Princeton graduate Elliot Welder provided a great storyline at the Missoula Marathon in his home state of Montana this weekend.
Four months ago, the 23-year-old Kalispell native was unable to run because of unsafe levels of air pollution in Outer Mongolia, where he was teaching English.
“In February I decided I was sick of being sedentary, so I wrote down I wanted to try to win the Missoula Marathon, having no idea what I was going to do about training,” Welder told Bill Speltz of the Missoulian.
He didn’t just win, he took four minutes off the Marathon’s record time, finishing in 2:26:30.
“I’m very happy, it’s above my A goal for today,” Welder said. “I was hoping to break 2:30 and I went out kind of conservative feeling safe and once I hit that downhill after mile 14, I was feeling really strong and really excited to push it out a little bit.”
And Welder made many a fan along the way as runner-up Jimmy Grant reported, “(Welder) is a class act. He was thankful for all the people. I could hear him saying thanks when everybody cheered him on, even the walkers. Nice kid.”
Nice and fast.
Hat tip: Tommy Dialynas