Lauren Fog – The Road to the Olympic Trials is one of Sacrifice, Chance + Hard Work

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By Jenny DeSouchet

When Lauren Fog quit her teaching job in Illinois and moved to Boulder to train with Coach Lee Troop, she had a concrete goal in mind: to make the 2016 Olympic Marathon Trials. Yet after running only 3 marathons without much serious training, Lauren was over 12 minutes away from hitting the B Qualifying Standard of 2:43:00.

This goal may have seemed far off to an outsider, but she and her coaches knew that with the right atmosphere and training, there was much more to be accomplished. So she put her elementary teaching career on hold, got multiple part-time jobs in Boulder, and put high mileage marathon training as her #1 priority.

When Lauren started training with Boulder Track Club in 2013, she and Lee both knew they had some work to do. Her 2:54:53 marathon PR required her to cut over 12 minutes off her personal best to hit the 2:43:00 B Standard. So they got to work: Lee with coaching, and Lauren with training and working 3 part time jobs.

After almost two years of Boulder training, Lauren ran a PR of 2:44:58 at Grandma’s Marathon in June, 2015. This was a huge 10 minute PR. Though it was exciting to cut so much time off her best, she was still 2 minutes away from making the trials. She decided to give it another go at CIM in the fall. She ran just over 2:45, seemingly falling just short again. Lauren thought she was done, so she did the natural thing to do when things don’t go according to plan: purchased a trip to Hawaii to “drown her sorrows”.

Yet, while in line for security at the airport to board her flight to the tropics, Lauren got a call from her coach, Lee Troop:

“One week after CIM, I was actually going through the security line, on my way to Hawaii when Lee called me and told me that I was, in fact, going to the Olympic Trials. That’s when I found out that the IAAF and USATF had amended their qualifying standards and my 2:44:58 would qualify me.

Honestly, it’s now only a few days until the actual race day and I still feel like it’s a dream. I was in shock. I might still be in shock. It was the most amazing feeling in the world.”

The roller-coaster continued, though! Shortly after this phone call, Lauren and Lee got word that Lauren’s chip time, which was 2 seconds slower than the standard, was being accepted rather than the gun time (USATF regulation). Lauren and Lee appealed her time, and were able to get her gun time accepted. Lauren had made it in officially by a narrow 2 seconds.

We love Lauren’s story because it’s one of risk-taking. She put everything on hold, without any concrete evidence that she would attain her goal, just to pursue a dream.

Coach Lee Troop cheers on Lauren during the Olympic Marathon Trials in Los Angeles

Coach Lee Troop cheers on Lauren during the Olympic Marathon Trials in Los Angeles

Editor’s note: Lauren finished 103 with a time of 2:55 in very warm conditions.

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