(05-Apr) -- Kellyn Taylor, the seventh-fastest USA marathon woman under all conditions with a 2:24:29 personal best, will run her next marathon at the Volkswagen Prague Marathon on Sunday, May 5, her HOKA Northern Arizona Elite coach Ben Rosario told Race Results Weekly.
PHOTO: Kellyn Taylor in advance of the 2017 Virgin Money London Marathon (photo by Jane Monti for Race Results Weekly)
Taylor, 32, who finished fourth at the 2016 USA Olympic Trials in the 10,000m and sixth in the marathon, sees running on Prague's flat, fast course as an opportunity to lower her personal best and get a 2020 Tokyo Olympic qualifying mark (sub-2:29:30). She last ran the 42.195-kilometer distance at Grandma's Marathon last June in Duluth, Minn., where she clocked her personal best. The mark was also an event record.
"After a season off of marathoning, I think Prague is the perfect fit for my next go at 26.2," Taylor said through a statement. "The field looks fantastic and I'm heading there to compete with the best in search of a win and a new PR."
Under Rosario's training, Taylor has moved solidly into the first tier of American marathon women. She made a very good debut at the Chevron Houston Marathon in 2015 clocking 2:28:40 before finishing sixth at the 2016 Olympic Trials in Los Angeles in hot conditions (2:32:49). In 2017 she finished 13th at London (2:28:51), 8th at New York (2:29:56) and was the ninth-ranked American marathon woman for 2017 by Track & Field News. Nearly a year ago, Taylor was unable to finish the 2018 Boston Marathon, held in heavy rain and near-freezing temperatures, but bounced back with her fast run at Grandma's less than two months later. Taking last fall off, she will be running Prague on fresh legs.
"Kellyn wanted to try and build on her performance last year at Grandma's by picking a race where she could battle for the win against a great field and have the opportunity to run a fast time as a result," coach Rosario told Race Results Weekly in an e-mail.
In Prague, Taylor will face a quality field, including Ethiopia's Amane Beriso (2:20:48 PB) and Mamitu Daska (2:21:59 PB), Kenya's Bornes Jepkirui Kitur (2:24:19 PB), and Israel's Lonah Chemtai Salpeter (2:24:17 PB).
The Volkswagen Prague Marathon is an IAAF Gold Label road race. Under the new IAAF qualification system for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, a top-5 finish in a Gold Label marathon shall be counted as an Olympic Games qualifying mark regardless of the time. Nonetheless, Taylor is hoping to run fast.
"Her training has, without a doubt, been as good as ever over the last few weeks and I am excited to see what she can do on the streets of Prague," concluded Rosario.