Monday, May 9, 2011

Nick Arciniaga's fast rise up the long-distance running ranks has him poised for a run at Olympic gold.

Last weekend, Nick Arciniaga of Fountain Valley headed to the starting gate at the Payton Jordan Cardinal Invitational at Stanford University. His mind raced with thoughts about who would give him a challenge, how he wanted to plan his race, times he wanted to see at critical points throughout the race. Running in the 10,000 meters, Arciniaga’s strategies paid off, and he finished with an impressive time of 28:29.71. Arciniaga’s performance earned him a place on Team USA and a trip to South Korea for the World Marathon Champions.

Five men will race the marathon for the U.S. team in the 2011 World Championship in Athletics, which takes place Aug. 27 through Sept. 4. Two runners were selected by virtue of their first- and second-place finishers from the 2010 US Marathon Championships, and the three were selected from a ranked-time list of marathon performances occurring between Jan. 1, 2010 and April 18th of this year. Eligible time must be under 2:17:00 for a full marathon on an International Association of Athletics Federation-certified course. Arciniaga did not race the US Championships in 2010, but was ranked fifth on the time list with at 2:11:30 time at the Houston Marathon earlier this year.

Arciniaga has his eye on the big trophy. “My motivation is to qualify for the Olympics," he said. "I have improved each year in my performances and rankings, and I continue to improve, which shows me that there is no end in sight. I will continue to train and race as long as it takes to become the best I can be. Things have gotten easier over the past few years, as I have improved I have also increased my sponsorships, which has enabled me to train harder and more often without having to hold down another job to survive."