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Anne-Marie Blaney Returns to Orlando to Chase Olympic Dream

Blaney competing in 2024 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials

MARATHON: MAY 29 Ottawa Marathon Photo by Richard A. Whittaker/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Former UCF Knights Track and Field distance runner Anne-Marie Blaney is back in Orlando this weekend to chase her Olympic dream in the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trial on Saturday.

Blaney ran for the Knights from 2013-2017, earning program records in the indoor mile, 3K and 5K, the outdoor 5K and 10K and the cross-country 5K and 6K. She is also the only distance runner in program history to make an NCAA Championship, qualifying for the 2014 and 2016 Cross-Country Championships, the 2016 Outdoor Track and Field Championship and the 2017 Indoor Track and Field Championship.

Blaney qualified for Saturday’s Trial thanks to a 2:31.32 in the 2023 Boston Marathon.

Blaney turned professional in 2017, signing with the Hanson-Brooks Olympic Distance Project. Saturday will mark her third time competing in an Olympic Trial after the last Marathon Trial in 2020 and the 10K trial in 2021, both for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Before the 2020 Marathon Trial, Blaney had not completed a marathon yet, having qualified for the race with a half-marathon time. However, she said it still gave her the opportunity to experience an Olympic Trial marathon.

“At that point, I felt like I wasn’t ready to run a marathon, but now this will be my fourth one,” Blaney said. “So, I definitely have three marathons worth of experience going into this and I feel so much more like a veteran runner and I’ve put in the mileage required to run a marathon.”

The starting gun for the women’s U.S. Olympic Marathon Trial will go off at 10:20 a.m. near the corner of N. Magnolia Avenue and East Livingston Street in Downtown Orlando.

“I hope that everyone can line the streets and come out and see what the marathon is all about,” Blaney said. “Whether you’ve ran one or not, I think the marathon will get so much more respect by people coming out and actually watching in person what it’s all about and what we do.”

The race will stream live on Peacock and air on a tape delay on NBC at Noon.