Brett Ely Named to 2011 U.S. Pan American Games Women's Marathon Team
Brett Ely, a three-time U.S. Olympic Team Trials Women's Marathon qualifier, has been selected by U.S.A. Track and Field to represent the United States in the 2011 Pan American Games. The Pan American Games take place every four years in the year prior to the Olympics. It is a major athletic competition between the Americas and was last hosted by Brazil in 2007.
Ely, who ran a personal best of 2:38:53 at the 2011 Grandma's Marathon in June, was selected from among the top U.S. women marathoners. She is one of only two U.S. women selected to compete at the games which will take place in Guadalajara, Mexico October 24-29, 2011.
Ely has been a member of the B.A.A. Running Club since 2004 and has represented the club at both the 2004 and 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Trials Women's Marathon. While her recent training had her looking toward the 2012 marathon trials, which will be held in Houston in January, the opportunity was one that she could not pass up. "It has been a dream of mine to represent the United States in international competition, so I was thrilled to be considered for selection. I knew that my time goals in the marathon might bring me into a range where this was a possibility, but I was very surprised to get the invitation. Words can't describe the excitement I felt."
With the race falling between Grandma's last month and the trials in January, Ely, along with coach Terry Shea, is making some adjustments in her training. A proven warm-weather runner with a win at the 2010 Miami Marathon and her recent 2:38 at Grandma's, the location should prove to be to her benefit, but she will have the added challenge of racing at altitude. The course is a loop course, similar to the 2008 trials course in Boston, a layout that Ely enjoyed. The spectator-friendly aspect will be an asset for Ely's husband and fellow B.A.A. Running Club member, Matt, as well.
With two major marathons coming up in the next six months and one just behind her, Ely is taking it one race at a time. "I feel very fortunate for both opportunities and I'm looking forward to representing the Unites States and the BAA as best I can."