Julie Culley Recalls Her Olympic Final

  • By Duncan Larkin
  • Published Aug. 17, 2012
  • Updated Aug. 17, 2012 at 11:07 AM UTC
Julie Culley ran a personal best at the Olympic semi-final. Photo:

She experienced a hamstring flare-up near the end of the race.

From: NYRR Media

If you’ve ever wondered what it feels like to be a top athlete when the pack takes off and you can’t go with it, take a look at this video interview with Julie Culley.

Culley, the 30-year-old New Jersey native who trains with the New Jersey-New York Track Club, won the 5,000 meters at the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials in June, and posted a personal best by more than seven seconds in the Olympic semifinal. But in the final, a nagging high-hamstring issue flared up, and when she tried to go, nothing happened.

“I was just kind of bracing myself for that last mile and the last mile came and I went to open that stride and it was like [Culley makes a grinding noise] everything kind of locked up,” she said, laughing and adding that the hamstring doesn’t bother her at all on the roads so that’s probably where she’s headed for the rest of the year. “It’s almost like this out of body experience. You’re like ‘OK, here we …  no!’”

In London competing on her first Olympic team, Culley continued to poke a bit of fun at herself.

“You almost get tainted being around so many Olympians,” she said. “After you make the team you go home, there’s this whole big thing, everyone’s so excited, and then you come here and you’re surrounded by so many Olympians, it’s almost like, ‘oh, is it really that cool to be an Olympian?’ Because, like, everyone I know here is.”

FILED UNDER: News / Olympic Games TAGS: / /

Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin is the news editor at and a freelance journalist who’s been covering the sport of running for over five years. He’s run 2:32 in the marathon and won the Himalayan 100-Mile Stage Race in 2007. His first running book, RUN SIMPLE, was released last July.

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