KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Quinlan Moll, a distance runner who recently completed his athletic eligibility with Kansas City Athletics, established a US Olympic Marathon Trial qualifying mark last weekend. The effort occurred at the Grandma’s Marathon in Duluth, Minn., on Saturday, June 22. The Springfield, Mo., native finish the distance of 26.2 miles in 2 hours, 18 minutes and 50 seconds. The qualifying mark for the Trials is 2 hours and 19 minutes.
It is believed that Moll is the first to hit a US Olympic Trial qualifying mark in recent Roo history. He did it by finishing 25th overall at the marathon out of nearly 5,500 runners. His average mile pace was 5:18.
Moll’s travel to the “Land of 10,000 Lakes” to participate in the marathon were less than ideal. The race started Saturday morning around 7:53 a.m. Due to a delayed flight out of Kansas City and a missed connection, Moll arrived in Duluth around 12:30 a.m. on Saturday. However, once the morning arrived, Moll was dialed in for the race and the moment.
"Leading up to the race was stressful, as my flight from Kansas City to Minneapolis was delayed, causing me to miss my connection to Duluth. As a result I had to take a shuttle from Minneapolis to Duluth and didn't get in until after midnight the night before the race. I ended up getting about four hours of sleep the night before the race, so I didn't really know what to expect once it started. Once the gun went off, however, I felt good and started working on executing the race plan.
"Going into the race, I had the Olympic Trials standard as the primary goal, but I didn't really know what to expect, having never competed at the distance before," said Moll. "As a 10k runner during my time at Kansas City I had put in a lot of miles, but it's pretty difficult to know exactly how your body is going to react to a race distance 20 miles longer than that. Additionally, I was coming right off of a long track season, so I was hoping that my body wasn't too fatigued from continuing the season for another six weeks."
Next, Moll will set his sights on training and participating in the Olympic Marathon Trials in Atlanta on Feb. 29, 2020. The Trials is the race that will determine the three men and three women who will run for the United States in the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.
The future looks bright for Moll and the experience he gained from the race is something he explained afterwards.
"Crossing the finish line was a pretty amazing feeling, I was tired from the race but also pumped up from adrenaline and excitement. It was a special moment, so I tried to just soak it in. Next up, I'll start up my marathon training in earnest and just try and get some solid miles under my belt. I'll probably do some races in the fall to sharpen, and then it will be time to gear up for the Trials. I'm looking forward to the opportunity to line up next to such a talented field of guys.. it will be a really exciting and unique experience."
Moll specialized in the 3,000, 5,000 and 10,000 meter runs during his Roo career, while also running on the Kansas City cross country team.