ROAD NEWS: Grandmas catches me out + other things w/ending 24/6/19


GRANDMA’S MARATHON, MN

USA Olympic Trials Qualifying A-Standard: 2:37:00

USA Olympic Trials Qualifying B-standard: 2:37:01-2:45:00

IAAF Olympic Qualifying Standard: 2:29:30 (or the world ranking system… best explanation here: https://www.runnersworld.com/news/a26811597/new-olympic-standards/ )

These were the times facing the participants of Grandma’s Marathon in Deluth, Minnesota last weekend.

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I’ll lay my cards on the table here and say I had never heard of Nell Rojas https://www.instagram.com/rojas_coaching/ before this result. Until last weekend her PB (debut) stood at 2:31:23, which she ran at what seems to be the other big OTQ chaser race  - the California International Marathon. But, given that that second placer Margaret Njuguna said that she couldn’t even see Rojas after 17 miles and she won in a lead of over five minutes, it seems like I should wake up and smell the talent of the only person to get the official IAAF Olympic qualifying time in this race. In the past, Rojas was a Triathlete and took up the marathon because she wanted to do an Ironman, but then discovered that she was rather good at it! Sporting prowess runs in the family - her dad, Ric Rojas, won the first Boulder Boulder 10k in 1979. Coached by him, the latest Rojas on the roads won her own Boulder Boulder victory three weeks ago and now appears to be doing the family name proud over the longer distance too. I wonder, could she be a contender for the top three in Atlanta?

It was a young crowd at the top with the oldest of the top 10 being only 35. Sophie Seward, who didn’t even feature in the media guide as ‘one to watch’  took a whopping 4m 48s off her previous PB to place third and has plenty of time to bring it down even further, being only 22.

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Dakota Lindwum https://www.instagram.com/dakotahlindwurm/  https://www.strava.com/athletes/26341222 was understandably overjoyed with her first  completed marathon gaining her the USA Olympic Trials Qualifier A-grade.

Sarah Kiptoo, who holds the course record of 2:2632 (not the event record which is held by Kellyn Taylor) which was set in 2013. She’s since won the race in 2016 in 2:33:28 but this year she came 10th. 

  1. Nell Rojas 31 F 2:28:06 (wins $10,000)

  2. Margaret Njuguna 35 F 2:33:12 +5:06

  3. Sophie Seward 22 F 2:33:21 +5:15

  4. Dakotah Lindwurm 24 F 2:34:02 +5:56

  5. Amanda Marino 29 F 2:35:04 +6:58 (2 places higher than last year)

  6. Molly Grabill 26 F 2:35:07 +7:01 (down)

  7. Sarah Cummings 30 F 2:36:05 +7:59 (up)

  8. Pasca Myers 32 F 2:36:11 +8:05(down 2)

  9. Addi Zerrenner 23 F 2:37:47 +9:41

  10. Sarah Kiptoo 29 F 2:38:46 +10:40

GARRY BJORKLAND HALF MARATHON, MN

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Katy Jermann https://www.instagram.com/katyjermann won in a personal best of 1:10:27 and ran the second fastest time by an American this year. Her husband Tyler came fourth in his race and also ran a PB so it was quite the weekend for the Jermanns.


  1. Katy Jermann 27 F 1:10:27 +0:00

  2. Bethany Sachtleben 27 F 1:10:43 +0:16

  3. Lexi Zeis 23 F 1:12:42 +2:15

  4. Maddie Van Beek 27 F 1:12:50 +2:23

  5. Kelsey Bruce 26 F 1:13:41 +3:14

  6. Allison Cleaver 30 F 1:14:05 +3:38

  7. Kimi Reed 31 F 1:14:58 +4:31

  8. Meriah Earle 41 F 1:15:09 +4:42

  9. Adriana Nelson 39 F 1:15:18 +4:51

  10. Andrea Toppin 11104 26 F 1:15:52 +5:25

IN OTHER NEWS


We appear to be looking at shorter distances this week in the WRR. Not our normal patch, but a few things caught my eye. 

Clare Elms ran 5:12:64 in an old-school british Mile race (the Golden Stag Mile https://www.barnetadac.com/racing/club-races/the-golden-stag-mile/)  in the north of London. That means (pending verification) that the SOAR running athlete  holds the new W55 world record. 


If you want to see what an Olympian looks like, this is it. Five so far and a sixth in her sights.  So focussed, so gracious, so supportive of others whilst never losing that fire for her own race.


I’m a bit of a fan of Aliphine Tuliamuk (Hoka NAZ Elite) after listening to her talk on The morning Shakeout  and I’ll Have Another so it was fab to read that she came 8th in the B.A.A 10k in 32:27 - the top US woman. 

Now, I jest about my love of the NAZ Elite team but what draws me to them is that it feels like supporting a football team. I want all their athletes to win all the time because I can learn about their training and hear about their lives - they take me along for the ride and make me care. Can anyone suggest any similar training groups? I think the closest we have in the UK is Team New Balance Manchester https://teamnbmcr.com/, coached by Steve Vernon https://twitter.com/stevevernon29. I was listening to him speak with Ross Murray on That Running Podcast this week and it felt the same. I think I’ve got my soccer team to match my football team (though it pains me as a Brit to put it that way but hopefully you see what I’m getting at!).

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