Lou Serafini finally got his name on the list for the 2016 Olympic Trials marathon on Sunday. On the same day that fellow Boston College alumni Tim Ritchie won in convincing fashion, Lou ran an incredible race of his own and punched that ticket to LA.
Those following Lou’s training and racing know that he’s been on the cusp for a while, just needed that one day where it all came together. After only running a 68 in New Bedford in the spring, Lou came back and dropped a 29:56.7 on the track at the WMDP Friday Night Lights 10k. That’s a serious time and certainly indicative of something closer to that 65 minute B standard.
After a 30:25 at the Lone Gull 10k in September, in which he won the USATF-NE road 10k championship over Olympian Ruben Sança, Lou was back at it for another half attempt in NY. Although Lou won the Mohawk Hudson River Half Marathon, his 65:48 was so close to the mark that it was almost cruel. With nobody pushing him there, it was easy to figure that he could run 50 seconds faster in a stacked field.
So that brought us to Philly where he had the horses to run with. Lou came through with a 64:31 in what has to be the most satisfying 13th place finish of his life. It’s even more impressive when you see how he pulled it off. Throw your watches away and read the Q&A:
What does it mean to finally get that mark?
Everything. All of the miles. All of the hard work led to this race and I’m so happy to see the results. I’m so grateful to have the support of my teammates and HHRC because without them I wouldn’t have had the motivation or ability to get it done.
Did you make any major changes to your training after that last close call?
The only major change was a reducing the taper. I still took it easy for the week leading up but in the last two years of coaching myself, I’ve learned that I run more efficiently off of higher mileage. I ran 85 miles the week of my half - way more than I typically would for a “taper”.
Think next time you might get it done sooner so you could relax a little more leading up to the Trials? 😝
Yes. That that I’ve done it once I’ve got more confidence that I can do it again!
Were your splits pretty even, or did you have to drop he hammer over the last few miles to get it?
Funny story. I actually lost my watch and there were no clocks on the course. I ran the race completely off of feel. I know from looking at the splits afterwards that we negative split the race. We were 49:29 through 10 and then rocked the last 3. I just focused on covering every move that was made because I knew if the person in from of me ran 64:59 and i ran 65:01 I would regret it forever.
How awesome was it get it done in the same day where fellow BC grad/Heartbreaker Ritchie wins with an historically fast time?
It was incredible. Tim is such a great runner and I’m so happy for him. I can’t even estimate how many times he’s put me in the hurt locker on a long run or workout. Tim is the real deal and he’s destined for greatness. After the race I wanted to congratulate him on the win but all he wanted to do was congratulate me on hitting the standard. Tim is one of the most selfless people I’ve ever met.
If Lou proves to be a trend setter than this Q&A could prove to hurt Garmin’s bottom line. In an age where a large majority of folks seem to be overdependent on their watches, Lou went without in a huge moment and arguably ran the race of his life. Congrats to Lou on his accomplishment!