Olympic Trials Qualifier: Aileen Barry

Where did you qualify for the trials? What was your time?
Grandma’s Marathon in 2018. 2:44:49 Chip time, 2:44:51 Gun time

What is your best, clearest memory of your qualifying race?
About a mile into the race, an unbelievable group of about 16 women deep formed. We all ran together until mile 15/16 when the pack started to break up.  We were chatting and getting to know each other, trying to work together so that as many of us as possible would qualify. Passing bottles around, taking turns leading the group etc. I never expected to have this type of experience running my first competitive marathon. It made the time pass so quickly! Mile 25 also stands out in my mind because at that point I passed 2 women and felt confident that I would qualify.

How many marathons have you done?
I have run 4 marathons. Before I joined CPTC I ran the Marine Corps Marathon in 2002 (over 5 hours), San Diego Marathon in 2004 (4 hrs and 30min – I think) and NYC in 2005 (3:30 w/ a huge negative split). I did not run in HS or college so these marathons I ran “for fun” w/ friends, family etc. Grandma’s was the first marathon I ran as a competitive runner!

Is this the greatest of your accomplishments in running? If not, what was? If yes, what was your previous greatest running accomplishment?
Yes, this is my greatest accomplishment in my runner career. I think the timing also plays a role because I am proud to have this accomplishment to show my 4 boys! Qualifying for Nationals in the 3K and 10K are also major highlights of my running career but qualifying for the OT in my first competitive marathon has been very exciting.

How long has the trials been a goal? Did you set out last year to get there?
The trials goal has been on my mind for a long time. In 2008/2009 when I was running well in the 10K on the track, I always figured I would eventually graduate to racing the marathon. After our 3rd child was born June of 2017, I decided it was time to go after this goal!

NYRR Fred Lebow Half Marathon, January 19, 2020.
Photo Credit: Johnny Zhang

Favorite NB shoe and why.
Hard call. I have become a very big fan of NB shoes and have favorites depending on the purpose. The 880’s are my standby, everyday trainer. I like the 1400’s for racing half to marathon, but lately I am loving the Fuel Cell Rebel for tempos and half marathon/marathon races.

How long have you been on the team?
2007…my first race with the team was the Mini 10K, June 2007

At what age did you first race? At what age did you start training?
I started running my local Turkey Chase in High School, but not sure I would consider that racing. I raced a half marathon in Nashville a year after I graduated from college, so 22? I started training at 23.

How has CPTC-NB helped you as an athlete?
CPTC-NB has developed me into the elite runner I am today. I joined the team as a 48-minute 10K runner and got my 10K time down to 33:56!! The coaching, training partners, lifelong friends and meeting my husband I owe to CPTC!!! I never imagined joining the team would have this large of an impact on my life. Let alone the running opportunities that have come from being on the team and coached by Devon and Tony.

What is your favorite marathon workout and why?
Tony’s 8-mile tempo because I feel like it always gives me a jump in my fitness level and doing 7-10MP miles w/in my long runs. Grinding out a long run with a fast finish is hard but rewarding.

 What is your favorite NYC area race and why?
The 4miler loop in CP and Dash to the Finish

What is an unusual aspect of your training or racing?
Instead of weight training or going to the gym for strength training, I take a Bar Method class 2x a week. I was a ballerina for 15 years before I started running and the Bar Method class focuses on strengthening muscles in my legs and feet and forces me to stretch!

Do you have any pre-race rituals?
Ha- saying a prayer that all the kids sleep the night before a race!

Any unusual obstacles you had to overcome to get to the trials?
Figuring out how to manage my time with the children, training, sleeping, etc. Training for Grandma’s and now training for the trials my youngest is 7 months old.

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