The Olympic Marathon Trials are this Saturday, February 13 in Los Angeles as part of the Los Angeles Marathon weekend. As a stand-alone Olympic qualifying event, the marathon trials are often overlooked. For runners and running fans in the Madison area, there is a great reason to pay attention. Her name is Katie Schiemann.
I was fortunate to catch up with Katie by phone during her layover between Madison and Los Angeles to learn more about her journey to the Olympic Trials.
Katie grew up in DeForest, WI, and was a standout on the high school track and cross country teams. She went on to run four years at the University of Minnesota. After graduating in 2008 she decided to test herself at a new distance, and run the Fox Cities Marathon. In her marathon debut she won the race in 2-hours and 52 minutes. She quickly realized that she was only 7 minutes from the B Qualifying standard at the time, so she signed up for a few more races.
Following a solid qualifying attempt at the Green Bay Marathon in 2011, she ran just over 2:47, she found out that the course was long and her time was actually only 15 seconds off the b qualifying standard. This motivated her to sign up for a fall race, unfortunately due to a nagging hamstring injury she ran out of time to qualify for the 2012 trials. Instead she took the time to heal and set her sights on the 2016 trials in Los Angeles.
Katie, now 30, works full time at CUNA Mutual Group as a finance consultant. She continues to run about 70-80 miles a week with her husband, Chris. They usually run 7 days a week, with a mix of 7-10 mile runs and a sprinkling of hills, tempos and long runs. Since 2012 she has been consistent with her training and has run around 10 marathons, consistently hovering around the qualifying standard. This base prepared her to get in better shape to try and qualify for the 2016 Olympic Trials. Getting there was not easy. Last fall she ran multiple marathons with times that just missed the 2:43 marathon standard. In late fall 2015, she found out that the standard was changed to 2:45. At this late date there was only one qualifying marathon left.
On January 17, she toed the start line of the Houston Marathon for her last chance to qualify for the trials. Race day temps were around 40 degrees and there was little wind, ideal for race day. She crossed the finish line in 2:43:50. Katie’s hard work and dedication had landed her a spot in Los Angeles.
She told me she is excited, yet nervous, for the opportunity to run against (and with) 200 of the best women marathoners in the U.S. The forecast is looking a little warm, especially compared to the frigid Wisconsin weather she has been training in, however this determined woman is ready to give it her best effort.
We wish Katie the best of luck and thank her for taking the time for an interview so close to her big event!
(we are not sure how much Tweeting Katie will be doing, she does have a big race to focus on, but you can follow her on Twitter @khowery3)
Olympic Marathon Trials - Info & Links
On Saturday, February 13, the best distance runners in the U.S. will race 26.2 miles through Los Angeles in the 2016 Olympic Marathon Trials. The top three women and men in each race will represent the U.S. in Rio in August. For the first time in the history of the event, viewers can watch the races unfold live on television on NBC starting at 12 p.m. Central.
Salty Running.com – Who to watch at the Olympic Trials
U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials women's race preview – Sports Illustrated