Professional marathon runner Molly Seidel won the 11th Annual ElliptiGO World Championships in San Diego on Saturday, October 24th. Seidel, who became one of the newest members of the US Olympic team with her 2nd place finish at the 2020 US Olympic Marathon Trials in February, had been eyeing this race for a couple years and took the victory being the first to the top of Mt. Palomar in a time of 1:33:29, which was her debut performance, and just three weeks after she placed 6th at the London Marathon. The biggest competition that Seidel had to beat on Saturday was professional obstacle course racer, Ashley Heller. Molly’s time was the 7th fastest female time on the course in the 11 year history of this event. And Heller finished in 1:41:12. The ElliptiGO World Championships have attracted many professional athletes over the years and continues to be a grueling race for even the best athletes with the unrelenting climb of over 4200 feet of elevation gain in the 11.7 mile distance.
Molly is based in the Boston area and has been incorporating ElliptiGO training integration into her schedule since 2018 when she continued to be sidelined with major injuries, including a pelvic stress fracture and sacral stress fracture. And in the last couple of years, she has had more consistent volume with fewer injuries, which has led to strong performances. Molly was a Footlocker National XC Champion in high school and a multi time NCAA National Champion at Notre Dame, but had many injuries throughout her college and early post college years, and never had the consistent healthy training volume she needed to reach that next level. Now being coached by Jon Green, she has a healthy training balance, and with the help of low impact cross training on the ElliptiGO, she’s seeing that progression and success. After her 2:27 debut marathon at the Olympic Trials in February, races went away for a while with the COVID Global Pandemic and will continue to be sparse for many more months to come. But Molly continued to train with the hopes of races resuming and then had the opportunity to race her 2nd Marathon in the elite only London Marathon on October 4th, where she placed 6th in a time of 2:25:13, lowering her previous best by over 2 minutes.
While entering another high intensity race 3 weeks after a new PR in the marathon may seem daunting, Seidel was excited for the challenge and believed the timing of a race that was lower impact on her body would be a great fit in her schedule. The ElliptiGO Championship race located just outside of San Diego where the ElliptiGO company is headquartered typically has around 40-50 contestants that start in staggered waves based on expected performance. This year’s race was a little smaller with the COVID situation and extra precautions were taken to ensure the safety of these athletes. The women’s elite race originally had even more top athletes that would have likely given Seidel some bigger competition. But for various reasons, there were some scratches and cancellations. Which was certainly expected this year.
Seidel and Heller both started the race together in the 3rd and fastest starting group. Seidel established an early lead after a few miles, which doesn’t always mean much in the early stages and anything can happen as the climb continues to get harder and harder. Heller being a Spartan Pro racer has plenty of experience doing tough things herself, but has also been coming off some recent injuries and didn’t feel she was in top form. She still did her best to hang with the pace up front and finished with a very respectable performance. Both athletes have said they want to take another crack at the mountain next year and hopefully improve their times. Seidel will similarly be coming off a major marathon next fall, this time being the 2021 Tokyo Olympic Games.
In a year that didn’t have as many races on the calendar for these athletes, it seemed the ElliptiGO World Championships were even more appreciated by those that were able to have a safe competition this year. The ElliptiGO team always enjoys hosting these professional athletes each year as well as the many weekend warriors and enthusiastic customers that make up the ElliptiGO community. Even more so, the new relationships and successes with these athletes throughout their career and healthy training speaks to many of the goals of the ElliptiGO brand.
For full results and recap of the 2020 race, click here.