WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - The 2020 Olympics in Tokyo don’t get started until July, but the preparation to make it to the big stage starts months, even years in advance.
This year, three women with ties to Wilmington will run in the 2020 Olympic trials on Saturday in Atlanta for a chance to make it to Tokyo.
Peyton Thomas, Brittany Perkins and Erin Hogston all qualified to run in the marathon trials by running 26 miles in less than 2 hours and 45 minutes.
On Monday night, Watermans Brewing in Wilmington held a send-off event to wish the ladies luck in Saturday’s race.
“We’re really excited to represent Wilmington on this level. It is just exciting to be able to say that we are going to be competing the U.S. Olympic trials,” Hogston said.
More than 700 men and women will be running on Saturday with only three available spots on both the men’s and women’s Olympic team. The Wilmington trio are underdogs to make the team, but Hogston says the journey to get to this point is what makes it special.
“We were just happy to even get to the trials. We will be able to toe the line with some of the most amazing runners in the country. So we’re just excited to have that opportunity."
It wasn’t a walk in the park to make the trials. It took Hogston nearly two years to train and eventually qualify for the trials.
“It’s a really good feeling to reach a goal that you’ve set. It’s a super hard goal, you work so hard to at it. We [Erin and Brittany] are moms, one [Peyton] is getting a PhD. We all have families and work. It feels good to do this with everything going on," Hogston said.
Hogston says the hardest thing about running Saturday’s marathon won’t be running a 26 mile race, it will be bringing a good mental approach to the race.
“Your body is conditioned for it. We train our bodies for it. You know you’re really going to hurt those last couple of miles, but you got to have that positive mindset, that ‘never give up’ mindset. Otherwise, you won’t have the kind of turnout you really want to.”
NBC will air the 2020 Olympic trials in Atlanta Saturday beginning at 12 p.m.