May 19, 2023
"Women with kids keep getting better. You become strong. It’s the opposite of what some people might think. Because sometimes people would be like, ‘if you go on maternity leave, you might be done.’ It’s becoming the opposite. If you look at Keira (D’Amato) or Aliphine (Tuliamuk), you can bounce back and do better than what you used to. Even in my 20s, I wasn’t feeling the way I feel right now, especially in road racing."
My guest for this episode is Betsy Saina who has re-emerged as a star in 2023 after giving birth to her son, running 2:21 at the Tokyo Marathon and just won the USATF 25K Championships this past weekend in Grand Rapids, Michigan. That marathon performance in Tokyo was It was her first marathon since giving birth to her son and her first marathon since becoming an American citizen. She's certainly someone in the conversation for one of the three spots on the line at the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials that will determine the team for the Summer Games in Paris.
In our conversation, we'll touch on her road map to try and qualify for her second Games, her postpartum running experience including the challenges and triumphs in training. Betsy is an inspiration for new mothers striving to reclaim their running prowess.
You can now listen to our conversation on The CITIUS MAG Podcast. Catch the latest episode of the podcast on Apple Podcasts. We are also on Stitcher, Google Play and Spotify.
Emma Bates hinted at potentially taking a shot at Emily Sisson’s American record this fall. Would you potentially go after that as well?
“Honestly, that’s my goal. We’re trying to see if I can get a pacer. I spoke with my agent and I’m so lucky that I have a company that’s very supportive. I talked with Asics and asked if they’d be able to help with at least one or two pacemakers. They’re super supportive about it. After finishing the 25K – even though I missed the last turn – I still ran 3:08 for the last kilometer and I was feeling very good, to be honest with you. I am going to sit down with my coach tomorrow…I came back with a different perspective. I want to get ready for this fall marathon. It’s going to be one of those races where sometimes it’s good to have a good race before the Trials.
Everybody is going to be like, ‘How did Emma do?’ ‘How did Betsy do?’ or ‘How did Aliphine do?’ It means a lot to me. Even though it’s a fall marathon, I’m going to shoot for it like it’s the Trials. I am hoping I’ll be able to meet Emily, Emma or Aliphine. It’s going to be very, very exciting.”
“I want to train and get ready knowing that I want to run 2:18. That’s the goal. Go for 2:18.”
What are your feelings toward the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials with eight months to go
“It’s not going to be easy but I’m super excited to be competing in such a field because it gives us a lot of confidence going into the Olympics because I know we’ve had people medal before. I was telling myself the other day, ‘Who knows, maybe the marathon is going to race that I can get a medal?’ I am super excited to compete against those women.”
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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.