By Jameson Mora
My confidence was low going into the race. Training had not been going well for several months. It was one set back after another. Finally, two weeks out from CIM, the workouts started to click and the fitness seemed to come around. I still wasn’t sure if it was too little too late.
The first mile felt quick. It was downhill so I was expecting to be ahead of pace, but I wasn’t. 5:18 per mile was the goal pace and that first mile was 5:24. The next mile was 5:21 and I still did not feel relaxed. It seemed like it was going to be a very ugly race. Mile three started to feel better, at 5:13. Then came the first aid table. It was very easy to spot my bottle with the bright orange tape and little flag. My daughter Elizabeth decorated my water bottles for me. She wrote a different encouragement message on each flag; this one said “Run it”. I imagined my kids cheering for me and I started to feel relaxed. There was a huge pack to run with and I settled in the back.
For the next few miles I tried to run as effortlessly as possible. Around mile 10 the pack seemed to pick up the pace so I let them go. I came through the half in 1:08:56, good for 51st place. I was 34 seconds ahead of Olympic Trials pace and off the back of the group. I came through 20 miles in 1:45:27 and moved up to 47th place. Then the real racing started. Lots of carnage on the course with people dropping out and others bonking hard and slowing way down. I focused on passing one guy at a time, never settling in. I poured everything I had into the final two miles running 5:07 and 5:05. It was a well-timed final push; I could feel my form falling apart the last few steps. There was nothing left in the tank as I crossed the finish line. I passed 24 runners over the final 10k and ended up exceeding my goal with a 2:17:35, good for 23rd place.
This race was very satisfying. I have a history with attempting and missing the Olympic trials standard. Several attempts at the 2008 and 2012 standard all failed. I finally qualified for 2016, but got injured and could not race. It’s nice to have qualifying knocked out on my first attempt for the 2020 trials.
Shoes: HOKA ONE ONE Tracer 2