Trials Question of the Day
February 20, 2020
The 2020 US Olympic Marathon Trials are almost here. As we count down the days until the Trials (February 29 in Atlanta), the LetsRun.com braintrust — co-founders Weldon (Wejo, 28:06 10,000m runner) and Robert Johnson (2:23 marathoner, former distance coach at Cornell) and staff writer Jonathan Gault (brains at LRC)— will be answering one pressing Trials-related question per day. You can find previous questions and all the 2020 Olympic Marathon Trials coverage here. LRC has also in partnership with HOKA been profiling all the HOKA athletes running the Trials which you can find here.
The question: Are you worried about Jordan Hasay?
Jonathan: Not really. That’s not to say that I have zero worries, but I expect her to finish the race. And if she finishes the race, I think she makes the team.
With that said, Hasay has the largest range of outcomes of any athlete in the Trials, from dominant winner to DNS/DNF.
The three marathons Hasay has finished have all been sensational. She set the US debut record in 2017 (2:23:00) by finishing 3rd in Boston, and followed that up with a 2:20:57 in Chicago that fall, the second-fastest time ever run by an American woman. She was also 3rd in Boston last year, the top finish by an American in a WMM in 2019.
So why the concern? Because Hasay doesn’t always make it to the finish line — or even the start line. She withdrew from 2018 Boston after an MRI the day before the race revealed a stress reaction. A similar injury caused her to withdraw from Chicago that fall. And in her most recent marathon, just four months ago in Chicago, she barely made it 5k before dropping out due to a torn hamstring. Add in a coaching change (she’s taken on Paula Radcliffe as an “advisor” after her previous coach Alberto Salazar was banned from the sport for doping violations) and Hasay is coming off a rough end to 2019.
A torn hamstring just four months out from the Trials could be worrying, but Hasay seems to be back training well. Could something go wrong again? Maybe. But I also think her injuries tend to stem from Hasay pushing hard in practice, and for this buildup, she knows she can’t afford to overcook things as she won’t get another shot at the Olympics for four years. I expect her to be healthy and ready to roll in Atlanta.
Rojo: Am I worried? No, but I should be. As you mentioned, just over 4 months ago, she dropped out at 5k of a marathon. If the injury is that bad, you’d think it would take at least a month to heal and that doesn’t leave much time to get ready. Plus she was originally supposed to run the Houston Half but didn’t do it. Even that’s not enough, prior to 2019, she’d run four half marathons and her times were 68:40, 67:55, 70:42 and 68:38. Guess what she ran in her two in 2019? 71:06, 72:35.
But Jordan seems up beat on social media and I’ve heard through the grapevine she’s in good shape. And if she’s in good shape, she’s a lock. When she said she wasn’t doing Houston, here is what she also wrote. “Currently am thankful to be healthy, training better than ever and excited for the last phase of my marathon buildup. Thanks everyone for your support.”
So unless she’s lying to us on social media, she’s should make this team. Has Weldon asked his old friend Paula Radcliffe for confirmation that what she’s said on social media about her training is actually true?
Wejo: I haven’t asked Paula anything.
Of course I’m worried about Jordan. One of our other proposed Trials Questions of the Day was “Are you worried about Amy Cragg?”. Well we now know how that one turned out. If you’re proposing the question: “are you worried about X?” almost by definition you’re worried about X.
So we’re now relying on hearing through the grapevine or Jordan’s own social media that things are going well. Well if that’s the standard, here’s what Jordan retweeted just before the Chicago Marathon:
— Boston Marathon JH (@jhboston26) October 11, 2019
She made it 5k in that race. So I’m very worried about Jordan.
Having said that I think Jordan is the most natural marathoner in the US of her generation. How was she not running the marathon at the 2016 Trials?
Often times with Jordan before she drops out of a race, we hear beforehand things aren’t going well (Boston 2018) and all signs are pointing up for Jordan on that front for the Trials. But I’d feel a lot better if you tell me she’ll make it 15 miles at the Olympic Trials. If she’s in the lead pack then, you can put her on the 2020 Olympic Marathon Team as my worries will be gone.
What’s so beautiful and brutal about the Olympic Trials is you only get one shot every four years, and if Jordan doesn’t make it this time, she may never be an Olympian.
We need to cut out the BS and go on the record. Will she make the 2020 US Olympic Team? One word answers only.
What do you think? Chime in on the World Famous LRC Message Boards in this thread: Trials Question of the Day: Will Jordan Hasay Make the Olympic Team?