Olympic Spotlight: Zsofia Erdelyi

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We are only 100 days from the opening ceremonies at London 2012!!

Thumbnail image for Zsofia-Erdelyi.jpgOlympic Hopeful: Zsofia Erdelyi

Event: Marathon

Hometown: Godollo, Hungary

Accomplishments: USC Record Holder in 3000m Steeplechase, 5000m and 10000m

Written by USC blog contributor, Farren Benjamin

What will it mean to you to represent your country in the 2012 London Olympics?

It is an amazing feeling to be able to represent my country in the 2012 London Olympics.  I think every athlete's dream is to participate at the Olympics one day.  I can't wait to put on my Hungarian uniform and run 42.2 km on through the streets of London.  It is a dream come true!

What do you do to pass the time when you are running?

My runs are between 70-120 minutes, so I have enough time to think about a lot of things.  I usually listen to music, which helps me keep my mind off of the actual running and usually 10-15 minutes just disappear. A lot of times I look at my watch and wonder where the past 15 minutes have gone.  There are also times when I plan where I'll go during the next run or which loop I am going to take or which direction I will turn, etc.  So most of the time, if I am lucky, it is just me and my run having a great time.  But when I am struggling well, then I am looking at my watch all the time and trying to charm my watch to show that it is time to finish my run...but it never works!

You recently started specializing in longer distances (marathons & half-marathons) what do you like most about the longer distances?
Running 10K is totally different than running a marathon.  I honestly feel like a 10K goes by so fast.  I like the challenge in the long runs.  There are so many doubtful questions that go through your head about finishing marathons, but when you fight through your doubts, and cross the finish line after running almost 3 hours, it is one of the most indescribable feelings.
ERDELYI Zsofia 09PAC10XC KL.JPGWhat are you most looking forward to about the London Olympics this summer?

I think the Olympics has this kind of special and magical feeling.  It brings the whole world together every four years to watch the world's best athletes.  It is something unbelievable.  I was an outsider before, wishing to be there, and now I will be there.  I am most looking forward to the feeling when I stand at the starting line waiting in that few seconds for the gun to go off.

What is the biggest difference in your training going from 5,000 & 10,000 meters versus marathon training?

I think the biggest difference is the different kind of pain.  Training for the marathon is fighting a lot with your mind, trying to turn it off and just run for hours, so I feel like it is more mental.  It is a pretty slow pace unlike training for the 5K and 10K.  Training for the 5K and 10K is different because it is long, yet, it is also a fast pace, and I need to be able to fight the pain in my body so I can keep going at that pace for a while.  Honestly, I prefer training for the marathon at this point!

What is it like training with fellow Hungarians here at USC that you may be traveling to the London Olympics with in the summer?
It is a great feeling knowing that I have someone that will share almost the same experiences over the summer in London with me.  Unfortunately, the other Hungarians on the team are not runners (they are throwers) so our paths do not cross as much, but it is still a great feeling.

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