Luke Puskedra, Bobby Curtis, Matt Llano, Elkanah Kibet, Nick Arciniaga, and Fernando Cabada Ready to Rumble At Olympic Marathon Trials

February 11, 2016

LOS ANGELES — On Thursday, hit the ground running in Los Angeles in advance of the 2016 Olympic Marathon Trials.

Desi Linden and Luke Puskedra were the headliners at the press event but LRC also spoke to Bobby CurtisMatt Llano, Elkanah Kibet, Nick Arciniaga  and Fernando Cabada on the men’s side and Kellyn Taylor, Becky Wade and Annie Bersagel on the women’s side.

Videos with all the men below and highlights from each of the men’s contenders.

We also broadcast a special one-hour edition of Track Talk for the Marathon Trials and were joined by Sports Illustrated’s Chris Chavez where we highlighted what we learned on Thursday. To download or listen to the podcast click here.

Luke Puskedra: Talks 2:08 Effort and Biking in 80-Degree Heat

Luke is ready for the Trials and said he thinks it will take a 2:08 effort to make the team. His training has gone well and he is a little bit more grounded with the birth of his daughter last year. He prepared for the heat by riding a bike in his house (Luke only runs once a day) while babysitting his daughter with the heat jacked up to 80 degrees. On his preparation for the heat he said:

“Just try to prepare yourself as well as possible. … I stayed in Eugene, Oregon and just turned the thermostat in my house up to 80. So hopefully it’s 80. And I overdo everything, so when they said it was going to be 75, I said, ‘Okay, I’m going to put this thing at 80 and wear as many layers as I can while training inside.’ My wife didn’t enjoy it as much as I did. … I wouldn’t recommend it to anybody else. There were some times it was stupid, but if you’re going to be dumb, you’ve got to be tough, right?”

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Luke at the 7:02 mark talks about Galen Rupp’s addition to the Trials and says, “I’d never bet against Galen.”

The Luke and Desi presser was longer and at the 18:20 mark (click here to jump there) Luke said, “The harder the race, the better for me.”

Bobby Curtis: “The training’s gone well and I think I’ve hit it perfectly.”
Bobby Curtis was in high spirits before the Trials. In addition to the quote above he said, “I think for a while I was a 10,000m guy pretending to be a marathoner but this segment I did train properly as a marathoner (running 140 miles one week).”

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Elkanah Kibet: Full-Time Runner

Kibet is in the U.S. Army and for the first time while in the Army has been able to train as a full-time athlete. He’s been training with Sam Chelanga in Tucson and said they are both fit and training well. Elkanah never gave up on the Olympic dream while overseas in Kuwait. (For a great profile of  Elkanah click here)

Fernando Cabada: As Fit As He’s Ever Been, Does He Have the 2:09 Effort in Him?

Cabada is coached by Brad Hudson, but has been training on his own in Mexico. He said his preparation has gone well and discussed why he did a full marathon last month in training. He said he thinks it will take a 2:09 effort to make the team and pondered whether he was ready for that.

Nick Arciniaga Ready to Go

Everyone who showed up at the press conference was in good spirits (the press conference is voluntary) including Nick Arciniaga. He said he is fit. Nothing incredible in his workouts, but he sounded pleased with his preparation. Nick also talked about Brett Gotcher and a few others.

Matt Llano and Hoka One One Group Ready to Go

Llano did not dream of being an Olympian as a kid but now he’s got the opportunity and things are going well for him and some of the athletes in his Hoka One One Northern Arizona Elite group. Llano, like others, mentioned Kellyn Taylor is in great shape.

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