RBR Interview: Amy Begley, by Larry Eder



Amy Begley, 10,000 meters, USA Champs 2009, photo by PhotoRun.net.

In the 2008 Olympic Trials, one of the events that I will never forget was the women's 10,000 meters. It was a titanic struggle between Kara Goucher and Shalane Flanagan. However, all eyes were on Amy Begley as she powered her way to a huge personal best in her quest to gain the A standard of 31:45! Amy made it.

2009 was a very good year for Amy Begley, with the icing on the cake being her sixth place in the 10,000 meters in the Berlin World Champs 10,000 meters!

Amy had some injuries this past winter, but is all healthy now. Amy answered these questions just around the middle of February. We are thankful for her time and believe you will enjoy her answers.

One final thought: in the spring of 2008, several of my media patners in crime and I watched Amy Begley and Kara Goucher doing a five mile tempo run on the Nike soccer pitch. Begley has that high arm carriage (similar to late great British distance runner Gordon Pirie), and powerful stride that was impressive even in the tall grass of the soccer pitch.

Amy Begley is one of the athletes in the Nike Oregon Project. Under the thoughtful eye of Alberto Salazar, Amy continues to improve, and we look forward to seeing her race in Des Moines, Iowa at our national championships!

RBR, 1: Tell us how your training is going?

Amy Begley: I was injured from Thanksgiving till mid-January with a pulled groin. I had to give up the indoor track season. However, I am healthy and back to training now. I am looking forward to outdoor season.

RBR, 2: Plans for 2010?

Amy Begley:We have not set up a plan for 2010 yet. We are waiting to see how I rebound from this injury. I want to run a fast 5k and 10k. My 5k PR is technically from 2005, even though I have run faster in time trials in practice. I also want to go sub 31 in the 10k and sub 4:10 in the1500 this year.

RBR, 3: You had a superb year in 2009, with your fine performance in Berlin in the 10,000 meters, and your tough race in the US championships. Tell us about the US champs this year?

Amy Begley:The US champs this year will be in Iowa so it will be nice to race in the Midwest. However, it could be hot and humid which would mean it could be more of a tactical race.

RBR, 4: How was the race in Berlin? What did you learn from that race?

Amy Begley:The race in Berlin was a fun experience. I learned that I had more strength and speed than I thought I did. I was well prepared for that race. If I had to do it over again I would of risked a little more with 3k to go. The top 5 broke away and I did not go with them. I was happy with 6th and I was confident that I could beat all the women with me in the 2ND pack. I won't ever settle again. There is no guarantee that I could of placed higher or run faster, but the next time I will risk it and go for it.

RBR, 5: In 2008, you had the entire stadium going nuts, cheering you on to make the A standard, what do you recall from that race?

Amy Begley:I remember doing a lot of math in my head trying to figure out what I had to run. I knew I needed a sub 70 for the final lap. It was so loud in the stadium. It will be my favorite running career memory because a 20 year goal and dream had come true. Hayward and the Eugene crowd have been great to me. I love racing there.

RBR, 6: What was the Olympic experience like?

Amy Begley:The Olympics were an overwhelming experience. It was my first time racing on that level. I guess you might as well start big. I enjoyed the Opening Ceremony. I am glad we did the Opening Ceremony, because if I had walked into the stadium for my race without being there first it would of been more intimidating. There were 90,000 people in the stadium. I was not happy with how I raced in Beijing. I gave up at 3,000 meters and did not race well. Berlin was my redemption race for Beijing. I am now better at mentally preparing for the big races.


Amy Begley, Shalane Flanagan, USA 2009, photos by PhotoRun.net.
RBR, 7: So, what will we see you do this year? Are you going to do anything on the roads? Are you going to see where you can go in the 5,000m or 10,000m?

Amy Begley:This year I want to continue to get faster. I want to race as much as possible in outdoor, especially in Europe. I want to go sub 15 in the 5k, sub 31 in the 10k, and sub 4:10 in the 1500. I spent 6 years on the roads before I moved to Beaverton. I have always liked road races but after a long track season it is hard to keep going. This year, due to the injury, I am hoping I will be able to extend my year and do some fall road races.

Special thanks to Amy Begley for her time and honesty.

Special thanks to Dan Lilot, for passing my questions on to

For more on running, please click on www.runningnetwork.com.

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