Briana Boehmer had dreamed about qualifying for an Olympic trials since she was young. But she’d let go of that dream as she moved into her 40s. In her mind, she had aged out. That all changed in 2020.

Boehmer’s first competitive sport was running, which she did through college. After college, she became a competitive triathlete, eventually working up to racing the Ironman distance, which involves swimming 2.4 miles, cycling 112 miles, and then running the distance of a marathon, 26.2 miles.

With the onset of COVID in 2020, however, Boehmer returned to running only and decided to run a marathon. This was an event she’d never done on its own, without having swum and cycled for hours before.

In her first marathon, the 2021 California International Marathon or CIM, which took place in December 5, Boehmer shocked herself by running 2:33. With that time, she set the Masters 40+ course record and earned 7th place in the open women’s field.

Additionally, those scuttled Olympic trials dreams were suddenly back up for grabs: the Olympic trials qualifying (OTQ) time for the 2024 trials was 2:37.

But there was one big hiccough: the window to qualify for the 2024 Olympic Marathon Trials didn’t open until January 1, 2022.

After that debut marathon, Boehmer was plagued by a series of injuries that kept her from getting that OTQ. Her final opportunity was CIM 2023, on December 3, and she was eager to race in the kit of her new sponsor Oiselle, as part of the company’s innovative Underbirds program.

Unfortunately, an injury flare up just one week out from CIM ultimately led to Boehmer making the incredibly tough but necessary decision to not start CIM.

This is the story of what it looks like to face the fears and disappointment of making the difficult choice not to race, when there are big dreams at stake.

This is also what it looks like to remove limiting beliefs and experience the power of unwavering support. To borrow Boehmer’s words: “I’ve already won.”

Ways to Keep Up with Briana Boehmer

Instagram: @briboehmer

Mentioned in this Episode


Oiselle Underbirds sponsorship program:

Ari Hendrix episode on WRS:

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