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June 24, 2018

The Story of a Runner, an Italian Restaurant, and Dreams Come True

The timeless tradition of carbo-loading before races resulted in some fun social media traffic this weekend at the USA Track and Field Championships in Des Moines.

Here’s the backstory:

Due to a flight delay, world silver medalist Courtney Frerichs didn’t land in Des Moines until midnight the night before her steeplechase preliminary race.

Luckily, her husband, who was already in Iowa, picked up some spaghetti and meatballs from the local Olive Garden and had it ready for Frerichs to chow on in the early hours of Thursday morning.

We posted the clip of Frerichs talking about her late night meal after her steeplechase prelim.

The tweet caught the watchful eyes of Olive Garden’s social media team, who responded with well wishes to Frerichs.

The night before her steeplechase final, Frerichs tweeted photos from the West Des Moines branch of the famed Italian restaurant chain.

It turns out Olive Garden provided her entire family a free dinner — including dessert. The carb-heavy meal seemed to work for Frerichs as she finished in a strong second place less than a second behind champion Emma Coburn.

“I pretty much always go to Olive Garden when I’m racing in the states because I know their meals work,” Frerichs said.


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