Groner second at USATF Marathon Championships


On Sunday (3-Dec) Roberta Groner, 39, (New York AC / Randolph, N.J.) ran to a surprise second place finish at the USATF Marathon Championships in Sacramento, Calf. as she set a career best by almost six minutes.  The championships were held as part of the California International Marathon.  Her time of 2:30:38 improved on her previous best of 2:36:33 from this year’s Boston Marathon.  The race was won by Sara Hall of California in 2:28:10.  Behind Groner was Carrie Dimoff of Oregon in 2:30:54.
"My first goal when I started training for CIM was to qualify for the trials and to break 2:37 (the A standard), stated Groner by email after her race. “As the race neared, I turned my attention to racing and decided to contend for a top 5 spot. With conditions being near perfect, I raced strategically and ran with a group of women until mile 24 where I then was able to pull ahead from the third place woman. I wanted to run a fast last 10 km and was able to hit sub 35 minute. The course and crowd support was fantastic. The event provided incredible athlete hospitality. Meeting both goals and standing next to Sara Hall and Carrie Dimoff are highlights of the day!"
Groner is the mother of three young boys (ages 10, 11, and 14) and works full time as a pediatric cardiology nurse in Summit, N.J..  She began running in seventh grade and competed in high school in western Pennsylvania and college at Saint Francis College in Pennsylvania.  Her best performance in high school was 5:17 for 1600m and in college she ran 17:35 for 5,000m on the track.  
After leaving St. Francis, she also left the sport “feeling tired burnt out.”  Over the next ten years her focus was primarily on her growing family and earning her nursing degree.
In 2009, she ran her first in nine years; running over 24 minutes in a local 5 km.  Over the next six years she continued to run recreationally, mainly entering local races but in 2014 when she moved to New Jersey her dedication and devotion to the sport began to intensify as she found a network of new training partners.

At the 2015 Boston Marathon she ran 2:50:48 and then improved to 2:45:30 later that year at the TSC New York Marathon.  The following year she won the Mohawk-Hudson Marathon in 2:37:54.  In April she finished 16th at the 2017 Boston Marathon running 2:36:33 - her best until Sunday.
Groner turns 40 in January and while she is excited about the opportunities that lay ahead as a masters runner she also does not want to put limits on what she can do as an Open athlete.  “I love what I do, and I try to live in the moment,” she told Runner’s World. “I just want to continue to grow and keep training for the next race. I’m not putting any limits on where I’m going to go.”
She is scheduled to compete for the open women’s NYAC team at Saturday’s NYRR Ted Corbitt 15K as the look to defend their title in the NYRR Club Points Series.  They currently have a narrow 7 point lead on CPTC New Balance with Saturday’s race being the concluding race in 2017.
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