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The Olympic Trials Marathon in Los Angeles is hardly a month away, with the deadline to capture a qualifying time landing this weekend—the same day at the Walt Disney World Marathon. And Erica Weitz, a former University of Central Florida runner and current high-school teacher and coach, will attempt to nab a last-minute standard at the ever-popular marathon through the magical parks. The qualifying time needed is 2 hours, 45 minutes over 26.2 miles, a mark currently 188 women have met for the 2016 trials.
“I have some nerves, but I don’t want to get nervous too early,” Weitz tells the Orlando Sentinel. The marathoner has run a personal best of 2:47:58. “I’m pretty confident, and that keeps you from being too nervous. I am lucky with that.”
The runner focused on steeplechase mostly at UCF. She ran her first marathon in 2011, and Sunday’s race will be her eighth.
“I didn’t know how to run a marathon,” Weitz recalls. “I had no idea. My dad was biking along because it was a really small marathon. I told him, ‘I feel like this is too easy.’ He said, ‘Go faster.'”
This will be her fourth and final attempt to qualify for the trials. Hopefully the magic of Mickey brings her an extra boost in her stride all the way to LA!