The Essense of The Trials

The Essense of The Trials

Our sport is at its best when what occurs rarely happens.  Last ditch effort to make the Olympic Trials rarely work out, particularly at the marathon distance.  Lives are put on hold; all energy is put towards a frantic attempt to realize a dream. 

Sometimes it actually works out, and a qualifier is elated as he/she crossed the finish line.  This is the case of Tim Tollefson, age 26, who ran 2:18:26 at the California International Marathon in Sacramento yesterday.

Tim made his marathon debut in 2:29 at the San Diego Rock and Roll Marathon in June.  It was at this point that his running could have nose-dived.  Physical therapy school now required three internships in San Diego, Mammoth Lakes, CA, and Florida.

After missing DII All American honors by one place on three separate occasions while at Chico State, Tim set his sights on the trials.  He had the added incentive that fiancé Lindsay Nelson had already earned her way to Houston earlier this year.

After spending the summer in Mammoth Lakes training with the Kastors and their well-known group, and San Diego, he drove to Florida for his next job assignment.  A planned detour on this trip resulted in a great race in October at the Chicago Marathon, stopping the clock at 2:21:59.  You can hear him talk about it here in his post-race interview.  But could he really drop three minutes in 8 weeks?

At this point I am going to let Tim take over.  Here are his words after his “perfect” day:

 Chicago Marathon: Drove from San Diego to Chicago. Ran a huge PR (2:21:59),  pounded a beer, cooled down, ice bathed and then drove 15 hours all through the night to arrive in Gulf Breeze, FL for my next rotation at Athletes’ Performance which began at 7:45am.  I did sleep at a rest stop in Mobile, AL for 1 hour. 

Gulf Breeze, FL: Oct/November; typical running schedule again was 4:30-5:30 am workouts prior to 8 hour work day.  Perks were I had access to their training facility for recovery purposes; Ice bathed 1-2xday

In the last 15 weeks I can count on two hands the number of times I’ve run with people.  Great mental preparation for the marathon.

Thursday 12/1/11 was my last day at Athletes’ Performance.  Drove from Gulf Breeze, FL to Dallas, TX (11 hours, saved over $200 in airfare!) and  arrived at 1:30am and slept in the back seat of my fiancés Honda Civic for 4 hours in a Dallas neighborhood prior to getting an 8 mile run in and then catching my flight to Sacramento, CA.  Almost felt like nothing compared to the Chicago trip. Friday/Sat visited with my fiancé Lindsay Nelson, friends and family.

Sunday 12/4/11- CIM- Knew people would get out to hard.  Everyone talks about how “easy” it is going to be to run 5:18 pace but inevitably 75% of people get out well under pace and then run a ridiculous positive split or end up DNFing.  I think it’s much better to run a bit more conservative and ensure you are feeling good when the race gets the toughest and walk away pulling something from the experience.  Going into today I thought I MIGHT have a chance to qualify if EVERYTHING fell perfectly.  Our plan was to go out in 1:09:30-1:09:45 and then if things were feeling good try to negatively split it. But, if things didn’t feel good, I could still walk away with a personal best and another marathon under my belt.  It ended up being the former and I went out in 1:09:39 and came home in 1:08:48 (second fastest ½ marathon in my career!)  Things panned out perfectly.  Had a really good group of runners going through about 16 miles, everyone was very considerate as we all knew we were aiming for the same thing, faded to about 4 of us at 20 and then I pulled away at maybe 21 and soloed to the finish.  In Chicago I carried my GU’s in my hand and was really excited when CIM offered the elite aide station to me as I wouldn’t have to carry anything. Turns out, shows my inexperience with this stuff, I had plain water bottles with  powerbar gel taped to each one.  I missed my first bottle because I couldn’t find it on the table, second one I grabbed it but it slipped out of my grasp (luckily a few meters later they were handing out GU and I made a quick right cut to nab one-sorry to the guy I cut off in that frantic dash!) and then missed my next 2 stations.  So I only consumed 1 GU the entire time, definitely not what I had planned.  Around mile 21-25 I started running 5:10-5:12 pace as I felt great and then at just after 25 I began to really feel the distance in my legs.  That last .75 miles felt like a “marathon” but once I saw the clock coming in the finishing chute it all faded to pure elation and I truly enjoyed the last few hundred meters, “airplanning” into the line.  I was greated by Lindsay and could not help but think about all the hard work ti took to get to that point. 

Now it’s time for marathon #3 in 3 months!

Olympians, Top Collegians Clash At Larry Wieczorek Invitational


The Larry Wieczorek Invitational this Friday and Saturday at the University of Iowa has it all: top professional athletes like Fred Kerley, Olympic champions and world record holders like Aries Merritt, and defending NCAA champions like Mikiah Brisco of LSU. 

Centro Passing On Indoors In 2018

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Olympic 1500m champion Matthew Centrowitz is skipping the indoor season and instead will race outdoors in Australia. 

20 Events You Cannot Miss at The VA Showcase!

Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Tyrese Cooper

The 2017 VA Showcase saw 11 U.S. No. 1 performances, two national records, and its alumni went on to win a staggering 33 indoor national titles. Needless to say, it was the greatest regular season meet of all time. 

Mondo's Swedish Indoor Record, Men's Pole Vault Summit Marks Invalidated

© Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports Mondo eighth at Worlds 2017

By Becca Peter of @PoleVaultPower

The 2018 UCS/Spirit National Pole Vault Summit in Reno, Nevada, featured some of the best elite performances in the event’s 28-year history, including world-leading marks by Mondo Duplantis and Sandi Morris.

FloTrack To Stream 16 International Events For UK And Ireland

© James Lang-USA TODAY Sports Chris O'Hare

FloTrack will live-stream the following 16 events exclusively for subscribers in the United Kingdom and Ireland.

Who Are The NCAA's Next Christian Coleman & Raevyn Rogers?

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We're not asking the question "who's going to win the Bowerman Award next year?"

Aliphine Tuliamuk Joins HOKA NAZ Elite


FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (January 17, 2018) — HOKA ONE ONE Northern Arizona Elite announced today that it has added seven-time National Champion Aliphine Tuliamuk to its roster. Tuliamuk, a graduate of Wichita State University, owns personal best of 15:18.86 for 5,000 meters, 31:54.20 for 10,000 meters and 1:09:49 for the half marathon.

Michael Saruni Highlights NCAA Weekend Performances

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The UTEP Miners apparently shouldn't be too concerned about the loss of last year's indoor and outdoor NCAA 800m champion Emmanuel Korir to the pro ranks. 

Mondo Duplantis Breaks World Record, Still Doesn't Eat Vegetables

© Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports Mondo Duplantis

Mondo Duplantis continued his U20 dominance at the National Pole Vault Summit on Saturday in Reno, Nevada, with a new indoor world junior record of 5.83m. He was using a 5.10 pole for the first time, according to Becca Peter of Pole Vault Power. Watch the video here.

Molly Huddle Breaks American Record At 2018 Aramco Houston Half Marathon


Molly Huddle broke the American record for half marathon by clocking 1:07:25 over 13.1 miles at the 2018 Aramco Houston Half Marathon on Sunday morning.