February 2016 will feature the biggest running day of Courtney Brewis’ life.
The former Dearborn Divine Child and Grand Valley State University star is scheduled to be in Los Angeles for the Olympic Marathon trials. The top three finishers in the Feb. 13 event will head to the Olympics in Brazil.
She recently qualified for the trials with a time of two hours, 42 minutes, 28 seconds in the Grandma’s Marathon in Duluth, Minn., her best time ever. She needed to run 2:43 or better to qualify for the trials.
Brewis recently talked to the Free Press about her accomplishments and future goals:
Q: Talk about qualifying for the trials.
A: It was so exciting to cross the line and realize I had reached my goal of qualifying. It made all the hard work worth it. I was thanking God that he gave me the strength to get through the last few tough miles. I’m very happy and grateful to my family for coming to watch and my coach (Nick Polk) and sponsor (Gazelle Sports/Asics) for all the support in preparation for the race.’
Q: Tell us about your training regime.
A: I run seven days a week, about 70-80 miles per week during peak training. One long run a week (15-20 miles) and usually 1-2 interval sessions or tempo runs per week. The rest of the days are easy to medium pace runs depending on the day.’
Q: What got you into running?
A: I started running to be in better shape for other sports in grade school, but my high school coach convinced me to do cross country in ninth grade after I ran the high school’s 5K road race. I loved it and have kept running ever since.’
Q: You are working on your Ph.D?
A: I am in grad school at Grand Valley State working towards my doctorate in physical therapy (DPT). It’s a full time program that takes three years. I am almost done with the second year.’
Q: What went into the decision to go to Grand Valley?
A: I went to GVSU, majored in clinical exercise science and ran cross-country/track there for five years (I redshirted my freshman year). My coaches were Jerry Baltes and Nick Polk. They are both great coaches who pushed me to reach my full potential. I enjoyed running on the team and still miss it. I still run with the girls on the team as often as I can, but my school schedule doesn’t allow me to get to practice very often anymore, maybe 1-2 times per week. I improved a lot during college and during my fourth and fifth years on the team. I was a four-time All-American, helped GVSU win two Division 2 cross country national championships (2012, 2013), and was the 5K national runner up at the Division 2 indoor track nationals.
Q: How did the Divine Child experience help you?
A: I ran cross-country all four years and track my last two years of high school. My coach, Tony Mifsud, was an awesome coach who really showed me a love for the sport and the benefit of hard work. He was the one who first got me into running and I am always thankful for that. I was not the best high school runner and never even qualified for track states, but I still enjoyed it and it laid the foundation for my future running during and now after college.
Contact Perry A. Farrell: 313-222-2555 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @farrellperry.