(Photo: Citizen59 via Wikipedia Commons)
Last month on August 15th, Team USA middle distance runner Emma Coburn became the first American woman to win a (bronze) medal in the 3000-meter steeplechase at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil setting an American world record. The event was added to the Olympics in 2008.
“If it’s a normal training day, and I’m in a funk and not feeling it, I’ll call a friend to get me to join in the workout,” Coburn said. “Sometimes, it’s just about getting your butt out the door. It’s a lot easier when I have a friend.”
Coburn’s friend is most often Jenny Simpson, both of whom train together under coaches Mark Wetmore and Heather Burroughs in Boulder, Colorado. Both ladies are graduates of the University of Colorado, and are both Olympic bronze medalists.
(Track Photos: Michael Bitsoff)
With Fall now officially upon us, high school and college tracks will be visited on nights and weekends by those who “run the stairs” of the bleachers, and the tracks as well. And many will be training with fresh images of the recent Olympics televised coverage in their memories.
Coburn is particularly inspiring for participating in school hockey, basketball and volleyball. Without intending to, she made the decision to challenge herself in a track and field meet in New Mexico where she was only signed up for a racing event. It was then that she added the steeplechase, replete with runners navigating an obstacle course of barriers and water jumps. Coburn was recruited to compete for the University of Colorado.
The Rio de Janeiro games were the second consecutive Olympics Coburn competed in. In 2012, she earned eighth place in the steeplechase at the London Olympics. While she is currently enjoying a well-deserved homecoming in Crested Butte, Colorado, expect to hear more of this talented lady in the Summer 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.