DiscoverWomen's Running StoriesRace Report: Betsy Saina + 2024 USATF 25k National Championships
Race Report: Betsy Saina + 2024 USATF 25k National Championships

Race Report: Betsy Saina + 2024 USATF 25k National Championships

Update: 2024-06-04


Olympian and professional marathon runner for Asics Betsy Saina tells the story of how it all went down at the 2024 USATF 25k National Championships. Saina returned to this race as the reining champion.

Saina was born in Kenya and that is where she currently lives. She came to the US for college and had an incredible collegiate career racing for Iowa State University. Saina went on to become an Olympian racing for Kenya in the 10,000 meter event at the 2016 Olympics in Rio. There, she finished an incredible fifth place. Betsy has since become an American citizen and now competes for the United States. 

Coming into the 25k championships, Saina was on a comeback, a redemption period, which was kicked off early this year, 2024. Her record-setting performance at the 25k is one more statement in this part of her journey, demonstrating that she is back and literally better than ever.

But to appreciate the full context of Saina's recent racing, this story goes back a bit further than this year, beginning with her becoming a mom for the first time, in December of 2021. 

Leading into 2024, having returned to elite level racing post-pregnancy, Saina was focused on making the 2024 US Olympic Marathon team heading to Paris. By most predictions, she was a clear choice. She'd run the fastest marathon of any American woman in 2023, and she was coming into the Olympic Trials in peak fitness. But, to make the team, she still needed to place top 3 in the Olympic Trials, which were held in February 2024.

Saina succumbed to the heat on the day at the Trials, and her Olympic marathon dreams were over. Over the months following the Marathon Trials, however, Saina has been demonstrating just how fit and race ready she actually is, and this 25k champs puts an exclamation point on that journey.

In this episode, Saina tells the whole story, from her pregnancy journey, through her deeply disappointing Marathon Trials experience, up to the 25k champs, where she did indeed earn a spot in the record books. This is the terrific comeback story of a champion racer.

This episode is part of the WRS series of Race Report episodes. Just like last year, 2023, you can expect a Race Report episode for each race of the USATF Road Circuit series of races. Each episode features one top 10 runner telling the story of how the race went down, from her perspective. And because a race is never just about what happens on race day, you will get to know a little bit more about each one of the runners featured and how this race figures into their larger running story.

The USATF Running Circuit championship series of races happen throughout the United States all year long and each race serves as a national championship for the distance or the type of race that is being run. Also, at each one of these races, in addition to vying for a national title, runners earn cash prizes and they earn points. The points go toward the series overall, which is determined at the end of the year.

The next race on the circuit: the 6k National Championships which will take place in Canton, OH on July 13. Be sure to subscribe to the podcast so you don't miss the race report!

You can catch up on all the Race Reports on our website or on your favorite podcast app.

Keep Up with Betsy Saina

Instagram: @sainabetsy

Previous Women's Running Stories Race Report Episodes:

Music Credits

Cormac O'Regan, of Playtoh

Rockot, via Pixabay

Coma-Media, via Pixabay

penguinmusic, via Pixabay

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Race Report: Betsy Saina + 2024 USATF 25k National Championships

Race Report: Betsy Saina + 2024 USATF 25k National Championships

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