By Chris Chavez
August 2, 2023
Jenny Simpson says she is planning to run the 2024 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials in Orlando on Feb. 3, 2024. In an interview with Track Shack, she subtly noted she’ll make her marathon debut before February’s race but has yet to announce which marathon.
Here’s what you need to know:
– After a successful career on the track from 2007 to 2021 that included an Olympic bronze medal in 2016, the 2011 world championship gold medal and two world championship silver medals, Simpson has decided to focus on the roads.
– She parted ways with longtime sponsor New Balance in 2022 and signed with PUMA. Since the change in Oct. 2022, she has raced three times. She qualified for the marathon trials with a 1:10:35 for ninth place at the Houston Half in January. She has not raced since.
– Simpson hinted at making her debut before Orlando, which would signal a fall marathon. She was not included in the Chicago Marathon’s elite field that was announced last week. She could run the New York City Marathon on Nov. 5 with her close ties to New York Road Runners as an eight-time winner of the 5th Avenue Mile.
– Her husband, Jason, competed at the 2020 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials in Atlanta and is hoping to qualify for next year’s race.
Here’s what she said:
Simpson: “It’s a mystery to me like it is to a lot of people. I don’t really know what I’m getting myself into. The road has been bumpier than I expected. To take some words from someone else, ‘It hasn’t been an adventure or a journey, it’s been an ordeal’ trying to get ready the last few years. It’s a good reminder to me, and hopefully to other people, that there’s always more challenges out there. There’s always new things to seek out to do. Whenever you’re great at one thing, you can always seek new adventure. That’s what I’m doing! I want to spend the last few years of my career doing longer road races.”
She added: “Two of the biggest motivations were: No. 1) Watching my husband doing it and thinking, ‘Ugh! I want to be a part of that!’ Also knowing that as I get older, I didn’t want to run out of really good years to give to something that was so intriguing to me for so long. I think there’s a typical prescribed path and I just didn’t take it. I’m trying to do something different. I have huge expectations and I expect a lot of myself. I’m also trying my best to embrace a sense of freedom and say, ‘I’ve accomplished a lot already and now I can do something I want to do and not necessarily something that’s going to just objectively, absolutely pay off.’ not every day do I feel 100% sure of that but it’s been a really good exercise. I have the accomplishments in the 1500 and there’s not a whole lot for me to learn there. I want to learn something about myself in the marathon.”
Chris Chavez launched CITIUS MAG in 2016 as a passion project while working full-time for Sports Illustrated. He covered the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro and grew his humble blog into a multi-pronged media company. He completed all six World Marathon Majors and is an aspiring sub-five-minute miler.