HOKA ONE ONE Is Ready to Take on the Marathon Trials

by LetsRun.com (sponsored by HOKA ONE ONE)
February 1, 2020

Fortunately, February has an extra day this year to accommodate the greatest road running event held every four years in the United States, the US Olympic Marathon Trials.

To celebrate, we’re making February Marathon Month on LetsRun.com. HOKA ONE ONE has partnered with us to bring to life the stories of their 17 athletes competing at the Trials in Atlanta – from the dreamers, to the contenders, to the debutantes, to the mountain men and women. It’s time to get pumped up for the Trials.

Starting Monday we’re going to have a HOKA ONE ONE Trials athlete of the day. But we’re going to have a lot more than that – think training tips from the HOKA team and a little inspiration. HOKA said we could do whatever we want, so we took them up on it.

The Contenders

HOKA NAZ Elite’s Kellyn Taylor and coach Ben Rosario

At the last Trials, HOKA participated for the first time and the HOKA NAZ Elite team showed up big time. Kellyn Taylor led the women’s race early on and finished 6th and then came back to place 4th at the Track Trials, while Matt Llano was 6th in the Marathon Trials, and Scott Fauble 4th at the Track Trials.

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This year the HOKA NAZ team is even stronger. Taylor is now part of a formidable training trio with Aliphine Tuliamuk and Stephanie Bruce. “I thought we’d make it last time… I couldn’t even watch the replay of that [Marathon Trials] for a year… four years removed, I guess you could say, it is amazing that I had that level of belief because now Kellyn is so much fitter and so much more prepared and we’re so much better and more in such a better position,” HOKA NAZ Elite coach Ben Rosario said.

Fauble agrees. Fresh off his 2:09:09 Boston Marathon last spring, he has the third-fastest qualifying time and is all in. When asked what his goal is for the Trials, there was no beating around the bush, “To win,” he said.

The Dreamers

The HOKA ONE ONE Aggies are one of the most iconic running clubs in America. The Aggies are known for racing fast and having a good time doing it — “the faster we run, the sooner the fun” is the club motto — not to mention some historic upsets, some marathon Olympians (Mark Conover and Linda Somers-Smith), their centipede at Bay to Breakers, and their cheering section at the Olympic Track Trials.

Swarnjit Boyal [2nd from left]

The Aggies will have six athletes competing at the Trials, and they represent you, the running lifer, to the core. Not only do they have full-time jobs, but they are fast and their back stories are incredible.

How about Swarnjit Boyal? He started as a club runner at Cal Poly and was repeatedly told he couldn’t be on the team. He wouldn’t take no for an answer and eventually not only made the jump from the club team to a D1 roster at Cal Poly, but went on to win three conference titles, running 14:01/29:05 in the process, before going on to run 2:17 in the marathon and make the Trials.

How about 38-year-old former US Marathon champ, Sergio Reyes, still pounding the roads and dreaming big?

How about a 32-year-old cancer researching mom, Liza Reichert, who was on the HOKA Aggie team that won the 2019 US Club Cross Country Championships (believe it or not, the Aggies first national team championship)?

The Aggies are one of the most diverse running clubs in the US, and if you don’t get inspired by some of their stories, something is wrong with you.

The Mountain Men and Women

Ashley Brasovan in Patagonia

HOKA first established itself in the trail and ultra World. (HOKA inspired LRC to explore the Ultramarathon world this past spring for those of you who want a primer).

The HOKA ultra and trail crew is not afraid to take to the roads. USA Mountain Team members David Fuentes and Ashley Brasovan both made the Trials. Does Brasovan’s name sound familiar? It should.  She won the 2007 Foot Locker Cross Country National Championship and nearly repeated in 2008, but was stopped short by Jordan Hasay. Brasovan then struggled mightily at Duke while trying to deal with some eating issues, and disappeared from the elite running world. Her love of running and a healthy lifestyle have brought her back to the top of the US running world.

And the Debutante – Mr. Ultra Man Jim Walmsley

Walmsley finishes the 100k after setting the 50 mile WR.

Jim Walmsley has re-written ultra running’s record books. Known for going big (and sometimes going home devastated in grand fashion), Walmsley has never run a traditional marathon. His debut comes on the biggest of all stages, the US Olympic Marathon Trials. His massive 176 mile week is building his mystique even more on the LetsRun.com forums. Can ultra running’s king contend for an Olympic spot on the ridiculous hilly course in Atlanta? Who knows, but we’ll find out.

Check back Monday for our first HOKA ONE ONE Trials Athlete of the Day. And stay tuned for a bonus podcast episode with Ben Rosario. Marathon Month is here and HOKA ONE ONE is ready to Take on the Trials.

HOKA ONE ONE Team for the Trials (once post their profile, you can click on their name below to view it)

Runner PR Team Interesting Fact
Kellyn Taylor 2:24:28 NAZ Elite How many firefighters can make the Olympics?
Aliphine Tuliamuk 2:26:50 NAZ Elite Represents the American dream
Stephanie Bruce 2:27:47 NAZ Elite
Started running cause she could beat the boys. Won 1st US title at 34
Addi Zerrenner 2:37:51 HOKA Aggies Taped pic of Shalane Flanagan on wall as kid
Ashley Brasovan 2:40:20 SWA 2007 Foot Locker champ
Annie Dear 2:41:52 HOKA Aggies DIII to the Trials
Liza Reichert 2:42:24 HOKA Aggies Cancer researcher
Men PR Team Interesting Fact
Scott Fauble 2:09:09 NAZ Elite Top contender
Scott Smith 2:11:14 NAZ Elite His dog got 3rd at dog mile world champs
Sergio Reyes 2:13:34 HOKA Aggies
Lifer, Former US Marathon Champ, has been running since age 2-3, now 38
Tyler Andrews 2:15:52 HOKA ONE ONE/ Cambridge Sports Union Trains in Ecuador at 9000 ft, 2nd @ 50k Worlds
Rajpaul Pannu 2:17:06 HOKA Aggies
His dad died of a heart attack at age 40 and he started running to lose weight
Swarnjit Boyal 2:17:47 HOKA Aggies
Indian American walk-on went from club team to D1 team (And also won 3 conference titles)
Brandon Johnson 2:18:14 HOKA employee Missed last trials by 11 seconds. Works for HOKA.
David Fuentes 2:23:06 Boulder Underground
Mountain runner made 2 US teams but trains at sea level
Sid Vaughn Jr. 2:22:01 NAZ Elite youngest of 10 siblings
Jim Walmsley Debut HOKA ONE ONE Ultra legend

This content is sponsored content for HOKA, but not approved by them.

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