WASHINGTON — Six runners will punch their ticket to the Olympics in Tokyo on Saturday. The U.S. Olympic trials for the marathon will be held Saturday.
Close to 700 runners will compete for the six spots (three men and three women).
Several runners from the D.C. area will attempt to qualify for the Olympics, including Arlington’s own Kelly Calway.
The mom of 2, and Army Major, will be running in her third Olympic trials.
Calway ran in 2012 and 2016. She hopes that the third time is the charm.
"I'm really looking forward to this weekend,” says Kelly Calway. “It's been a long time coming. I qualified in 2018, but really since 2016 I've wanted to redeem myself. I had a tough 2016 Olympic trials race, so I was looking forward to getting back out there and racing hard in 2020."
Making the Olympic team is dream that many athletes have, but only a handful achieve.
Kelly’s goal of making the Olympics is one she’s had since she was just a kid.
"That would be a dream come true,” says Calway. “Since I was eight years old, as a little girl, I've been drawing the Olympic rings in all my notebooks and writing reports on how I'd make it to the Olympics. It would literally be a dream come true. It's just an honor to be out there trying. It's very exciting to be out there with the best of the entire nation.”
Maj. Calway isn’t unfamiliar with winning.
She won the women’s race at the 2013 Marine Corps Marathon.
Kelly’s hoping for a similar outcome on Saturday.
"Winning the Marine Corps Marathon was huge and in D.C.,” says Calway. “Running along in my home turf, along the monuments, and winning and breaking the tape was just so memorable and so awesome. I want to recreate that again."
Kelly Calway is an inspiration off the race course as well.
The Army Major currently works at the Pentagon as a Strategic Intelligence Officer.
Maj. Calway became the first woman to serve in an infantry battalion in the Army in 2012.
Calway was part of a pilot program ahead of the Army removing the ban on women in combat.
For Kelly Calway, being among the first women to serve in a combat role wasn’t that big of a deal.
"I didn't think much of it,” says Maj. Calway. “It really was just me doing my normal job at the time. I had awesome dudes that I got to serve with, and they were very welcoming. It was helpful that I was a runner and I was able to go out there and smoke them all when we went on unit runs. Otherwise, it was just like being a normal member of a unit.”
Hopefully Kelly will be able to smoke the field and qualify for the Olympics in Tokyo.