AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin resident Allie Kieffer wasn’t sure what to expect in Sunday’s Austin Half Marathon.
Kieffer, who says she wasn’t pleased with her 2019 results, hadn’t raced 13 miles in at least a year. On Sunday morning, she certainly gave marathon effort on her way to a first place finish in the half marathon with a time of 1:14:28.
The Olympic hopeful says she’s feeling confident heading into the United States Olympic Trials in two weeks in Atlanta, Georgia. Kieffer is considered one of the top candidates to represent the country in the 2020 Olympic games.
However, she’s taking a different mental approach when it comes to the trials avoiding any sort of “favorite” labels.
“I’m thinking I’m an underdog,” Kieffer said.
Like several other elite athletes, Kieffer used Sunday’s run as a stern test before competing against the best runners in the country in a couple of weeks at the trials. Several runners taking part in the trials ran the half marathon Sunday morning to get their legs ready for the end of February.
Kieffer appears ready. She says she ran at about a 5:40 mile clip Sunday after taking six minutes of break time during the run.
When asked what it meant to win in Austin, Kieffer says it means she’s officially a Texan. She’ll forever be etched in Austin running history.
“Eat some tacos, listen to some country music. I’m officially an Austinite…I think that’s what it means,” Kieffer said.
In a couple weeks, Kieffer could take a spot in the Olympics which would vault her into another echelon of running history.