By Becky Wade
Last Sunday in Houston, Texas, the U.S. running record books were rewritten. Molly Huddle, a 33-year-old Olympian who lives in Providence, Rhode Island, clocked a blazing fast 67:25 for the half marathon (13.1 miles). As a result, she broke Deena Kastor’s 12-year-old national record by 9 seconds, also adding 10-mile and 20K American records to her resume.
Though I came in a few minutes behind Molly, I was privileged to have shared the roads on such a big day for American female runners. I knew Molly was going for the record, I saw her blast off the line with the leading East Africans, and her result was the first thing I wanted to know when I crossed the finish line. Fortunately, Ray Flynn, both her and my agent, was standing in the finish chute with the good news. Molly is obviously a phenomenal runner, but also a humble, genuine person, making it easy for even her competition to pull for her.
Personally, the race was a positive one as well. I shaved over a minute off of my personal record for 13.1 miles, clocking 1:11:15 (5:26/mile pace). I also placed third in a strong field of Americans, beating several women who were seeded higher than me on paper. It was a strong start to my 2018 campaign and a blast to race on the streets I know so well from the ten years I went to Rice University and lived in Houston. Molly’s accomplishment also offered me a big hit of inspiration for the year ahead. The bar has been raised yet again, and the only way to respond is to step up!