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Chattanooga marathon runner qualifies for 2020 Olympic trials

Christian Thompson moved to Chattanooga about a year and a half ago. His focus is on training for the 2020 Olympics trials. Photo: WTVC Sports

Chattanooga has been home to the Iron Man Triathlon and several long distance races.

Marathon runner Christian Thompson dreams to compete against the best in the world.

And this 29-year-old Chattanooga transplant may sold a pair of running shoes to some fellow runners.

By day, Thompson finds the best running shoe fit for Fleet Feet Sports customers on Chattanooga's North Shore.

He spends much of the rest of his time running or training for marathons.

His wife Paige does the same.

Thompson said, "We're running a lot. We both work full time. She works more than full time. You're always tired."

But the distance runner from upstate New York has a new burst of energy in his step.

He's completed seven marathons and has qualified for the trials for the 2020 Olympics.

He finished a full marathon in under two hours and 19 minutes, fast enough to qualify for what's known as the "B" standard of the Olympic trials. "Anything can happen. I'm just going to go there, train my hardest and hope the stars align," Thompson said with a smile.

He fell in love with distance running at an early age.

It started on family hikes.

He would ask his dad to time him when he ran to a tree or telephone pole.

His passion took another step when he was eight or nine years old. "When I really liked it was when my t-ball game got cancelled and I went to a 5K with my uncle and got third place in a 12 and under age group, won a plaque and thought it was the coolest thing ever and said I want more of this."

His love of the sport has never stopped. His wife and parents have supported his journey. "So I plan on running more marathons before then (Olympic trials). My wife and I are both going to do Boston in April. So there's plenty of times to improve. If I get under 2:15, I'd be pleasantly surprised."

And Thompson said to make it to Japan would be once in a lifetime. "It would be a dream come true. I don't think there's any way to describe it."

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