A joyful return to professional competition after becoming a new mom.

Elite runner and Olympian Rachel Smith tells the story of how it all went down from her viewpoint racing in the 2023 USATF 5km National Championships, which took place November 4, 2023, in New York City.

This is Smith’s first big event back since having her first child, her daughter, Nova, 6 months ago. Smith shares her experiences running through pregnancy, returning to training post-partum, and navigating breastfeeding as an elite level racer. And she shares her total joy of returning to competition and earning a podium spot, and what that looks like as a new mom.

Smith makes note of how much she appreciates the growing support for racers who become moms. Specifically, she shouts out the pioneering organization &mother, founded by Olympian and former professional runner Alysia Montaño.

The USATF 5km National Championships is a part of the championship series of races, for various different distances, that happen around the country throughout the year. Racers have a chance to earn a national title, as well as to earn prize money and points based on finishing places; points go toward the overall circuit placing.

This was the final race of the circuit in 2023, so the circuit champion has been decided: the winner of the 2023 USATF Running Circuit is Ednah Kurgat, followed by Emma Grace Hurley, and in third is Nell Rojas. All three of these runners have been featured in our Race Report episodes this year.

You can catch up on earlier road races in the series through our Race Reports. Each report features one runner’s perspective on how it all went down, to give you an inside look at these championship events.

WRS will be following all of the USATF Running Circuit action in Race Reports next year, 2024, so be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss an episode.

Keep Up with Rachel Smith

Instagram: @rachschneid18

Twitter: @rachschneid18

Mentioned in this episode:

&mother, website: andmother.org

&mother, Instagram: @andmother_org

Previous Women’s Running Stories Race Report Episodes: https://womensrunningstories.com/podcast/women-running-stories

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