US 800m runner competes pregnant at nationals

June 24, 2017
Kenya's Eunice Jepkoech Sum (right), reacts as she crosses the finish line to win ahead of Russia's Mariya Savinova (left), as United States' Alysia Johnson Montano falls in the women's 800-metre final at the 2013 World Championships in Russia. Montano is pregnant and copettion at the US Nationals for the 2017 World Championships team. (AP Photo)

SACRAMENTO, (AP):

Alysia Montano took two laps at nationals while pregnant with her first child. It was only fair she do the same with baby number two.

Five months pregnant, the 800-metre runner finished more than 19 seconds behind the winning time Thursday night at the US track and field championships in scorching weather.

She never felt better.

"Amazing," said Montano, who chased her nearly three-year-old daughter around after the race.

Wearing a customised Wonder Woman top and the trademark flower in her hair, Montano finished in 2 minutes, 21.40 seconds to beat her previous-best pregnancy time by nearly 11 seconds. Of course, she was eight months pregnant when she attempted the endeavour in 2014 at the same track.

"Everyone is like, 'Oh, you're going to be faster than you were last time, because you're less pregnant," said Montano, whose personal-best time is 1:57.34 set in 2010. "I'm like, 'I'm still pregnant.'"

She said she wasn't worried about the 110-degree heat. She hydrated before the race and stayed in the shade until it was time to take the track.

"There's something about coming out to any venue, not really expecting to win but just going along with the journey and seeing what comes out of it," said Montano, who was dropped by her shoe sponsor and wore spikes decorated with flowers. "It's been fantastic."

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