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Paul Chelimo, two-time Olympic track medalist, to make marathon debut at Olympic Trials

Paul Chelimo, two-time Olympic track medalist, to make marathon debut at Olympic Trials

Paul Chelimo, an Olympic 5000m silver and bronze medalist, will make his marathon debut at the U.S. Olympic Trials on Feb. 3 in Orlando.

"Ever since I was a kid, I dreamed of running a marathon… The day has come- this is it!" was posted on his social media Friday.

Chelimo, 33, qualified for the marathon trials by running a 1:02:22 half marathon last April 2, safely quicker than the 1:03:00 minimum to get into the field.

He didn't publicly commit to racing the marathon trials until now. He could still contest the track trials in June.

"Let's start by Orlando... then we will see!" Chelimo's agent wrote in an email.

At marathon trials, the top three finishers on Feb. 3 are likely to make up the team for Paris. Since Chelimo has never raced a marathon, he also must run 2:11:30 or faster to hit a minimum qualifying time for Olympic eligibility.

Chelimo made five of the last six Olympic or world outdoor championships teams on the track in the 5000m. He won Olympic silver in 2016 and bronze in 2021, the latter being the lone U.S. men's distance medal at the Tokyo Games.

Now, he joins a recent list of American global track medalists to move up to the marathon after Kara Goucher (2007 World 10,000m silver), Shalane Flanagan (2008 Olympic 10,000m silver), Galen Rupp (2012 Olympic 10,000m silver) and Bernard Lagat (world 5000m medals in 2007, 2009 and 2011).

Rupp made the 2016 Olympic marathon team in his debut at the distance at those trials. Molly Seidel did the same for the Tokyo Games. Each won a bronze medal in their first Olympic marathon.

Rupp, eyeing a fifth Olympics, headlines the men's trials field along with Conner Mantz, the fastest American marathoner in 2022 and 2023 going for his first Games.