Molly Seidel had run just two marathons before taking the start line for the race at the Tokyo Olympics.
As they say, the third time is the charm.
Seidel, who lives in Cambridge, Mass., won the bronze medal for the women’s marathon event, finishing with a time of 2 hours, 27 minutes, 46 seconds. She was just 20 seconds behind the winner, Kenya’s Peres Jepchirchir.
A native of Wisconsin and an NCAA champion while at Notre Dame, Seidel ran her first marathon at the U.S. Olympic marathon trials last February. Her second was in London in October, where she became the ninth-fastest American woman in history by finishing in 2:25.13.
Seidel has been open about her struggles with bulimia and various illnesses and injuries. Before qualifying for the Olympic team, she told her former collegiate coach that she wasn’t sure about her future in the sport.
All of that was behind her as she prepared to represent the U.S. on the world’s biggest stage.
“Honestly, I think I am just in a better mental place,” Seidel said in October 2020, per David Woods of The Indianapolis Star. “I?m enjoying what I?m doing. I?m having fun. I think that plays a huge role in it.”