Marathoner shaves 85 minutes off to make Olympic trials

Can you really go from running a 4:08 marathon to qualifying for the Olympic trials? One runner in Michigan did.

Can you really go from running a 4:08 marathon to qualifying for the Olympic trials? One runner in Michigan did.

Erin O’Mara ran her first marathon in 2006 in a time of 4:08:08, according to an article on the Mlive.com website. On Sunday, Dec. 4, she ran the California International Marathon in 2:43:55, qualifying her for the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon in January.

“When I finished that race, one of the first things I said to my family was I was definitely going to do it again, but I was going to run a lot faster, because that was too long to be out there,” O’Mara told the website. “At that point, I remembered thinking I’d trained a lot and done all the work. The more you run, the more you realize you probably didn’t train that much for it, which is why I ran well over an hour of what I run now.”

It didn’t take O’Mara long to drop her marathon time. In 2007, she shaved 46 minutes off her marathon time and qualified for Boston. In the 2008 Chicago Marathon, she ran a 2:55:46. At the race on Sunday, she then shaved almost 12 minutes off her time to meet the qualifying standard. It was her seventh attempt to meet the standard in two years.

But how did she get so much faster? For one, she hired a coach who helped her train and encouraged her to both break three hours and attempt to qualify for the trials.