Sarah Sellers, center in purple with black cap, started in the middle of the elite women's pack at the Boston Marathon.
Sarah Sellers thought it would be fun to run the Boston Marathon. But the fun erupted into glory when the former Weber State University track star finished second in the women's field with a time qualifying her for the 2020 Olympic trials.
For an unknown to perform so well in such an elite race is news enough. Then factor in that Boston was only the second marathon for the nurse anesthetist. "Some of the women I was passing, it was just complete disbelief," Sellers, 26, told the New York Times.
Her time in the April 16 race was 2 hours, 44 minutes, 4 seconds—4 minutes behind the winner. The feat netted her $75,000 in prize money.
Sellers with her husband, Dr. Blake Sellers.
Sellers, who ran her first marathon in September, trained for the race before and after working 10-hour days at Banner-University Medical Center in Tucson, Ariz. She said the schedule may have helped in Boston, where runners faced high winds and rain. "When you are doing your hard workouts after a long day of work, you're just never going to feel good or comfortable," she told the Times.
While her Boston achievement could open up a new running career for Sellers—who ran distance events in college and made some all-conference teams until being sidelined by an injury—she plans to keep her day job.
"I definitely will plan on working," Sellers told the Boston Globe. "I love working as a nurse anesthetist. It does make training a little bit challenging, but long term, I love both, and I wouldn't want to give up working right now."