Prior to Saturday's U.S. Olympic Team Trials - Marathon in Los Angeles we caught up with Alexandra Bernardi, 29, of New York to learn more about her running, how she felt when she learned she had qualified for the Trials, and her life beyond running; including, who she would most like to have lunch with, her role model, her favorite athlete, and something a bit unique about herself.  

This will be her first Olympic Trials.

So let's GET TO KNOW Alexandra a bit better......

How did you start running: 
I started in elementary school - in the winter, my gym teacher would put together a "Santapede" (aka seven 4th & 5th graders in costume tied together) for our local holiday 5k, and in the spring, my school district had a track meet for 4th and 5th graders. My hand eye coordination left much to be desired, so this was the sport that stuck!
Where did you qualify for the Trials: 
California International Marathon 2015 (2:44:35)
Tell us about the point you realized you had  qualified for the Trials and how it felt:
I was on pace for the original standard through ~21miles of CIM 2015, but ended up being 1:35 over. 4 days later, I was at work when I heard the first rumors that the standard might change. I wasn't sure if it was real and if it would apply to me until I saw my name on the list of qualifiers, and once I did, I was ecstatic! So rewarding to see the hard work put in over the past months, years, etc. allow me to achieve what I once thought was an unobtainable goal.
High School: 
Kingston High School (2004), Kingston, NY
High School Best Times: 
1500m  4:44 
High School Highlights: 
Competing in multiple NYS meets for cross country, indoor, and outdoor track 
Brown University (2008)
College Highlights: 
My college running career was definitely my least impressive - no times or highlights to report!
Central Park Track Club - New Balance
# of Olympic Trials: 
This is the first!
Social Policy Research Analyst
Something unique about you: 
I ran my first marathon as a senior in college (in 3:33:54 - yikes!)
Favorite Workout: 
I'm always intimidated by long MP runs, but the feeling of nailing such a key workout surpasses any 
Favorite Place to Train: 
Central Park bridle path
Favorite Food: 
Does coffee count as food? If not, I'd say sushi.
If you could have lunch with one person who would it be? 
My husband! Between work and training, it can be hard to find quality time to spend with each other, so dinner together would be a nice break from the daily routine.
Your Role Model: 
My parents are my ultimate role models - they offer unconditional support and enthusiasm, are a voice of reason when needed, force me to confront my fears and insecurities, and have always believed in my abilities (athletic, academic, etc.) even when I doubt myself.
Favorite Athlete: 
I really admire Molly Huddle - I think she's incredibly talented, humble, dedicated, and it doesn't hurt that she's from my home state.
Goal at Trials: 
To be competitive and finish knowing I used every ounce of strength and will power to race among such a talented field (and a PR would be stellar!)

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