Fargo Marathon will have new women’s winnerThe defending women’s champion in the Fargo Marathon will not be back, but that doesn’t mean Leah Thorvilson won’t be a factor on Saturday. She helped convince Camille Herron to make the trip to Fargo. They are friends and share the same sponsor. “I picked her brain,” said Herron, from West Lafayette, Ind. “And she said, ‘Go for it.’”
By: By Jeff Kolpack, Forum Communications Co., The Jamestown Sun
The defending women’s champion in the Fargo Marathon will not be back, but that doesn’t mean Leah Thorvilson won’t be a factor on Saturday. She helped convince Camille Herron to make the trip to Fargo.
They are friends and share the same sponsor.
“I picked her brain,” said Herron, from West Lafayette, Ind. “And she said, ‘Go for it.’”
Herron has the top personal-best time of the women’s elite marathon entrants with a 2:38.23 at the Twin Cities Marathon in 2009. When looking at her training schedule, she said she wanted to do a May marathon with a flat course and a lot of turns because that is what runners will see at the 2012 Olympic Trials in Houston.
Fargo was the perfect fit.
“I’ve been running a bunch of hilly, hard-as-heck marathons the past few months,” Herron said. “I need to get some experience on a flat course.”
Herron, 29, is on a roll, winning the Napa Valley (Calif.) Marathon in March, the Mercedes Marathon in Birmingham, Ala., in February and the Dallas White Rock Marathon in December.
Her 2:38 at the Twin Cities Marathon met the “A” standard for the Olympic Trials.
Thorvilson said in an email that she decided several months ago to run Grandma’s Marathon in Duluth, Minn., in June to help prepare for the Olympic Trials in Houston in January. She also said look out for Herron.
“I would put my money on her for the win if the conditions are good,” Thorvilson wrote. “I think my course record may be in jeopardy.”
Herron competed in the 2008 Olympic Trials in Boston, turning in a 2:47.14. A graduate of the University of Tulsa, where injuries hampered her college career, she didn’t start long-distance running until graduate school at the University of Oregon.
Her husband, Conor Holt, was a six-time All-American runner at the University of Oklahoma. He’s an assistant track and field coach at Purdue.
Thorvilson’s Fargo-record time last year was 2:41.52. Herron said if the conditions are right, she thinks a sub-2:40 is possible.
“But I don’t run by time, I run by effort,” she said. “If it’s a really good day, I might get a new PR. I’m just going to go in optimistic and get in my groove.”
Kolpack is a sports writer at the Fargo Forum