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What Do First Marathon Memories Look Like For Elites?

Photo: Emily Gordon

These Olympic Trials–bound women share their first marathon memories.

Photo: Photorun.net

Photo: Photorun.net

Katja Goldring
Age: 25, West LA
First Marathon: Los Angeles
I’m LA through and through. I grew up there and went to public schools. When I was in middle school, the city had this really cool program called “Students Run LA.” It’s a program for kids—mostly in inner-city schools—that gives students shoes and pays for their entry to local races. I did it when I was 12 and signed up for the LA Marathon. It’s funny because I was not a runner at all! I was a soccer player at the time. I don’t know if I would say I “ran” the race, but I finished!

Related: 5 Questions With Kara Goucher

Photo: Emily Gordon

Photo: Emily Gordon

Emily Gordon
Age: 22, Westwood Village
First Marathon: Nike Women’s San Francisco
I spent the summer before the race training heavily for triathlon. My team was going to the race together and it was the same price to run the full or half, so I figured I would get my money’s worth. I remember taking off, concerned I was running too fast. Around 13 miles, I caught up with one of my teammates. She said, “Pass me and you’ll be in third.” I was blown away. I picked it up and soon passed the first-place girl who was with the lead cyclist. I was about to chat with him. He told me to shut up and run faster! I was able to pass the male who was leading the race to be the first one across the line.

Jessica Sebor

Jessie Sebor is the Vice President of Women's Running at Competitor Group. After finishing her first marathon at age 18, Jessie has run everywhere from Singapore to Prague and competed in hundreds of races including the Boston Marathon and the Bare Dare, for which she won the title of National Nude Running Champion. Jessie’s work appears at ESPN.com, Ultrarunning Magazine and has been selected for Houghton Mifflin’s Best American Essays. A former romance novel editor, it’s at Women’s Running where her true passions lie. You can reach her at jsebor@competitorgroup.com.