July 19, 2012
For immediate release
Kim Conley, who used the Sacramento Running Association’s financial support to earn a spot on the U.S. Olympic team, tuned up for the London Games by winning a 3,000-meter race in Cork, Ireland.
Conley, a former UC Davis standout, won the event on Tuesday in 9 minutes 1.47 seconds, just ahead of Ireland’s Stephanie Reilly (9:02.91) and Australia’s Eloise Wellings (9:03.82).
The SRA Elite Team member joins U.S. teammates Julie Culley and Molly Huddle in a talented Olympic 5,000-meter field that includes 14 women who have run faster than 15 minutes. The preliminary rounds are set to begin on Aug.7.
Conley stunned the track and field world with a dramatic third-place finish in the women’s 5,000 meters last month at the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials in Eugene, Ore.
The former UC Davis standout ran a personal-best 15:19.79 to edge crowd favorite Julia Lucas (15:19.83) and Abbey D’Agostino (15:19.98) and just beat the the Olympic ‘A’ standard of 15:20:00 needed to compete in the Games, set for July 27-Aug. 12 in London.
Conley, 26, almost gave up competitive running after graduating from UC Davis. But her coach, Drew Wartenberg, encouraged her to continue. A $10,000 training grant from the Sacramento Running Association helped Conley step back from her assistant coaching duties with the Aggies and focus on reaching her potential.
“I am thrilled to be going to London to represent the U.S.,” Conley said. “I’m having the time of my life.”
The Sacramento Running Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to finding ways to encourage people of all ages and abilities to run. The SRA is committed to developing new, quality running events that appeal to a broad variety of runners.
SRA events include the California International Marathon, which celebrates its 30th anniversary on Dec. 2. More than 4,000 runners have already registered for the race.
Other SRA events include the Lake Natoma Four Bridges Half Marathon, The Super Bowl Sunday 10k Run and the Credit Union SACTOWN Ten-Mile Run.
SRA beneficiaries include the American River Parkway, youth fitness programs, local running venues and aspiring young runners.