Fresno woman qualifies for Olympic marathon trials at age 50

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Molly Friel and her dog Buster are used to a fast pace. One of her three dogs usually accompanies her on training runs or walks through parks.

"Getting outside every day and doing something is really beneficial more than going to a doctor, taking medicines," said Friel.

She is 50 but age does not matter in a race. The only number that mattered at the California International Marathon last month was two hours, 43 minutes, 57 seconds.

Those who clocked under 2:45 made the Olympic trials.

"Awesome. It was awesome. Probably until the last half mile I knew I was close," said Friel.

Her approach to training does not include an especially strict diet.

"I eat a lot of junk food. I like cookies. I like wine. I like pizza. I like carbs," said Friel. "Grape nuts is good too with ice cream or not grape nuts but Captain Crunch is good with ice cream."

But unlike the rest of us. Molly runs off everything she eats.

Friel is not dreaming of a gold medal. The world's top marathoners are 20 minutes faster. Action News asked her what it is like to compete against them.

"You mean to see them at the start?" said Friel.

During training, Friel will run as much as a hundred miles a week.

She has dealt with stress fractures in her foot, shin, and pelvis and reaching the Olympic trials was that much sweeter.

"I'm very fortunate that I have younger training partners to run with so they keep me young. I don't feel old yet," said Friel.
Copyright © 2021 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.