DETROIT (WWJ) – A Wayne State University coach is hoping to run toward Olympic glory this Saturday.
The U.S. Olympic Trials for the men’s and women’s marathon steps off in Houston, and WSU assistant cross-country coach Matt Fecht will be there.
Fecht said he knows that of the roughly 100 runners vying for three spots on the U.S. Olympic Team, as long as he’s running, he’s got a chance.
“In the back of your head, you’re thinking ‘I got a shot, I’m here,’ but realistically, there’s 10 to 15 guys who have an actual shot. I’m going to go out there and run a solid race, run my race. I’d like to get in the top 35 but at the same time, this is kind of like a victory lap,” said Fecht.
According to the WSU Athletics website, the 27-year-old Warren native eclipsed the previous marathon qualifying standard of 2:22 at the October 10, 2010, Chicago Marathon, finishing in a time of 2:21:46. But recently the United States Track and Field modified the qualifying time to 2:19.
Fecht said it’s taken six years of hardcore training to get here, but he knows the really tough marathoners are at the back of the pack.
“To me, I’m no better than you or anybody else who runs the race. I’ve got to be tough for two hours and 15 minutes, whatever it ends up being. Some guy that’s just running a marathon that’s out there for seven hours, that’s a real athlete right there, having to go do something like that,” he said.
Fecht said he started running because of his mediocre golf game.
“I got cut from the golf team my freshman year in high school and was thinking I needed to get in better shape for hockey and the baseball season coming up. I started taking running serious in my junior and senior year in high school, and one thing led to another and now here we are,” he said.
Fecht admits that he’s a long shot to make it, but said just taking part in the Olympic Trials is his victory lap.