fbpx
Close

Your Cart is Empty

  • Jun
  • 28
  • 2017

Emily de La Bruyere at USATF

Emily de La Bruyere at USATF

I had the pleasure of accompanying Pacers Running//GRC-New Balance superstar Emily de La Bruyere to the USATF Outdoor Track Championships in Sacramento last weekend, where Emily competed in the 3000 meter steeplechase.  It was a major accomplishment for Pacers//GRC to have an athlete qualify for nationals, and Emily represented the team with great distinction, finishing 19th in the elite field.

Success as a distance runner does not happen by accident, but there was an element of good fortune at work in Emily’s case.  Despite the fact that she was an excellent steepler during her collegiate career at Princeton, Emily intended to focus on the 5000 meters this year because she had no access to hurdles, let alone actual steeple barriers or a water jump.  Emily was doing graduate work in Paris this spring, and accepted an invitation to run what she thought was a flat 3000 at an international meet in Belgium.  A few days before the race Emily discovered that the 3000 was actually a steeplechase, and we were both wary of her racing a high-level steeple with literally no hurdle practice whatsoever. She felt that competing in the meet that it was an opportunity she couldn’t pass up, and she decided to give it a go.  Her time of 10:02 was not only a big PR, it was also fast enough to qualify her for nationals. With the experience Emily gained running in her first nationals, and with even a few sessions of hurdle work under her belt in the weeks before the meet next year, Emily will be prepared to make some major noise at nationals in 2018.

Running at the 2016 USATF Club XC Open – photo by Mike Scott photography

The USATF meet served as the trials for the World Championships, which will be held in London in August, and the top 3 finishers in each event were named to the US team for worlds.  After Emily finished competing, I was able to watch the meet as a spectator, and despite the oppressive heat in Sacramento, it was a wonderful experience to see the best athletes in the country competing with so much at stake.  There is no margin for error in selection meets because (with rare exceptions) even defending Olympic champions and world record holders must finish in the top 3, or they are excluded from the US team.  As a life-long track fan, it was thrilling to witness such an intense competition.

Many dedicated runners are not track fans, and as much as I love the sport, I can understand why.  Track has done a poor (some would say terrible) job at marketing itself to the running community, and track meets can be long, drawn out affairs with only intermittent action.  But track on the highest level makes for compelling viewing.  The sheer athleticism of the best runners, jumpers, and throwers in the world is undeniable, and if you watch the World Championships this summer, you’ll see what I mean.  Give the sport a chance to prove itself to you, and you just may find that you enjoy it.

 

Share This

Lucas Stalnaker is Set to Run Army 10

Elite Athletes || October 4, 2017 || Posted by: Jerry Alexander

If you watch the leaders at Army 10 Miler on Sunday, you’re likely to see Pacers Running//GRC New Balance athlete Lucas Stalnaker sticking his nose in there with the professional runners.  That Lucas is planning to run with the leaders at Army will come as no surprise to anyone who saw the Philadelphia Rock N Roll Half Marathon in […]

Learn More »

Pacers Running // GRC – New Balance Team at the Millrose Games

Elite Athletes || March 1, 2017 || Posted by: Jerry Alexander

At Pacers Running//GRC New Balance, we race all year round, and we’re always looking for opportunities to compete, but indoor track is our lowest priority.  Many of our top athletes focus on outdoor track in the spring, and to great effect–since 2014, we’ve won 4 Penn Relays Olympic Development titles (Michael Franklin in the 10,000 meters in 2014, Frances […]

Learn More »

Training Around the World with Greta Stults

Elite Athletes || September 22, 2016 || Posted by: Heather Jeff

Greta Stults moved back to DC from Switzerland only just weeks ago and as a Foreign Service Officer in the State Department she is accustomed to change. Greta is a former gymnast and took up running to stay in shape as a poor graduate student. When her path crossed with Pacers // GRC – New Balance Coach […]

Learn More »