GETTING TO KNOW…..LAURA THWEATT

4/2/2020
 



High School you attended:
Durango High School,  2007

College you attended:
University of Colorado, 2011 ....GO BUFFS!!
 
Major in College:
Sociology with a minor in Criminology 
 
Current Occupation (or part time-job):
I am fortunate enough to be able to run and train full time. I have a contract with Saucony, who I have been with since 2014.
 
Tell us about your Olympic Trials experience in Atlanta:
Ooof, haha, Atlanta was just as hard as everyone thought it was going to be, maybe even harder. Tons of rolling hills, you were either going up or going down, and a nasty headwind. Sometimes you would come around a corner and it would hit you so hard that you felt like you were getting hit by a bus. But all of that I think is what made it the perfect course for me. I pride myself in being more of a strength runner, which is why I have always loved cross country so much. And to quote Jared Ward, "Atlanta is a 26.2 mile cross country race." I found myself drifting towards the front around mile 8, at the end of the first loop. That wasn't our strategy, especially with the wind, but I just felt so good, strong and confident and was thinking to myself, this is my race. This was the first marathon since 2015 that I arrived to the start line healthy with an uninterrupted block of training underneath me and I was extremely confident in how we had prepared and trained. So in that moment when I found myself in the front, I thought, this is it, this is my moment and I've never wanted anything so badly as I wanted to make that Olympic team. So went for it. I put everything I had on the line and risked it all for my dream. Although I ultimately ended up coming up short, I have no regrets with how I chose to race. The three best women made the team, women who I have competed against over the last 4-5 years, and I could not be happier for them. It was defienetly a bittersweet moment crossing that finish line in 5th, but again, I knew I had given it everything that I had.  And what an incredible field of women!! Looking back at all the pictures of our pack, which held together until about mile 20, 21, sums up the state of American Women's marathoning. Truly, truly amazing to be apart of this movement.
 
How did you start running?
Well, when my dream of becoming an Olympic Volleyball player vanished my freshmen year of high school, two of my friends who were going out for the cross country team, convinced me to give it a try. I had dabbled in track in middle school, but wasn't in love with it, so I was skeptical about this whole running 3.1 miles thing. But after our first race, which was the pre state meet held up in Colorado Springs, I was in love. It was raining and muddy, there was grass and hills, and it was just you out there racing the conditions as well as the other girls. So pure. I crossed the line as my teams first runner and knew, that in that moment I had found what I loved.
 
What were your best track times in high school?
Lets see if I can remember these haha.   
800m - 2:16 
1 mile - 4:59 
2 mile - 11:03 
 
#1 High School highlight?
Man, this is hard. I have so many! But I would have to say that breaking five minutes in the mile my senior year, at the Liberty Bell Invite, against Sara Coco from Fairview, is a moment that I will never forget. Our school record at the time was 5:00 run by Elva Dryer, and it has stood for years. My freshman year in track I decided that before I left high school, that record would be mine and so I set the goal to break that five minute barrier. It took me four years to do it, and so when I crossed that line and saw the clock with a four in front of it, well it was one of the greatest highlights of my running career at that point.
 
What were your best track times in college?
Again, let me see if I can remember these.   
800m - 2:10 
1500m - 4:20 
3000m - 9:25 
5000m - 15:56 
10,000m - 33:49
 
#1 College highlight?
This one would have to be my senior year at our Big 12 Conference Track Championships at OU in Norman Ok. I ran the 10k the first night of competition and placed third in my college PR of 33:49. I then came back two nights later and placed fourth in the 5K. At the close of the meet we would always gather around as a team and Mark would recognize the highest men and women's point scorers. That year, between my two events I won women's highest point scorer, beating out Emma Coburn by one point. Granted she only ran one event, the steeple, which she won haha. But still, it was a proud moment for me.
 
#1 professional highlight?
Again, this is another tough one! But I always find myself coming back to winning the US Cross Country Championships back in 2015 when they were held here in Boulder. It was an incredible moment crossing that finish line in first, winning my third national title in cross country (the first two came in 2013 and 2014 Club Cross) in front of all my friends, family, teammates, on my home course was a moment I will never forget. This also qualified me for my first World team. Competing at World cross country in China that spring was a huge goal of mine and again something that I will never forget.
 
Something unique about you that we might not know about you?
I am terrified of spiders, like to an unhealthy level and I have a huge Starbucks addiction. 
 
Current Coach?
Joe Bosshard.....Go Team Boss! 
 
Favorite Workout?
I love any type of long run, 15,18, 20+ milers. I love that feeling of just being out there on the roads just running. It is in the simplicity of those types of runs where I feel most alive and where I fall in love with running all over again. The 27 miler that I did up at Magnolia Road in preparation for Atlanta was definitely one of my favorite things that we did. I finished that run, which was an ass kicker by the way, and knew that I was ready. Joe told me that nothing in Atlanta would be that hard, and although Atlanta was also an ass kicker, he was right.
 
Favorite Place to Train?
My favorite run to do is the Eldorado Springs loop in South Boulder. It is a beautiful trail run that winds you up and around through part of the Flatirons. The first half is all climbing but then you peak up through these canyons and it is all totally worth it. I also really love running up high above Boulder, there is a ton of runs and dirt roads up above Nederland that make for great long runs. 
 
 
Favorite Food?
Oooh, I have so many!! But I really really love my boyfriend Alex's fried risotto balls. We make them every New Years eve, its become one of our favorite traditions. 
 
Favorite Restaurant?
There are so many great restaurants in the Boulder area but   I would have to say Pizzeria Locale. And shout out to owner Bobby Stuckey, who is an avid runner himself! 
 
Favorite music?
Taylor Swift. I LOVE her. And speaking of love, her latest album Lover was incredible. I'm still listening to it on repeat. But for more of a local favorite I would have to say Bury Mia, which is a punk rock band based out of Denver. Amazing music, and I have quite a few of their songs on my pre workout pump up play list. I would also like to mention that the drummer is my amazing practitioner and friend Marcus Hille. If you haven't listened to them yet, what are you waiting for. 
 
Favorite TV Shows?
I have a few so I will list them, Peaky Blinders, the Office, Schitts Creek, Diners Drive Ins and Dives, Chopped, The great British Bake Off,  Love is Blind, Below Deck and Below Deck Med, Vanderpump Rules, and the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, Orange County, Atlanta, and New Jersey. 
 
Favorite Author?
Jon Krakauer. I have read everything that he has written. And I have read Into thin Air and Under the Banner of Heaven multiple times. 
 
Favorite Book?
Into thin Air, Under the Banner of Heaven, Missoula, The Kite Runner, Becoming, The Girl on the Train. 
 
What is your preferred social media? 
I primarily only use Instagram and Twitter. 
 
If you could have lunch with one person who would it be? 
Jon Krakauer.  
 
How about dinner?
Taylor Swift because we would obviously go to her concert after dinner, where she would give me VIP tickets.
 
Over the years who would have you found to be the best training partner? 
I don't know if I can answer this with just one person! I have been so so fortunate to have trained with so many amazing athletes and people over the years of my career, going all the way back to high school. Each and everyone has helped shape me into the athlete that I am today. Over the last year and a half though I have been lucky enough to train with some of the very best women and men, not only in the country, but in the world on Team Boss. I have learned so much from these incredible athletes and people and took a lot of that into my race at the Olympic Trials in Atlanta. 
Your Role Model?
Again, I have so many! Shalane Flanagin, Desi Linden, Denna Kastor, Molly Huddle, Emma Coburn, Mary Cain, Jared Ward, just to name a few. They way that each and every one of these athletes handle themselves on and off the track is something that I hope to emulate. They are truly amazing athletes and people who continue to use their platform to elevate and fight for others in the sport. They continue to push the sport forward with their performances as well as their advocacy for what is right. 
 
Favorite Athlete?
See above. 
 
What do you foresee yourself doing in 5 years, 10 years, 20 years?
Haha, this is a tough one. I guess that I don't really have a concrete answer to this. I'm hoping that I can continue my running career for another four years, which is the beauty of the marathon. If I can continue to stay healthy I think that I can compete at this level well into my late 30's, again, when looking at athletes like Desi, Shalane, and Amy Cragg, I'm hopping that my best in the marathoning is still to come. And then after that, I don't really know. I would love to somehow find a way to stay in the running industry, maybe even through coaching. Having been an assistant cross country coach at Monarch high school over the last 7 years is something that I have absolutely loved. I also love to write, so maybe something along those lines too. I don't know what doors or opportunities will open next but thats sometimes part of what makes life so exciting :)
 

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