RunBlogRun opines: Cathy Schiro O’Brien is one of the most important athletes in American distance running history. This woman almost made the 1984 Olympic marathon team, she was there at 23 miles, before the sixteen year old faded to 9th place! Cathy Schiro had just run a high school and American Junior record of 2:34:24, which still, 36 years later, is the American junior record. Cathy had qualified for the 1984 Trials with a time of 2:45.07.
Cathy O’Brien made the 1988 Olympic team and the 1992 Olympic team. In 1988, O’Brien was 40th, and in 1992, she was 10th, the best American women’s performace in the 1992 Olympic marathon!
Cathy was the world record holder at 10 miles (51:47) in 1989 at the Bobby Crim 10 miler.
In high school, Cathy competed in Foot Locker Cross Country all 4 years of high school. As a frosh, she was 19th in 17:51 (1981), as a soph, Cathy improved to 10th in 17:33.1 (1982), as a junior, she was 3rd in 17:25.4 and as a senior, Cathy Schiro won the FootLocker CC in 16:48.1 (1984)!
We thank Cathy for corresponding with Jeff Benjamin as Jeff keeps us entertained during this current plague.
Awaiting The Baton In The Relay Exchange Zone – Profiles Of Athletes, Coaches & Legends During The War Against Corona
Profile # 29
2-Time Olympic Marathoner & Running Legend Cathy O’Brien
By Jeff Benjamin
How is your daily training/coaching routine doing and how challenging has it been for you in this environment?
” I don’t know how many times during this crisis on my runs I have thought – “I am so thankful for my running.”
“Running has always been so important to me beyond my competitive days- as a way to give my day structure and balance and often a release of energy and cluttered mind. Right now it’s also a way to get out of the house and feel freedom that being mostly home bound has limited. It’s a way of feeling empowered during a time of fear and confusion and it’s also a time of deep gratitude and affirmation that for me simply being able to put one foot after the other on the ground is honestly one of the great joys of my life.”
What advice can you give to runners, especially youth, high school, collegiate- who are challenged during this time as well?
“For athletes that are grappling with a lost competitive season it can be really painful especially seniors who were looking forward to one last season. Hopefully some may make it up with extra eligibility. For the rest it can be another instance of having to slow down and the positives of having a big training block which is sometimes lost with three season races. If done with the social distancing protocol running can still provide the meeting of friends and teammates.”
“Running is a gift.”