When Brian Sell qualified for the 2008 U.S. Olympic marathon team, he joined blue chippers Ryan Hall and Dathan Ritzenhein on the trip to Beijing. But unlike his Olympic teammates, Sell was nowhere near a top high school talent having never broken 10 minutes in the two mile as a prep runner. Sell lived in the suburbs of Detroit rather than training meccas like Mammoth and Eugene and worked a part time job at Home Depot.
His performance on that November morning in Central Park gave hope to all the “blue collar” runners out there that they could one day make it as a professional.
The men’s field at next week’s 2012 Olympic Trials contains a few favorites – namely Hall, Ritzenhein and Meb Keflezighi – but like in 2008 there’s always a chance for a darkhorse like Sell to step up and qualify. A few men come to mind.
Sergio Reyes has become a sort of cult hero of the California running scene after a Running Times article described his ridiculous routine of working 50 hours a week as a project engineer on fighter jets at Edwards Air Force Base and commuting two hours a day to and from work, all while putting in 150 miles a week of marathon training.
Read the rest of my article for Flotrack here.