Laura Thweat's Spectacular Debut, and what the future could hold, by Carolyn Mather, for Racing South


Thweatt_LauraLeds-NYC15.JPGLaura Thweatt, photo by

The marathon is a jealous mistress. Show her a lack of respect, and she will make you go from strong to weak to laying on the side of the road.

Laura Thweatt is a strong cross country runner, with a background of endurance training. That she ran one run of two hours, thirty minutes is not the important observation. The key here is that, with coach Lee Troop, Laura Thweatt has found a program that works for her. Her debut over the marathon distance gave her the seventh best performance EVER by an American in the big Apple.

And now, Laura Thweatt will focus on club cross country and going back to the track, where she considers herself at 10,000 meter specialist.

The marathon will wait until 2019, thank you.

Here is a fine piece on Laura Thweatt and her future in distance running.

In her first attempt at the marathon distance, Laura Thweatt put it all on the line and survived the final grind to finish the TCS New York city Marathon as the first American and 7th overall in a stellar 2:28:23 stellar debut. Thweatt and her coach three time Australian Olympian Lee Troop had decided to do something different this fall and try the marathon. Thweatt is still "not a marathoner" but on this beautiful fall day in arguably the world's greatest marathon, she executed perfectly the planned strategy.

Before the race she was decidedly nervous but utilized her strength and faith in her coach to get the job done. I ate lunch then had coffee with her the afternoon and she and her family were so excited to be in the big apple. She was pretty laid back and ready to have at it.

From my view on the women's press truck, Laura Thweatt looked relaxed and quickly tucked into the lead pack. Laura ran her own race with some of the world's best and held the pace up and down the hills. She appeared like a veteran and did not make any rookie mistakes. Laura Thweatt got her special fluids and navigated the course with incredible grace.

Thweatt held with the pack of nine till near twenty miles, when eventual winner Mary Keitany accelerated, leaving all of the field behind by mile twenty-three. Thweatt began to feel the pain, but held it together for her stellar debut. She had only done one two and a half hour long run, but her debut at the full marathon took less time.

Crossing the finish line, Laura Thweatt's body shut down. An hour later, Laura was full of smiles and thrilled with her race. Thweat said the last three miles were "really tough", but she used her strength to "grind it out".

Although her debut puts Laura at the top tier of Olympic trials contenders, Thweatt will run national club cross country champs then return to the track. Her experiment went well, but Laura will wait until 2019 to "become a marathoner".

Laura was ecstaticwith her trip to NYC, plus meeting Spike Lee and Paula Radcliffe! Thweatt, at age twenty-six has a great career ahead.

With her brilliant smile, her love of our sport and a fantastic coach (in Lee Troop), I predict amazing feats from this lovely lady.

Not only does she run fast, but she coaches high school cross country and works as a buyer in her coach's running store.

Keep an eye on Laura Thweatt.

More fantastic performances are in her future.

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