Fitness: A Treadmill Mom Goes for the Gold (cont.)

While the heat seemed to slow these more veteran runners, Clark, who works out on a treadmill in a heated room, did just fine. Somehow, this quirk in her training allowed her to slog through the heat undeterred.

All Eyes on Clark in Sydney

Clark had entered the race hoping to break the top 10, but shocked both herself and the other younger, more experienced runners with her win. "Winning was a dream come true," she says. "It was completely overwhelming and thoroughly wonderful!" After the victory, Clark headed straight back to Alaska and to work. About a month later, she indulged her family with a weeklong trip to Southern California.

She admits that the thought of heading off to Sydney alone a bit daunting. Not that she isn't excited about her Olympic debut. "I never had the conscious goal of going to the Olympics," she says. "But this is an opportunity of a lifetime. And it's an opportunity of a lifetime for my kids, too. Can you imagine being 9 years old and getting to go to the Olympics because your mother is competing?"

In the end, she hopes that her Everywoman Olympic debut will be an inspiration to other women struggling to balance a career, a family, and fitness, and that it will help them realize that many things are possible.

Susan E. Davis is a freelance writer based in Alameda, Calif.

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Last Editorial Review: 1/30/2005 10:47:45 PM