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Amy Hastings Cragg is poised to put on a strong show at the Olympic Trials Marathon next month.
In 2012, Amy Hastings (now Cragg) missed making her first Olympic marathon team by one place. She went on to make the team in the 10,000 meters on the track, but as Cragg says below, she believes the marathon can be her best event. After months of training with now-teammate Shalane Flanagan, Cragg feels ready and able to make the team next month in Los Angeles. We caught up with her and asked a few other questions:
Women’s Running: Given what happened in 2012 at the trials, how much more meaning does making the 2016 marathon team have for you?
Amy Cragg: Placing fourth in 2012 was incredibly difficult, but in the end it made me a stronger person and athlete. That being said, I have thought about it every single day since. The marathon is my dream event. It’s something I love and can’t let go of. I have been saying I was going to be a marathoner since high school and I still feel it can be my best event. Getting fourth made me the runner I am today, and today is a new day and a new adventure. No matter what happened in the past I am going to go out there and give it my best shot along with every other girl that starts!
WR: What’s the craziest thing that’s happened to you during one of your training runs?
AC: Shalane Flanagan and I were recently on an easy training run in Flagstaff, Ariz., when we ran right into the path of a huge black bear! We stared at each other for a moment, then we all took off! We went from running 7:30 pace to 5:50—so much for an easy day!
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WR: If you could have one song stuck in your head for the entire 26.2 miles, what would it be?
AC: I hope to never have one song stuck in my head for 26.2 miles! When I’m racing I’m usually very in the moment so songs don’t usually sneak into my head. However, if I had to choose I would pick “I’m all about that pace” —that’s how it goes, right?
WR: You are the newest member to Nike’s Bowerman Track Club, where Shalane and Emily Infeld both train—what are you most looking forward to with this move to Nike?
AC: Yes! I recently had the privilege of joining the Bowerman Track Club and already it has been a wonderful experience! The culture that Jerry has created of hard work, support and positivity is one in which every coach and athlete in this country would strive for and be proud of. Training with Shalane has been incredibly tough but I’ve loved every second. She has been so much fun to work with. She not only pushes herself to be better on a daily basis but also encourages, pushes and helps all of her teammates to be better. And Emily! Em is so awesome! She is so positive. You can’t help but feel like you can conquer the world when you’re around her! All of the men and women on this team are a consistent inspiration. I feel so lucky to have been given this opportunity and its not one I will waste.
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WR: What’s your best advice for someone tackling their very first marathon in LA on Feb. 14?
AC: The best marathon (and life) advice ever given to me was from Deena Kastor, so I’m going to share it! It’s simply that there are always good miles and bad miles still ahead. So even if you’re in the middle of a rough mile put your head down and keep moving forward because there just might be a good mile around the bend.