Jackson runner training hard to qualify for Olympics

Published: Apr. 6, 2021 at 7:25 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Jackson’s Nathan Martin is training to qualify for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, but not in his usual event. Instead of marathons, he’s racing for a spot in the 10-and-15 kilometer track races.

For years Nathan Martin has been running long-distance on the road. Now, he’s hoping to make the switch to the track, and to make it to Tokyo.

So far he says it’s been a tough transition.

Martin said, “For a marathon you have to be mentally tough, it’s huge efforts for a long duration of time, and that’s very taxing, and when you’re going through that kind of training for months. It takes a lot just to mentally get ready.”

After taking ninth in the marathon project last year he’s been working to train for the longer sprint races.

Last month, in the 15 kilometer championships in Jacksonville he finished 18th.

“18th isn’t bad, but I’m looking at a lot of different people who had run the marathon project that did not have the best days,” Martin said. “There were one or two who had decent days, but there are a lot of us who had kind of struggled compared to the track guys who had been working on the faster end for a much longer time.”

Martin says he hopes to have a few more chances to qualify for the 10-k race, but in the meantime he’s still running marathons.

He’s been in talks with the New York and Boston marathons to make special appearances.

“My agent started telling me ‘hey these different marathons are interested,’ and I was shocked,” Martin said. “They help out with airfare, make sure you have a hotel and all the accommodations you would need to make sure you’re good to go on race day. It allows you to go there and attempt to have the best time you can.”

Martin says, he’s planning on participating in both. But for now, he’s worried about staying in his lane on the track.

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