Vail-area marathon runner Allison Krausen makes Olympic time trials
EDWARDS — Local runner Allison Krausen has always wanted to compete in the Olympic trials. In 2012, she missed the qualifying time by about 25 seconds, and while she hadn’t given up on the dream, she had departed from competitive running for a number of years.
She had a baby and kept running “for sanity purposes,” in her words, but she wasn’t competitive. Then she had a realization.
“With the Olympic year coming up, and me not getting any younger,” she said with a laugh, “this summer it dawned on me that I was running out of time and I did want to give it one more shot.”
She called local running coach Josiah Middaugh.
“Even for somebody who can accomplish (qualifying for the Olympic trials), they would need a couple years to prepare for that,” Middaugh said. “To have six months to pull it off was a pretty big ask.”
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But Middaugh realized Krausen had a good base of fitness from the runs she had been doing for fun.
“Finally he said ‘Why don’t you tell me what you’ve been doing for the last few months?’” Krausen said. “I tried to reconstruct it from my Apple Watch database.”
Middaugh said Krausen was in pretty great shape for a mom who jogs in her free time.
“She just needed some sharpening,” he said.
She also needed permission to attempt to qualify for the event.
“Because I hadn’t raced in so long I had to beg my way in,” she said. “The elite coordinator gave me a list of distances and times, and if I obtained one of those, then she would allow me to compete in a seeded field (at an Olympic trials qualifying event.)”
One of those times was 1 hour, 2 minutes in a 10-mile race.
“She crushed it,” Middaugh said. “She broke an hour, which was phenomenal.”
That allowed Krausen to head to the California International Marathon as a seeded competitor, which gave her a big shot to qualify for the Olympic time trial.
Once again, “She blew it out of the water,” Middaugh said. “She was well under what she needed to do.”
Krausen needed a 2:45; she ran it in 2:41:43. Middaugh was quite impressed with the accomplishment.
“It’s pretty unusual that somebody could be able to pull something like that off without consistently racing and honing that competitive spirit,” Middaugh said. “But it seems like her competitiveness is more internal. It’s more with herself and not necessarily driven by the people around her.”
‘Toe the line with all the top runners’
Acknowledging that she doesn’t have much of a shot at the top three who will make the Olympic team, Krausen said she just wanted to make it to the trials.
“It’s a huge honor to be a part of that race, just getting to toe the line with all the top runners in the country is pretty special,” she said. “It’s designed to be spectator-friendly — most marathons you might see your fans once or twice in a race — but this course in Atlanta has three big loops and a smaller loop so people can stand in once place and see you go by multiple times. My family from the area and around the country will be there so I’ll have my own little entourage which will be pretty special.”
The trials will take place Feb. 29 in Atlanta.
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Jeff Shiffrin, with his wife, Eileen, made the Vail area their home decades ago, and together raised Mikaela and Taylor Shiffrin, who was a member of the two-time NCAA Champion University of Denver Ski Team.