SACRAMENTO, Calif.—Spokane’s Marathon Mom, 39-year-old Victoria Russell, qualified for the U.S. Olympic Trials Sunday morning in the California International Marathon in Sacramento with just ten seconds to spare after taking up competitive running less than three years ago.
Russell ran 26.2 miles in 2:45:50. The standard to make the U.S. Olympic Trials is 2:46:00. For most of the race she was running an average of 6:18 per mile.
Russell has tried three previous times to qualify this year and just missed in those attempts.
She is flying home to Spokane Sunday night, but she won’t have a lot of time to rest. The U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon is in Houston on January 14th. The top three finishers will represent the United States on the women’s team.
Russell is a married mother of three children who graduated from Gonzaga Prep and Washington State University. While she was a good cross country runner in high school, she didn’t compete seriously after that point in her life until the last two years.
She ran her first marathon 28 months ago without really training for it and ended up winning it. From that point she hired a professional coach and set a goal to make the Olympic Trials, which she realized today with a blistering pace along the Sacramento course Sunday morning.
Russell will be joined in the Olympic Trials by another Spokane woman. Rachel Jaten, 36, finished one second ahead of Russell.
KREM 2 News will be talking to Victoria soon and you’ll hear her amazing story on KREM 2 News at 6:00 Monday night.