For starters, she took second at the U.S. Half Marathon Championships last year.
A high school All-American at 800 meters while competing for JFK-Bellmore on Long Island, Maegan Krifchin went on to have a solid middle-distance career at Syracuse University. But in 2011, while a full-time graduate student at Ithaca College, Krifchin joined Stotan Racing, and under the father-son coaching team of Bill and John Aris her career has taken off. Krifchin followed up a breakthrough fifth-place finish at the 2011 ING Philadelphia Rock ’n’ Roll Half-Marathon by coming in second at the 2012 U.S. Half-Marathon Championships and then crossing the line as first American, and 13th overall, at the World Half-Marathon Championships four months later. Krifchin, 24, is looking forward to competing in front of her parents, her best friend, and other fans on her home turf in the NYC Half on Sunday. It will be her first road race in New York City.
Here are five things to know about her (in her own words):
1. “Maegan” comes from my great-grandmother, whose name was Mae.
2. I’m the only woman in our training group, which has about 13 guys. I’m used to it now and we work well together. Some of the guys are at different levels or training focuses, so sometimes I can hang on to the back of the pack doing intervals and tempos. Racing is another matter, but even then on a given day if they’re having a rough day and I’m having a good one, I’ll try to take them down, ha ha.
3. When I first started out as a pro, no one knew who I was, and it was kind of cool to beat people who didn’t know who I was but I knew who they were.
4. In Philadelphia, my first half-marathon, we popped out an Olympic Trials qualifier for the marathon with an even faster time than we’d anticipated. I ended up not running the Trials, though, because we thought the marathon was too big a jump for me this soon. It’s definitely in my future, though; maybe as soon as this fall.
5. I’m working 25 to 30 hours a week as an occupational therapist in a hospital, after finishing grad school in October. I’m really enjoying it and going with the flow, trying to balance everything to find a good fit. I know what I accomplished last year was while I was a full-time student, so I seem to do all right with managing a busy schedule. We’re taking it day by day. The time is now, and I definitely want to focus on running, so it’s about finding what feels right and makes me happy. Because if I’m happy personally, it will help me develop as a runner, help me shine.