For the love
The word ‘amateur’ derives from the Latin word for love. And running is a sport you really have to love. You have to love the grueling process of self-improvement just as much as (if not more than) you love the thrill of the race or the exaltation of a personal best. This passion is what we call the amateur spirit.
Few runners better embody this spirit than those who pursue the Olympic Trials qualifying standard in the marathon without sponsorship, often while working full-time to support their dream. It’s a grind and one that, ultimately, leaves few tangible rewards. For the majority of the 695-person field who will race in Atlanta on February 29th, every step of those 26.2 miles will be for the love.
Tracksmith believes in these runners and aims to further their ambitions. Over the course of 2019, we’ve supported 138 amateur men and women through our OTQ Program – from students and doctors to lawyers, nurses and new moms and dads. These runners received quarterly gear stipends, Linden x Two coffee and an exclusive race kit for the Trials.
The 2020 Marathon Trials represent a high water mark for amateur achievement and we’re proud to have been able to support so many athletes in their journey to the starting line in Atlanta. February 29th will mark the culmination of years of dedication and personal sacrifice.
We designed our 2020 Trials kit to enable our athletes to feel as quick as possible on race day, using an innovative fabric designed to keep athletes cool as the pace and temperature in Atlanta heats up. The kit is delivered in red, white and blue with our signature sash and details.
A limited number of kits will be available for purchase online following the race. Sign up here to be notified.
A day in the life of an amateur trials qualifier
Hitting 100+ mile weeks while working, raising children or going to medical school requires discipline and a keen ability to manage time. We spoke to our athletes about their daily running routes, which look something like this.
“My alarm is set for 4:15am (almost) every morning. One day a week when I’m working in the Pediatric ICU, it’s set for 3:15am. I’m out the door by 3:45am, and log 10-15 miles. Every morning when my alarm goes off I tell myself three things: ‘You never regret a run. Not running is not an option. And, just get to March!’”
—Caroline Bauer, Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
“I’m normally up at 4:45 am to run before work. Sometimes earlier if I have a bigger workout or long run. I then get ready for work, and bring my son to daycare. I’m in the office at 8:00 am.”
—Ryan Smith, Accounting Manager at Bates College
“I train early in the morning, so that I can be back home from running when the kids are waking up and getting started with breakfast. I try to minimize the impact of my very ambitious lifestyle and schedule on my family. I double runs twice a week while the kiddos are at Taekwondo practice after school.“
—Julia Roman-Duvall, Astrophysicist
“I do 75% of my mileage during the work week just to and from the office. I “run- commute” - carrying my clothes on my back, a bit of extra weight which I joke only makes me stronger.”
—Austin Roth, Investment Banking
“On school days I take my youngest to the Y after dropping the rest of my children at school and get my workout done before the child watch closes at noon.”
- Rena Elmer, Mother of nine
“I am a single parent, so logistics can get pretty chaotic, but I’ve learned to embrace it and I do think that’s what has helped propel me forward the last few years. When she is with me, all my training is done on the treadmill in my garage after she goes to sleep, during my lunch breaks, or I push her in the stroller. And, when she is with her dad, I stack my hard workouts and long runs on those days.”
—Katie Taylor, Design Anthropologist
“Working on-call and having to spend 50-60 hrs in the hospital, I often run in the dark and have to be disciplined with my time management to make sure I can get my runs in!”
—Phebe Ko, Cardiac Anesthesiologist
“If I miss the morning run, it’s a scramble to find time over lunch or after the kids go to bed around 8pm. In the words of The Highwomen: “Making it up as we go along!”
- Elizabeth Northern, Software Engineer
“I am a medical student in my pre-clinical years, which involves an extremely variable daily schedule, so I sneak in a run whenever I can. Sometimes that means 4 miles at 9pm after a long day of studying before a test, and other times that means doing my long run on a Monday afternoon because I managed to free up some time after lectures to run at a warmer time of day.”
—Jessica Allen, Medical Student