With her 2:29:35, a 10-minute personal record in her second marathon, at the Chevron Houston Marathon on January 30, Stephanie Rothstein
, 27, from Flagstaff, Arizona had a breakthrough race. She placed third overall against an international field and produced the second fastest U.S. women's time ever at Houston (and fastest U.S. time of the year to date). Moreover, the Team USA Arizona member now has the 4th-fastest qualifier for the 2012 Olympic Trials Marathon to be hosted by Houston. In one race, she went from Olympic "hopeful" to true Olympic hopeful.
Rothstein's back story is quite interesting. The All-American and 10,000 meter record holder at UC Santa Barbara looked to have a bright future in the sport. She had talent and drive, but was felled by celiac disease two years ago. Rothstein got healthy again and later moved to Flagstaff from Eugene, Ore. to join Team USA Arizona and Coach Greg McMillan.
In September 2010, she finished runner-up at the USA 20K Championships in New Haven to herald her return to competition as well as foreshadowing her impressive Houston performance.
During her recovery, Rothstein and friend and national 5000m champion Lauren Fleshman created Picky Bars which are gluten and dairy free. For the Picky Bars story, go to www.pickybars.com.
Post-race in Houston, she aptly summarized her experience: "This is a dream becoming reality." Indeed.
Did you know? Stephanie will celebrate her 28th birthday on January 14, the same day as the 2012 Olympic Marathon Trials.
Find out more about Stephanie at www.teamusaarizona.com.