Jacksonville Woman Qualifies For U.S. Trials

Kim Pawelek is the latest women's U.S. Olympic Trials qualifier. Photo: The Times-Union

Despite the frigid conditions the former University of Florida runner set a new PR.

Jacksonville resident Kim Pawelek didn’t just barely qualify for the 2012 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials, she did it with nearly five minutes to spare. A former University of Florida runner, Pawelek ran 2:41:28 on Sunday to win the Jacksonville Bank Marathon. She has won this race before, both in 2003 and in 2006.

“Making the Olympic Trials qualifying time was my main focus today,” she said afterward. “This was a tough race today. I was cold almost the whole day. Fortunately I had some guys I was running with and they were helping me out by breaking the wind so I was able to just tuck inside them.”

With her qualifying time in hand, Pawelek is now eligible to race in the 2012 Olympic Trials Marathon which will be held in Houston in a year.

In the men’s race, Justin Gillette finished first in 2:29:17 with a two-minute margin over second-place finisher David McCollam.

For More: Jacksonville.com

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