SALT LAKE CITY — Basically, marathon runners fall into two divisions: The professionals who train full-time with the help of sponsors and the amateurs who train during their spare time.
Sarah Sellers broke the mold and stunned the world with a second-place finish at the 2018 Boston Marathon.
The 27-year-old former Ogden High and Weber State runner had an injury that kept her from competing in her senior year, and her life as a nurse anesthetist and busy life stopped her from training regularly and allowed her to heal.
After running just a couple of races, she finished with a time of 2:44:04 on Patriot's Day a year ago.
When a race official told her she had finished second she thought it was a mistake, she told the Deseret News. “No, what place was I really?” Sellers repeated. The official told her again that she was second. “No, I wasn’t second. What was my place?” The official repeated it a third time. “Even then, I had to ask my husband to verify that that had really happened,” she says.
After a whirlwind media tour — her plans of sightseeing Boston after the race were canceled — she now wants to compete in the Olympics. But she's still not running full time, she told The New York Times.
“If I quit my job and trained full time, I don’t see it going well,” she said in an interview last month in New York, before she ran the New York City Half-Marathon. “I’d be a stress case and I’d be more injury-prone. When I balance the two, I think I have better perspective.”
Even though she now has a sponsor, she still works three days a week at a hospital in Tucson, Arizona, Sports Illustrated reports.
“I guess the distinction is probably if you’re making money off of sponsorships or on the races, I’d say, so based on that, technically I’m professional now,” Sellers told Boston.com. “But I still feel like I’m definitely in that other realm. I’m still working another job. I’m kind of in that crossover position, I think.”
Sellers and her coach Paul Pilkington are not shooting for first place in this year's marathon. Or even second place.
“(People) see I got second last year and think I’m going to win it this year or be on the podium,” Sellers told SI. “Initially those kinds of comments would get to me because the odds of that happening are not zero, but they’re close. And that’s being realistic.”
She's instead focusing on setting a personal best of under 2:36.
While her strategy of training as a professional while also having is job is unusual, it works for her — she likes to stay busy.
“Nothing against full-time runners,” she told The New York Times. “I honor what they do, but it seems like they have a lot of Netflix time.”
Kyle Korver's impact
The Utah Jazz forward Kyle Korver struggled in Game 1 on Sunday night, scoring just two points while not recording a shot, but he's still making an impact with his essay on white privilege.
Former U.S. vice president Joe Biden called the piece "powerful".
This is powerful. I would encourage everyone to read and take to heart Kyle’s message on privilege. https://t.co/Kceif5wFvg— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) April 13, 2019
Miami Herald columnist Leonard Pitts Jr. applauded Korver for courage.
"... Becoming that sort of advocate takes moral fiber, a willingness to shut up, listen, learn, self examine — and speak out. It’s heartening to be reminded that such courage still exists. In an era of progress under assault, African Americans have every reason to feel anxious, angry and betrayed."
Toronto Star columnist Morgan Campbell appreciated Korver's words, but says now comes the hard part: action.
"If you work in media, you’ve probably tweeted a story with a sexy headline, then watched hundreds of retweets yield only a few dozen clicks on the embedded link. And clicking links is easy. Heeding Korver’s call to action is difficult and awkward and inconvenient for a lot of white people whose hurt feelings often derail meaningful conversations on racism."
And finally ...
Utah Royals defender Becky Sauerbrunn shared a letter she received from Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.