Jenny Simpson’s Marathon Debut at U.S. Olympic Team Trials in Orlando: A Homecoming of Champions

Jenny Simpson's Marathon Debut at U.S. Olympic Team Trials in Orlando A Homecoming of Champions

Jenny Barringer Simpson, a former track and cross country star from Oviedo, has an outstanding record of accomplishments in her athletic career. She has secured an impressive eight state championships in high school and four NCAA championships at the University of Colorado. In addition, she has won United States and world championships in the 1,500 meters, and even earned a bronze medal in the 2016 Olympic Games.

Despite all her remarkable achievements, there is one thing that Simpson has never done before – compete in a marathon. However, this Saturday, she is about to embark on a new challenge by participating in her first marathon at the U.S. Olympic team trials in Orlando. The grand stage of the event makes it a momentous occasion for Simpson, as the race will start and finish downtown at the picturesque Lake Eola.

This event holds a special significance for Simpson as she will be running in front of the people who have supported her throughout her running career. She expressed her excitement, stating, “I couldn’t have written a better story myself. It just feels so amazing to be back home and to be able to run in front of so many people who have supported my running career for so long.”

As she prepares for this new challenge, Simpson reflects on her remarkable journey spanning over 25 years, winning championships at every level she has competed. Many individuals who have played a role in her success will be present on Saturday, from friends at Track Shack, where she bought her first pair of running shoes, to her high school coaches and family members. The race will be a reunion of sorts, with people from different stages of her life cheering her on.

Simpson feels fortunate to have Track Shack involved in this race, as their presence brings familiarity and a sense of peace. She acknowledges the pressure that comes with competing in major championships but having people she knows and trusts running the show makes it a truly wonderful and unique experience.

Although Simpson currently resides in Boulder, Colorado with her husband Jason, she still considers Orlando her home. Her decision to participate in the marathon was partly influenced by Jason’s own experience in the 2020 U.S. marathon qualifying event. Witnessing his Olympic trials experience inspired her to pursue the marathon before her career comes to an end.

While she usually enters competitions as one of the favorites to win, Simpson admits that this time is different. It’s her first time running the distance, and she acknowledges the new and slightly scary challenge ahead. However, she relies on her wealth of experience as a competitor to lift her up when it matters most.

Injuries over the past few years delayed Simpson’s marathon debut. Running the U.S qualifying race as her first marathon was not her initial plan, but as she says, life is unpredictable, and sometimes things don’t go as planned.

Despite her success in the sport, Simpson confesses that it hasn’t always been enjoyable. Training and the daily regimen can be challenging, but having an incredible team supporting her makes those tough days more manageable.

Now that the moment has arrived, Simpson is eager to get started. The waiting game has been difficult, and she can’t wait to hit the road. The women’s race is set to begin at 10:20 a.m., followed by the men’s race at 10:10 a.m., both winding their way through the streets of Orlando.

While this marathon marks a milestone in her career, it is by no means the end. Simpson acknowledges that her athletic journey is closer to its conclusion than its beginning, but she has no intention of hanging up her racing shoes just yet.

In the end, Jenny Barringer Simpson is more than just a runner. She is a symbol of determination, perseverance, and the pursuit of dreams. And as she embarks on this new chapter, the world watches in anticipation, ready to witness the incredible feat that awaits her.