Sarah Mulcahy’s U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials experience did not produce a personal-best time Saturday.
A hilly course, windy conditions and a running shoe mishap prevented that.
But the Fort Kent school teacher did accomplish one goal, finishing the grueling 26.2-mile race in Atlanta.
Mulcahy was timed in 3 hours, 1 minute, 4 seconds, good for 356th place in the women’s field.
“That was so hard,” the 34-year-old Mulcahy said in a Facebook post. “Possibly the toughest run of my career. Relentless wind. New shoes blowing out at mile 10. But I finished. Then I felt like dying. Thank you all for your constant support. I am proud to be a Mainer. Now I rest.”
Runners competed in winds gusting up to 20 miles per hour along a three-loop course that included 1,389 feet of uphill terrain and 1,382 feet of downhill running.
Mulcahy, who qualified for the Trials with a 2:44:28 clocking in December 2018 at the California International Marathon in Sacramento, California, was one of three women with Maine ties to start the race.
South Portland native Amanda Nurse finished 94th in the women’s field in 2:43:35, while Michelle Lilienthal of Portland did not finish.
Also participating were five men with Maine ties. South Freeport native Henry Sterling was 95th overall in 2:24:40; former Colby College runner Dan Vassallo, now living in Massachusetts, was 100th in 2:24:59; Cape Elizabeth native Matt Rand was 108th in 2:25:42; Ryan Smith of Auburn was 115th in 2:26:14; and Athens native Matt McClintock did not finish.
Galen Rupp, bronze medalist at the 2016 Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, won the men’s race in 2:09:20. Justin Riley (2:10:02) and 43-year-old Abdi Abdirahman (2:10:03) also qualified for the Tokyo Games.
Kenyan-born Aliphine Tuliamuk led the women’s field in 2:27:23, with Molly Seidel (2:27:31) and Sally Kipyego (2:28:52) also earning tickets to Tokyo.
The 2020 women’s Olympic marathon will be held Aug. 8, with the men’s race on Aug. 9.