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Mother of Nine Qualifies for Olympic Marathon Trials

Courtesy of Helen Photography and Cross Timbers Gazette; Source from Runner’s World

Around mile 14 of the 2019 Indianapolis Monumental Marathon, Rena Elmer made a choice.

The 2:45 pacer confirmed that she would be running into the wind the rest of the race. For a moment, Elmer planned to tuck into the pack and draft her way to an Olympic Trials Qualifying time – a worthwhile achievement in her debut at the distance.

But another thought swiftly surfaced: “I can prove myself and see what I’m capable of,” Elmer told Runner’s World. She forged ahead alone, into the headwind, and finished in 2:40:21, earning her a spot at the Trials’ starting line on 29 February in Atlanta.

Elmer, 37, has rarely taken the easy route. She went from a walk-on at Brigham Young University to placing third in the 3000-meter steeplechase at the 2005 NCAA outdoor championships during her junior year.

Family of 11: Rena and Will Elmer’s nine children range in age from 14 months to 12 years.

Between then and now came two heartbreaking near-misses before she finally qualified for the 2016 Olympics Trials in the steeplechase, four births (one perilous), and a personal trauma so devastating she was tempted to quit the sport.

But she prayed and decided otherwise. “The Lord always keeps coming back and saying: ‘No,'” said Elmer, who belongs to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. “‘Running is this gift I’ve given you, and its going to help you get through your challenges.'”


Article Credit:

Original Author: Cindy Kuzma of Runner’s World

Article Syndicated from Runner’s World.