Running for a spot in the Olympics: Countdown begins for Kansas woman

Japan 2020

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Running in a marathon is not easy — there’s a lot of conditioning, mental preparation, and potential for injuries involved. For one Kansas woman, this will be her third time running in the Olympic Marathon Trials.

“So, the first time I competed in the trials was in 2012,” said Raquel Rios-Reed.

In just 23 days Rios-Reed will be flying out to Atlanta to compete in the trials.

“I mean this is hard but you know it’s not so hard that I can’t do it. I’ve done harder things,” said Rios-Reed.

She says when she competed in the trials in 2012 and 2016, she suffered from a stress fracture, each time a different foot.

“About two weeks out I had just a really strong ache in my foot and it just wouldn’t shake,” said Rios-Reed “And I went to the doctor the day that I flew out and I got a cortisone shot, thinking it was just a tendon issue, and it was excruciating. The pain was really bad.”

This time around Rios-Reed says she is listening to her body and what it tells her.

“If you get to the Olympic trials doesn’t mean you’re going to be able to do it again, and I’ve been fortunate enough to be there three times,” said Rios-Reed. “And I mean I’m 44 so it’s not like I have the rest of my life to do this, but really the goal is to be there healthy.”

Rios-Reed says her family is always cheering her on from the sidelines giving her the motivation to finish the race.

“You realize real quick that we’re all humans trying to chase the great goals just on a different level,” she said.

She hopes to inspire her two daughters by showing them that anything is possible with dedication and diligence.

“I always feel like if I’m pushing myself to work hard at something, in all aspects of life, then they’ll pick up on it and they’ll see that hard work is going to pay off. And you know, it doesn’t mean I’m going to win the Olympic Trials, but it means that I got to place, that it was hard and it was difficult and I could push through.”

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