Tenacious Amy: No Holding Down Hastings

  • By Mario Fraioli
  • Published Jan. 28, 2013
  • Updated Jan. 29, 2013 at 11:15 AM UTC
Amy Hastings came from behind to win the 10,000m at the U.S. Olympic Trials last June. Photo: Getty

Olympian Amy Hastings is a runner worth watching in 2013. 

Like any great athlete, when Amy Hastings gets knocked down, she picks herself right back up. And once she’s back on her feet, it’s a safe bet that she’ll probably out-kick you, too.

Case in point: After finishing fourth at the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials in Houston last January, missing a spot on the Olympic team by 71 seconds, Hastings shed some tears, then found strength through her disappointment and quickly put herself back on a fast track to success—a route which led her to a come-from-behind win in the 10,000 meters at the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials in June, securing the tenacious 28-year-old a spot on her first Olympic team.

“It was really a hard pill to swallow,” Hastings says of failing to make the Olympic team in the marathon. “I was very upset about it. I cried about it for a really long time afterward, but it was one of those things where I just kept telling myself that it happens for a reason and I wasn’t ready to give up.”

RELATED VIDEO: Inside Amy Hastings’ Cover Shoot

Growing up in Leavenworth, Kan., where she participated in a slew of sports but “wasn’t really that good at any of them,” Hastings learned from her parents that failure wasn’t an excuse to quit something—it was only a reason to reevaluate and try even harder. As a result, she developed a fierce competitiveness, one that has always belied her girl-next-door likability and vibrant smile.

After some initial running success early in her high school career, Hastings started to take the sport more seriously, and as a junior began working with a coach in Kansas City during the off-season and upping her training volume to 65 miles per week. She set a goal of running competitively in college, and by the time she graduated in 2002, Hastings had already started to show early signs of potential marathon prowess, logging nearly 80 miles a week in training.

“I realized very quickly that my best run of the week was always the long run,” Hastings admits. “That’s kind of what came easiest to me. And I loved it because I had a group of girls I ran with, and we would just go and talk the whole time. It was my favorite run of the week, too. I actually told college coaches I thought I would be a 10K runner and that I’d eventually do the marathon after college. I think they kind of laughed at the time, but I could handle the mileage, even in high school.”

RELATED: 10 American Runners To Watch In 2013

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Mario Fraioli

Mario Fraioli

Mario Fraioli is a senior editor at Competitor magazine. A cross-country All-American at Stonehill College in 2003, he now coaches the Prado Women's Racing Team in San Diego and was the men's marathon coach for Costa Rica's 2012 Olympic team. His first book, The Official Rock 'n' Roll Guide To Marathon & Half-Marathon Training (VeloPress, 2013) is available in bookstores, running shops and online.

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