegiate running. After that debut marathon as a college sophomore, she took a long break from the sport, coming back to the marathon after witnessing the 2008 Olympic Trials Marathon in Boston. Inspired, Burrell took up running again and nailed her first BQ in her second marathon in the fall of 2008. This time around the marathon bug bit her hard. She has been chiseling away at her time ever since, running a 2:42:13 at the 2014 California International Marathon to earn an Olympic Qualifying Time and a spot on the line in Los Angeles. Despite sweltering conditions at the 2016 Olympic Trials, Burrell finished 72nd.
Burrell’s journey so far has been pretty prolific, and it’s far from over. In December 2018, she logged a new PR of 2:39:08. Burrell says finding the marathon was key to her running success. She loves figuring out how to get the marathon right, and hopes to keep running them forever.