WILMINGTON, NC Ann Marie Pierce, a mom of two, wins the marathon at the Novant Health Wilmington Marathon and qualified for the US Olympic Trials with a time of 2:36:17. She hit the mark 43 seconds faster than the standard of 2:37:00. In Houston last month, she was just short 43 seconds.
“This is for all of the moms and the dreamers and those that, you know, just need that encouragement to go after what they truly believe they can do. If you believe in yourself and you have that support, a lot of great things can happen from that,” said Pierce.
Pierce is originally from Michigan and ran for Western Michigan University. Her coach Tom Clifford of Without Limits ran for Eastern Michigan University and moved to Wilmington in 2006. Pierce met Clifford through Without Limits.
Pierce set a goal of trying to hit the trials qualifying standard after running for her late father in a 2:45:10 in 2022.
Clifford says: “This girl is driven by passion and determination for the sport of running. She coaches a youth team called the Trailblazers run club and inspires so many kids by her actions. I am honored to coach someone like this who set a goal and reached it!”
The Novant Health Wilmington Marathon registered over 4000 runners at the 2024 race and looks to continue to grow with the running community by offering a top notch race for runners on the East Coast!