In running, sometimes all of the preparation in the World can't stop bad luck. At the NAIA National Championships, unfortunately that was the case for Senior, Olivia Warren. On Saturday, she competed in the National Marathon Championships in Gulf Shores, AL. She, along with many others were some of the unlucky few who did not get to cross the finish line.
A 26.2 mile race is grueling enough; when you add the heat and humidity of southern Alabama in the summer - it's even harder. Olivia, a 3-time National Championships qualifier in cross country and 5-time school record holder for Brescia University, ended her collegiate career with the result no runner ever wants to see, "DNF". At the 25.5 mile mark, Warren passed out due to heat exhaustion. As unfortunate is that is, 12 other athletes had already passed out as well. Apparently Gulf Shores is a great place to vacation, but not for a marathon.
However, that does not take away from the fact that she is the only female individual National Track & Field qualifier, a 4-time KIAC Conference Champion (10,000m and 5,000m) and a front-runner for a Brescia Women's cross country team that won 3 consecutive KIAC team titles. Simply put, her storied career speaks for itself - she is the most decorated athlete in the history of women's running at Brescia.
In the marathon, Olivia began the race near the back 1/3 of the field - as was the plan. A relaxed and steady pace had Warren right where she needed to be at the half way point of the race. "We had people all throughout the course and the feedback was that she looked great through 22 miles.", said Coach Alan Schulze.
"If there could be one thing I could ask for us to take away from this race, is that the journey is sometimes better than the destination.", remarked Coach Schulze. "Olivia had the most tremendous season of her career and likely in school history. The battles she has overcome to even be here most people couldn't fathom. However, she never let any of that hold her back." He continues, "I can only hope that the National Championship experience was one that she will recall with fondness and not remorse - she has no reason to be unsatisfied. No one could ever hope for a harder worker and devoted athlete than Olivia Warren. She will be truly missed at BU for years to come."