Zachary Vaslow, Class of 2003, Maryland State Champion XC for BCC, two time NCAA All-American (XC & 10K) just qualified for the Olympic Marathon trials to be held in Atlanta, GA Feb 29th with a time of 2 hrs 18 min, 51 seconds. Congratulations Zachary! Read his story below…it will inspire you!
Zachary Vaslow, 2:18:49
(Photo: Luke Webster)
My story is kind of wild. I’m 34 years old. I had five years of no running and in that period I had five kids and did a medical residency. So I started over from scratch at age 32. Almost a year into running again, I was only running a 17:30 for 5K. So, it’s been quite a journey. I ran 2:24 in March and that was a seven-minute PR, from a time I had run 11 years ago. With the kids and all that, it kind of forced a mid-life crisis. Instead of the leather jacket and motorcycle, I reached for my racing flats and did a bunch of mileage. Anyway, the plan was to complete this Olympic Trials arc at the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon four weeks ago , and I just missed it. I ran 2:19:30. I had it, but I cramped up really bad. It was a tragic situation. I could barely walk for a week afterwards. I definitely couldn’t run at all. But my coach said, you’ve got to try again and came up with a plan for me to come out to Sacramento. And I did it. I can’t believe I did it, but I did it. It’s been very dramatic. There was basically over a hundred of us who are in this huge pack. Apparently there’s a Twitter video out there of the pack we are running in and it just looks like a stampede. People were asking me what I thought of the course, and I couldn’t tell you because I was so surrounded by such a dense pack of guys running fast. I couldn’t see the road ahead of me. I couldn’t get to fluid stations. It was so crowded. It was just amazing. Incredible. We were all supporting each other. We all had the same exact goal. If there was a laser line of what the Olympic Trials time was, I was right on it. And so every time I passed somebody in the last few miles, I knew that was it for them. And that was hard—to see other people. We all have the same dream and it’s not going to happen for everybody; it didn’t happen for me a month ago.