Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Pawelek Takes Run at Olympic Dream; despite an Injury, the Jacksonville Woman Eyes a Marathon Spot

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Pawelek Takes Run at Olympic Dream; despite an Injury, the Jacksonville Woman Eyes a Marathon Spot

Article excerpt

Byline: DAVID JOHNSON

Kim Pawelek will compete in her third U.S. Olympic women's marathon trials today in Boston, but without one of her favorite running partners -- her dog, Chase.

Although Pawelek is one of Jacksonville's top runners -- and one of only two Floridians to qualify for the trials -- she said many locals know her more for running with her white-and-brown Jack Russell terrier in Mandarin and San Marco.

"'Aren't you the one with the little white dog? He runs you,' " Pawelek said, recalling a typical conversation.

Pawelek said Chase runs 50 to 60 miles per week -- more than most humans -- and that's not counting detours to chase squirrels or other dogs.

"He's in better shape than I am," said Pawelek, who runs 90 to 100 miles weekly and gives Chase the weekend off during her long runs. "He's pulling me all the time, so he's got to be in better shape."

Those in the local running community might question how that's possible. Pawelek usually is waiting at the finish line of local races while most competitors -- men and women -- are still on the course.

But Pawelek, who finished seventh in the 2000 trials, has lowered her expectations for today's run because of an aggravated right hamstring injury. The ailment, which she felt for the first time at the Gate River Run in March, and arthritis in her lower back make it difficult for Pawelek to extend her legs forward.

"I just pray that I'm not going to have to drop out," she said.

Her focus now is on enjoying the race and finishing.

"I just wish I was more confident about the situation," she said. "I wish I could enjoy it more."

Pawelek knows she will appreciate her three trials appearances even more after her running career is over. But she won't hide the mixed feelings she has entering today's race.

"In any competitor, you're never going to be satisfied," said Pawelek, who's coached by Keith Brantly, her fiance and an Olympian in 1996. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.