The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Sports

October 17, 2013

Mankato runner has sights set on Olympic Trials

Runner hoping to one day qualify for Olympic Marathon Trials

(Continued)

“I asked him how far I had to run, and he said 2 miles,” Henkels said. “I thought, ‘Are you kidding? That’s so far!’”

She acquiesced, of course, and ended up setting West records that stood for several years. Along the way, she took 12th at the state cross-country meet and third in the 2-mile at state track.

Henkels said she “didn’t live up to my potential” while running with the Gophers, but after having two kids, she got the urge to run again.

She ran her first marathon in 2002, finishing the Twin Cities Marathon in 3:39. She won the Fargo Marathon’s half in 2003.

In 2004, her husband, Toby Henkels, a former middle-distance runner for Minnesota and, later, a professional runner, participated in the Olympic Track & Field Trials, running the 800 meters. As Lindsay got faster along the long courses, she thought perhaps the Trials might be within reach for her as well.

“With him being successful and seeing how hard he worked, I thought, ‘I want to do that,’” she said.

She hired an Arizona-based coach with whom she communicates weekly via email and phone. A registered nurse who works fulltime from home, Henkels’ training regimens include two runs a day and at least 100 miles per week, along with weight training and other exercises.

“It’s fun to push yourself,” she said, “and see what your body’s capable of.”

In all, Henkels has run five full marathons and five half-marathons.

This year, she has run the Green Bay Marathon’s half in May (1:25:02), the full Grandma’s Marathon in Duluth in June (2:58:14) and the Women’s Rock half in St. Paul in August, which she won (1:24:10).

“It’s still a lofty goal,” she said of the Trials. “I’m not trying to make the Olympics. To make the Trials would be huge. To be an Olympian, that’s a whole other league of their own.”

Mankato Marathon Saturday's race scheduleToddler Trot & Diaper Dash, 1 p.m.Kids K, 2:30 p.m.5K, 4 p.m. Sunday's race scheduleMarathon, Half Marathon, Marathon Relay, 8 a.m. For more information go to mankatomarathon.com

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