"The longer the distance, the better I did. My coach talked to me about doing marathons, and I knew I would work my way up to that; I just did it quicker than expected."

Busy people often say they’re “on the run,” but that’s more truth than cliché for Carly Graytock ’00, who competed for a spot on the 2008 Olympic Women’s Marathon Team.

“While at Bucknell, I knew I was a long-distance runner,” says Graytock, a two-time Patriot League 10,000-meter champion. “The longer the distance, the better I did. My coach talked to me about doing marathons, and I knew I would work my way up to that; I just did it quicker than expected.”

Graytock placed 18th in the 2006 Boston Marathon, qualifying her for the Olympic trials in Boston on April 20. In 2005, she finished third among American women in the Boston Marathon.

“Patience is definitely a key,” she says. “It’s so easy to say that when you’re going through a tough time or not seeing the results you want. But stick with it, put in the time and work, and it will happen.” Graytock experienced a tough time herself in 2004 when she developed a pulmonary embolism that nearly ended her running career.

“I was prepared that it might be over,” she says, “but I thought, ‘I may as well try. I think I can still do it.’ I have a better appreciation for running and health in general. I’m not taking my body or the sport for granted.”

After a six-week setback, Graytock began cross-training again, even running her commute to work. Graytock, who graduated from Bucknell cum laude as a cell biology/biochemistry major, runs four miles to and from Immunogen Inc., in Cambridge, Mass., where she researches antibodies specific to cancer cells.

Graytock’s boyfriend, Terrance Shea ’96, and Greg Costello ’03, competed for a place on the Men’s Olympic Marathon Team this year, and her father and brother, Jesse ’03, ran the Boston Marathon the day after her Olympic trials.

Graytock says she needs to shave 10 to 12 minutes from her best marathon time to earn a spot on the Olympic team. “It’s not impossible,” she says, “but I don’t think I’m there yet. As long as I stay healthy, I want to keep going. Most importantly, I want to keep enjoying it.”

Posted Spring 2008

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