Runner's World recently ran a feature story on ChBE PhD student Matt McDonald, who qualified for the 2020 Marathon Olympic Trials after achieving a personal record of 2:11:10 in the Chicago Marathon, finishing14th overall and fifth for Americans.
As of October 22, he is the ninth-fasting man heading into the Trials in Atlanta in February.
McDonald enrolled in ChBE in 2015 after graduating from Princeton University, where he won the Ivy League Championship 10,000 meters in his final outdoor track season.
In the magazine article, he explained that in preparing for the Chicago race, he had to carefully balance his training with his PhD studies as he increased his weekly mileage up to 120 miles.
“I tried to plan lab days for days that I didn’t have a hard workout, because I’m on my legs all day in the lab,” said McDonald, who is co-advised by Professors Andy Bommarius, Martha Grover, and Ron Rousseau.
He told Runner's World that he's still struggling to comprehend that he's a true contender for the Olympic team. “Originally I was aiming for the top 10. But if I’m aiming for top 10, I might as well for top three.”