This Brooklyn Criminalist Qualified for The Olympic Marathon Trials | Human Race | Runner’s World

I’m Leigh Anne Sharek. I’m 30 years old. I live in Brooklyn, New York. I am a criminalist at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner and I have qualified for
the Olympic marathon trials. (upbeat music) I do DNA testing for crimes that happen in the five
boroughs of New York City. I’m doing about 85 miles a week right now. Sometimes I run to work in the morning sometimes I’ll run home afterwards and then I usually come home,
I have about an hour to relax and then I’ll go out for my run. I’m from New Hampshire originally and I don’t think the marathon was even in my vocabulary growing up. If you’re in the running
community in New York City you feel pressure to run a marathon no matter what. I ran my first marathon in Philly in 2012. I did New York a few times. I started placing in my age group and getting awards and I
love this feeling of success and confidence that it brought me. I didn’t think about an
Olympic Trials qualifier until after Chicago 2017 and I ran 2:52 and that was the first
time I’d broken three. Oh I was so happy, I’d finally done it. And it’s funny because nothing
changed except mentally. I woke up, I did my work outs I hung out with my
friends, I went to work. The only thing that changed
was instead of thinking oh I wanna break three, it was like oh I wanna break 2:45. I went in to CIM with the
mentality of OTQ or bust. If I don’t qualify, I’m not
coming back to New York. (laughs) I will just jump in the Pacific. It’s the first time I’ve
ever had my name on a bib so when they gave it to me, it
kind of made everything real. My coach was there, my very
good friends were there. You could just see the
determination in her eyes. It makes me wanna tear up but you just knew that it
was hers for the taking. I did not allow myself to
think that I had it in the bag until 25 and a half, I
was like, I’m gonna do it. I can’t believe it, I’m gonna do it. And I finished in 2:41:59. That photo makes it look
like I just won the Olympics but that’s how it felt. I had just achieved this
massive accomplishment. I mean, I know I’ll never
have that feeling again. It was so special. Nobody comes to New York to be a runner. There’s hardly any soft surface and air quality’s probably bad, traffic and not getting hit by bikes. It’s so special and I wouldn’t
wanna run anywhere else. I think part of my story is that I qualified for the
Olympic trials training in New York City. It’s the most successful
thing I’ve ever done in my life till now. The Brooklyn Track Club was
founded in April of 2017. We started it as a way to
hold each other accountable and we just got a really positive response from the community, of people saying “Oh I wanna come too.” “I’d love to join you on this workout.” “When are you meeting?” When we started, it was
probably eight people and now we have 250 members. She definitely exudes just incredible positivity and light. It’s very contagious
and it kind of rubs off on whoever’s around. It may feel like you’re dying inside, during the workout or during the long run but then you see Leigh Anne and she shoots you a smile. [Announcer] And the FROTY
goes to Leigh Anne Sharek! (crowd screaming) Ahhhh yeah Leigh Anne, yeah! (crowd cheering) In 2018, I was named Runner of the Year by New York Roadrunners. I qualified for the trials and I PR’d in the half and it was just kind of the
cherry on top of solidifying that all my hard work did mean something and it’s not just PRs, it’s this community
recognizing you as well. She has a reputation in New York as being one of the nicest, fastest women in New York City. Just by the way she presents at races very cool, calm and
collected, no pretense. And then she comes out and wins the show. Literally and figuratively. I don’t think I’m going
to make the Olympic Team. I don’t even necessarily think
I’m that special as a runner. I’ve just worked really hard at it and that’s what I’m trying
to convey to everybody. The fact that you’re
doing it with other people and you have a goal in mind, it’s a game changer. It will bring you change
in your life, I promise. (upbeat music)


  1. Rebecca Entrekin said:

    You guys should do one on Gracie Griffith! She’s from Atlanta and is now a Clemson student and she qualified for the trials.

    November 26, 2019
  2. Brooklyn Track Club said:

    We are so proud of Leigh Anne! Captain | Leader | Legend

    November 26, 2019
  3. Chasing Majors said:

    Thanks for the video. Currently I'm in prep for my first marathon and vlogging about it, and I'm always looking for vids for inspiration. Cheers! (Thumbs up)

    November 27, 2019
  4. Conan O'Brien said:

    She's really cute wow

    November 27, 2019
  5. Mike H. said:

    Good stuff! Crime pays off here….keep at it! Good Luck.

    November 28, 2019
  6. SlightlyRandom said:

    Wow 85 miles a week is not easy. Keep it up you are doing very well.

    November 29, 2019

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