by Clay Shaw
FEBRUARY 24, 2020—Ann Mazur was thrilled to qualify for the 2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Marathon. She made it by thirteen seconds, finishing in 2:44:47 at the 2019 Cal International Marathon (CIM) in Sacramento, CA. She is 34 years old and a college professor at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, VA. She is also the owner and founder of Runners Love Yoga. She designs fitness wear for yoga and running and teaches running for fitness and yoga at UVA.
Runner’s Gazette covers the Debbie Green 5K (the first Saturday evening in August every year) in Wheeling, WV. Ann has been the first USA female at that very competitive race for the past several years. I recently asked her about her hometown of Pittsburgh, her CIM experience, and her training for Atlanta.
And in her own words:
Yes! Pittsburgh is my hometown. I grew up there, most of my family still lives there, and I frequently go back to visit them, especially during academic breaks (I teach at the University of Virginia) during the summer and winter. I am at heart a Pittsburgher and just love everything about that city! Schenley Park is my favorite place to run!
Running my OTQ [Olympic Trials Qualifier] at CIM this past December was a total dream come true, and a surreal experience. I knew I had a very good shot at sub-2:45, but everything just came together in that race for me in the right ways. For quite a few days after the race, I could barely believe I had actually done it! The race was honestly pretty painful even at the mid-point, as I had some quad tightness setting in even at mile 10, but I could also see the 2:45 pacers right in front of me, so I just tried to glue myself to them and not let go.
I am proud of staying mentally strong during that race — it was important to both stay focused and in-the-zone, but also not to think too hard about what I might be about to do. The final mile was unbelievable and felt like I was in a movie: CIM had big white signs marking off every couple hundred meters. It was intense to keep running and pass “400m to go” and then “200m to go” and then to finally see the finish line there right ahead of me with the big clock with 2:44: something low enough that I was good if I just got across that line somehow someway! I have never been so ecstatic to cross a finish line in my entire life!
Luckily, incorporating hills into my training is very easy both in Charlottesville and in Pittsburgh! I began my training for the OT buildup while in Pittsburgh over the Christmas break, and have enjoyed several significant long runs at hilly courses here in Charlottesville. It has been interesting to figure out a training plan for marathons just 12 weeks apart from one another, but I am feeling really good about my base at this point. At Atlanta, I would ideally like to PR; I know the course is hilly but I come from a lifetime of running hills in hilly places so I hope those work to my advantage! I would also like to just have a great experience, run consistent splits, and get that finisher’s medal which is one that I never was sure I would have the chance to earn!
Categories: Athlete Profiles