Marathon Runner Commits Everything to Qualify for Olympics

Kevin Hogan
By Kevin Hogan
November 12, 2019Sportsshare

NEW YORK—He’s five-foot-six, 37 years old, a lean 138 pounds, and he eats spinach and salmon for dinner. Even when he’s not feeling well, he still manages to run a low 50 miles a week, compared to his usual 85 to 100 miles weekly.

That’s Anthony Randolfi—a marathon runner who is dead set on qualifying for the U.S. Olympic trials to get a shot at running in Tokyo Summer 2020 games.

Randolfi says that when he leaves this planet his self-worth won’t be defined by how much money he made, but by his running achievements.

“There’s no check at the end of a week of training,” he said. “For me, my passion is my running. My life is my running.”

He used to work at New York Running Company and Koko FitClub in Long Beach, New York, but now he focuses all of his time on running.

“If there was a marathon tomorrow, I could get out there and do it, ‘cause I already know I have 100 miles a week in the bank,” he said. A full marathon is 26.2 miles.

He says his running is bigger than he is. It defines his self-identity and is spiritual to him.

As a Christian, he prays to God to watch over his family and the people who told him he couldn’t make it. “So I say, all right, I forgive them. Just make me stronger each day to get out to do the things that he created me to do,” he says.

Randolfi’s good friend, Rob Aramanda, who knows how he trains, says that Randolfi goes out and runs every day. “Blizzards, snow, whatever, rain, he always runs,” Aramanda said.

He said that you have to create your own psychological support. “Every day [it] just has to be the first thing on your mind,” he said.

When he ran the New York City Marathon for the second time in 2009, he experienced a sharp pain in his gut. This caused him to pull off the race, hunch over, and vomited all green.

“I had a blood clot in the portal vein … but I finished that marathon and I still [qualified] for Boston,” he said.

On top of his health challenges, he had to regain his ambition when things in his personal life went wrong.

His father sold the house and his mother came down with dementia. “My dad had five heart attacks and then enduring all that,” he said.

Randolfi cares a lot about his family, whose support had played a big role in his earlier years of training.

For example, in 2010 when he ran the New York City Marathon, his father stood on Eighth Avenue watching him. “He saw me leading the pack and he’s like, ‘That’s my son!’” he said.

His friend Aramanda, who says Anthony is like a son to him, believes in him. “He’s a very good runner. He has talent. He’s fast. I think he can [qualify for the trials],” Aramanda said.

Anthony’s Race History

The Long Island Marathon in 2008 was Anthony’s first and he finished in 3 hours and 17 minutes (3:17).

Later that year, he ran the New York City Marathon, in which he placed 1,000th, with 3:06 on the clock. He started in the last wave and ran through about 36,000 runners to catch up with people in the first wave.

The next year he ran the same marathon and dropped his average speed on the track significantly. He finished in the same time, 3:06, in spite of his blood clot and pulling off the race for over 28 minutes.

In 2010, he competed in a 60 kilometer (about 37.3 mile) “ultra run” and finished in 4:50. He said that at mile 37, he felt better than he did in a marathon.

During a 26.2 mile training run at altitude in Boulder, Colorado, Anthony ran his all time best of 2:38 in 2014. This brought his time much closer to his target of 2:19 to qualify for the trials in Atlanta this coming February.

He says that his marathon time is currently 2:28. He still needs to drop nine minutes to qualify.

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