Now that the holidays are over and I have recovered from my debut marathon, it is time to set up my 2019 race calendar. After running a 2:13 at the California International Marathon, I have the marathon itch and am in search of the perfect race calendar that will set me up to perform my best at the 2020 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials.
I am a professional runner who runs for On ZAP Endurance based out of Blowing Rock, North Carolina. I moved to North Carolina in 2018 to take my running career to the next level, and just over a year later, I have seen a great deal of success. I am originally from Pennsylvania, where I went to Central Bucks High School East, just north of Philadelphia. My parents still live in the home where I grew up, and Pennsylvania is where I met my fiancé. Needless to say, Pennsylvania holds a special place in my heart.
I have been fortunate throughout my career to compete all over the world, in both running and the triathlon. Competing in North America, South America, Europe, Asia and Australia has given me a pretty good idea of what I am looking for in races as well as what a race can offer for my running career. After experiencing the professionalism at the EQT Pittsburgh 10 Miler this past November, I knew that I wanted to include Pittsburgh as a part of my schedule. My teammates at ZAP have run well in Pittsburgh. Tyler Pennel won the EQT Pittsburgh 10 Miler in 2015, and Andrew Colley was a podium finisher at last year’s UPMC Health Plan Pittsburgh Half Marathon, which served as the USA Half Marathon Championships.
I am excited to return to Pittsburgh this May to run the half marathon, and I love the idea of coming home to race. It’s an easy trip for much of my family and friends, and whenever they come to watch me race, I feel like I get to put on a show. In Pittsburgh, I feel as though I have home-field advantage and need to defend my turf at all costs. This may be something that I have created in my head, but it does help me run faster. Who am I to argue with what works?
Taking myself out of the equation, Pittsburgh offers a unique opportunity to enjoy the company of tens of thousands of runners and spectators. Combine that with a fast course and there is no reason to not come to this city for a big personal record. I cannot wait to run my second half marathon there this spring!