Jacob Riley placed second at the Olympic Marathon Trials in Atlanta with a sprint to the finish alongside Abdi Abdirahman and Lenoard Korir. It was an exciting fairy tail finish for him with years of hard work and rebuilding behind it.
Jake debuted the marathon in 2:13:16 in Chicago in 2014 and finished 15th in the 2016 Olympic Marathon Trials – though he says he was never really in a place that day to make that team and actual placement was irrelevant. He struggled with achilles issues for years and finally had surgery in 2018.
Coming back from the surgery and rebuilding steady lead him to a top American finish in 9th place in Chicago this past fall in a time of 2:10:36. We all knew then he was one to be watching. In fact, I had plans to have him on after Chicago and we ended up bouncing back and forth on communication and turns out it was just meant to be to do this after he made the Olympic team!!
Jake is a Standford alumni and is coached by Lee Troop and runs with the Boulder Track Club. In this episode he shares with us a little bit about their training and what his preparation looked like going into this race! He ran a smart race in Atlanta and patiently waited for the right time to chase down the pack ahead of him, walking away with second place in a time of 2:10:02. I’m so excited for Jake and screamed like he was my best friend when I saw him coming down the last 400 meters in that sprint to the finish.
Enjoy my conversation with Jake!