Friday, June 27, 2014

34 Weeks Pregnant Alysia Montano Runs 800 Meter Race, Gets Standing Ovation

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Just six weeks aways from her due date, Olympian Alysia Montano ran in the opening round of the women's 800 meter race at the USATF Outdoor Championships.

By the time she completed the run, Alysia Montano had most of the audience on their feet and cheering for her even though the heavily pregnant runner crossed the finish line dead last. She may not have won the race, but the Olympian was a winner in the eyes of all those watching for even attempting the run. She said of her standing ovation at Sacramento State’s Hornet Stadium.

“I just felt so supported. I didn’t want to be judged or have any ill things said about me. I just wanted to kind of do what my heart and my desire wanted to do.”

Related - 8 Months Pregnant and Still Lifting Heavy Weights

Montano, a five-time U.S. outdoor champion, had a previous qualifying time that allowed her to enter the competition and clocked 2 minutes, 32.13 seconds, mere seconds behind her closest competitor in the preliminary heat.

Montano said she consulted her doctor and midwife, who encouraged her to race 34 weeks into her pregnancy.

“That took away any fear of what the outside world might think about a woman running in pregnancy or exercise in general. What I found out mostly was that exercising and maintaining during pregnancy is actually much better for the mom and the baby.”

“I’ve been running through my entire pregnancy, and I felt really, really good during the whole process. I definitely was like, OK, I think I can run a pretty decent time. I didn’t have a time on it [that I wanted to run]. I just knew I didn’t want to get lapped, be the first person to ever get lapped in an 800m. More than anything, I wanted to be here, and I’m feeling that fire and that desire to be on the track and to race. What a better avenue than to do it at USA Nationals.”

She also said she knew she wouldn’t advance out of the first round. Rather, she viewed her participation as a celebration.

“We see so many people in different avenues in their life start their family, and it looks so different than it does for a professional athlete, especially for a professional athlete woman,” said Montano, whose due date is Aug. 13. “You’ve seen [four-time Olympic middle distance runner] Bernard Lagat have two kids, and we don’t see the other side of it. This is what it looks like to be a professional athlete as a woman.”

And for some romance, this is Alysia Montano and her husband on their wedding day :)

Read more, see video

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