Emma Huston, an Iowa native and a cross country standout at her alma mater—Drake University—set a half marathon PR at the Appletree Half Marathon in Vancouver, WA this fall. As the second place woman and fourth finisher overall, she ran a very solid 1:17:35.
Now she’s gearing up for her next challenge: a sub-2:40 full at the Des Moines Marathon Saturday, October 16. With a 2:40:39 at California International Marathon 2019 and a 2:39:57 at the 2020 Olympic Women’s Marathon Trials, Emma has an opportunity to capitalize on an impressive marathon streak.
We spoke with Emma ahead of her upcoming race, covering everything from training during COVID-19 and goal setting to nutrition and mental strategy. Enjoy the discussion!
Q: Why did you choose the Des Moines Marathon?
A: I chose the Des Moines Marathon because it’s in my hometown and I thought it’d be a nice low-key race after not racing for a year and a half because of COVID-19
Q: What are your goals for the race?
A: Right now I’m feeling pretty nervous. My goal is to place as high as possible. There’s really great prize money! And I also want to run sub-2:40. I hope I’m in good enough shape for that!
Q: What is your in-race nutrition strategy?
A: Eating gels while racing is so hard, but I try to take one every six miles or so. Honey Stinger fruit smoothie is my gel of choice.
Q: Describe your mental game.
A: I try to get into a rhythm and zone out as much as possible, especially during the middle part of the race, but also keep an eye on the pace to make sure I’m not getting too far off of my goal. It always helps so much to have a buddy during the race or at least another person to focus on and pace off of.
Q: What do you love about Rose City Track Club?
A: As far as what I love about Rose City… Everything! Especially having the most amazing, supportive, and hardworking teammates.
We’re proud of Emma for all of her outstanding achievements. We wish her best of luck on her upcoming race. Based on her stellar track record, Emma is someone to keep an eye on as she continues to push herself to new heights!