Who is Britain’s Olympic marathon contender Stephanie Davis?

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Stephanie Davis will represent Britain at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games after winning the marathon trials at Kew Gardens on Friday. The 30-year-old finished with a personal best of 2 hrs 27:16 mins.

Here’s three things you should know about the British marathon star.

When did Davis run her first marathon?

Davis has experienced a meteoric rise to the top of marathon running. She only began racing competitively in 2018, clocking 2:41 in her first marathon.

Her performances continued to impress in 2019. Despite having an injured hip, Davis managed 2:32 in the London Marathon. She then ran 2:27.40 in Valencia in December of that year, well inside the Olympic qualifying standard.

As a result of the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Olympic trial in London was Davis’s first competitive marathon since the race in Valencia.

Is Davis a full-time athlete?

Davis is an unsponsored part-time athlete, balancing marathon running with a career in finance. When not on the race course, she can be found working for asset management company Lazard.

Speaking to The Guardian last year, Davis revealed she runs only 60 to 70 miles a week, around half of the distance covered by elite athletes.

Davis thanked Lazard for allowing her to work flexibly so she can train in the morning and evening, and claimed she also did “a lot of cross-training, including swimming and going on the elliptical, and cycle to work every day.”

She confirmed this was still her approach going into the Olympic trials. 

"I don’t do the high mileage, it’s just something I have never done," Davis said. "I do a lot of cross training but with covid and the gyms being closed, I had to train at home."

"Doing 6/7 hours on the bike a week, and then my average was about 60/65miles through the week. So, the focus was on the big quality sessions and it's always worked for us."

How does she feel about competing at her first Olympics?

Just three years after running in her first competitive marathon, Davis will now be competing at the Olympic Games this summer.

She told the BBC of her excitement after securing her place.

“I can’t believe it,” she said. “I’m smiling so much underneath this mask. I’m really happy to take the win and secure that spot.”

Davis also revealed plans to partake in warm weather training to allow her to get used to the humidity of Japan in time for the Games.

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