Friday, August 24, 2007

Lilienthal: " ... because everyone is committed, fun, and balanced."

It's Friday, so in keeping with a little pattern we've established, we'll introduce another new member of Team USA Minnesota to the DtB-reading public. We've already introduced Emily Brown and Antonio Vega, today we meet the third-and-final newbie Michelle Lilienthal.

Lilienthal (pictured) clocked a PR 2:35:51 in finishing 4th at last year's Twin Cities Marathon/USA Marathon Championship. Since then she's placed third in both the USA 25K and half marathon championships.

We asked Lilienthal, an Iowa native and University of Wisconsin grad, the following ...

What drew you to Minnesota and Team USA Minnesota?

Katie [McGregor] was my room mate at the 25K Championships in May and she only had great things to say about the team and running in Minneapolis. Her enthusiasm for the team sparked my interest and when I came to visit in June I saw first hand how conducive the area is for running. Dennis was on the same page as my previous coaches as far as workouts and mileage for marathon training, and the team also drew me in because everyone is committed, fun, and balanced.

What are you hoping you'll find here that will help you to take the next step in the sport?

Being surrounded by runners who are committed to training and working hard. Working with a coach like Dennis and having his guidance during workouts will be a big change for me and a huge advantage. I have already learned about how much support the team receives and I think having access to the best facilities and medical support staff will help me achieve my goals.

Is the Olympic Trials Marathon in Boston next spring the next marathon on the horizon for you, or are you planning one in the fall?

Olympic Trials in Boston will be my next marathon and this fall I will focus on training and racing some shorter distances. I am hoping to race a 20K later this fall in addition to some races between 8k and a half marathon, we'll see how training goes over the next month before making any definite racing decisions.

Photo courtesy of Team USA Minnesota.

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