Molly Seidel ran her first-ever marathon Saturday in Atlanta.
Her next will be at the 2020 Olympics this summer in Tokyo.
Seidel placed second in the U.S. Olympic marathon trials, becoming one of three American women to punch a ticket to Japan. The 25-year-old Wisconsin native finished with a time of 2:27:31, behind only Aliphine Tuliamuk, another soon-to-be first-time Olympian. Seidel congratulated her teammate via Instagram Tuesday.
“You’ve showed me an indomitable spirit can do anything,” she wrote. “I wouldn’t have made this team without your strength and support those final six miles. You deserve every second of this joy.”
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ALL HAIL THE QUEEN 👑 #queenAliphine . Before the Houston Half back in Jan I was worried my training wasn’t enough, that I couldn’t work out as hard as veteran marathoners did. A really smart friend sitting with me on the bus to the start said “Why do you compare your workouts to others? You aren’t them so your training isn’t their training. Last year I was injured and could only train for 6 weeks but I ran my best marathon; if you trust that your body is strong it will do great things” (spoiler, it was @aliphine ) . Aliphine, you are an incredible woman and one of the all-around nicest people I know. And now you’re the freakin’ MARATHON TRIALS CHAMPION! You’ve showed me an indomitable spirit can do anything; I wouldn’t have made this team without your strength and support those final six miles. You deserve every second of this joy. #olympictrials #teamUSA #roadtotokyo2020
For Seidel, Saturday’s results fulfill a lifelong goal.
“Ever since I was a little kid, this was the only thing I dreamed about doing,” she said during an interview that aired on “NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt” Monday. “To be able to say, ‘Yes, I’m an American athlete,’ that’s the highest honor, I think, an athlete can have.”
Seidel lives with her younger sister in Boston, where she works two jobs as a babysitter and barista in order to pursue running. Heading into her first marathon, her expectations weren’t high. She just wanted to have a good race. An All-American cross country runner at Notre Dame, Seidel is an experienced — and accomplished — runner, but has battled injuries, anxiety, and an eating disorder over the course of his career.
“I kind of self-destructed even before I got to the line at the Olympic trials,” she said. “Going in, I was like, ‘I want to go out and try and run well for my first marathon.'”
That she did.