Cincinnati marathoner aims to qualify for Tokyo Olympics

Local woman preparing to compete in Summer Olympics marathon

CINCINNATI (FOX19) - The Summer Olympics are right around the corner, and a Cincinnati woman is hoping to toe the line of the marathon.

Amy Robillard will travel to Atlanta in February to compete against the best of the best marathon runners in this country.

“The first thing I’ve always promised myself is to enjoy it and take it in and not be scared,” Robillard told FOX19 NOW.

Robillard is preparing for her second Olympic marathon trials. She was in Los Angeles in 2016 when the heat and a prior injury kept her from finishing at the top.

Robillard already has seen a lot of success at the Flying Pig Marathon and half marathon. She has three half marathon wins (2011, 2012 and 2016) and two marathon wins (2014 and 2015).

That accounts for every year she has entered the race.

Robillard recently ran her best marathon time at the Indianapolis Marathon in November, finishing in 2:43:51.

That was good enough to enter her in the trials happening in Atlanta next month. The qualifying standard for women is 2:45:00.

“Everyone is human. The marathon is very humbling,” Robillard explained. “So whether you are seeded with a 2:20 or a 2:45:00, the marathon is a marathon and it could be your day or not your day. You can only stress and worry about what you can control. You can’t stress about weather.”

Robillard will face off against the best marathon runners in this country. The top three men and women will run in Tokyo this summer.

Asked if she’s scared, she replied, "I would be lying to say ‘no.’ I’m more intimidated.”

But this is far from the scariest thing Robillard has faced. The 40-something-year-old runner is a mother of two.

Her son, Jameson, 10, was born with a rare blood disease. At the time, he was one of 500 people with the disease.

Thankfully, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center was able to treat the disease with a bone marrow transplant before Jameson was six months old.

“Going through that with a toddler at home was pretty stressful,” Robillard recalled. “But running honestly kept me sane, just needing an outlet.”

Even now, Robillard uses running to keep herself calm, fit and motivated to be the best mom—and coach.

She coaches two swim teams. She once excelled at swimming herself as a collegiate athlete at the University of Arizona.

But she admits running is now her true passion.

Her supportive family often watches her break the tape at the finish line. They hope after the Olympic trials in Atlanta, she will be at the starting line in Tokyo.

The Olympic marathon trials will take place Feb. 29 in Atlanta.

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