Alana Hadley, a 17-year-old Ardrey Kell senior, was the top overall female at the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon on a chilly, windy Saturday.
She ran a 1:19:28 first half and a 1:19:06 second half Saturday morning on the way to a course-record time of 2 hours, 38 minutes, and 34 seconds.
As a 3-year-old, Hadley begged to join her father on his runs through their Charlotte-area neighborhood. When he relented, thinking she would give out and he would have to carry her home, he was surprised to hear her giggling as they completed the mile run.
At 9, Hadley decided to “get serious” about becoming a marathon runner.
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And now, at 17, she has run her fourth marathon – and already has run a time that qualifies her for the 2016 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials, the second youngest female to qualify and the youngest since 1984.
Hadley, who turned pro last year, says it’s hard for some of her high school classmates to understand her pursuit,.
“What they hear is a 17-year-old running over 100 miles a week,” she said. “But don’t look at me as a 17-year-old. Look at the fact that I’ve been running for 11 years.”