2014 Boston Marathon -- John Hancock
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Adriana Nelson
Adriana Nelson BIB: #F23

PRONUNCIATION: Aid-re-ahn-ah Nel-son

BIRTHDATE: 31 January 1980

PERSONAL BEST: 2:28:52 (London, 2008)

03Nov13 ING New York City Marathon 13th 2:35:05
26Sep10 real,- Berlin Marathon 6th 2:30:15
11Oct09 Bank of America Chicago Marathon 10th 2:34:07
12Oct08 Bank of America Chicago Marathon 12th 2:35:39
13Apr08 Flora London Marathon 10th 2:28:52
07Oct07 La Salle Bank Chicago Marathon 2nd 2:33:52

30Jan11 Osaka International Ladies Marathon 7th 2:32:44
05Apr09 Rotterdam Marathon 2nd 2:36:36

CAREER NOTES: Adriana Nelson won the 2013 U.S. Half Marathon Championships this past year in 1:11:19 and was the first American woman to finish the New York City Marathon. Also in 2013, she won the Las Vegas Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon. Nelson (nee´ Pirtea) is Romanian by birth and became an American citizen in 2011. As a Romanian, she was a four-time national champion in the 5,000m, two-time national champion in the 10,000m, and winner of both the 3,000m and 5,000m at the 2005 Novi Sad Balkan Championships. She finished tenth at the IAAF World Half Marathon Championships in 2005, contributing to the Romanian team earning the gold medal.

Nelson’s most remarkable performance was her runner-up finish at the 2007 Chicago Marathon. On a race day of extreme heat that had sidelined many of the front-runners, Nelson found herself leading the race in the closing stretch. Just as she thought she had secured the win, the defending champion, Berhane Adere, closed in fast on the opposite side of the road and edged Nelson at the line for the win.

PERSONAL NOTES: Nelson graduated from the University of Texas at El Paso in 2005 with a BS in kinesiology and married Jeremy Nelson in 2008. The couple recently started a company called ROLL Recovery, which sells a new massage tool for runners. At UTEP Nelson realized that running would change her life. “I also saw how running changed the lives of many Romanian women, who went on to win gold medals in the Olympics and the World Championships.” Noting that many of these women trained in Colorado, Nelson wanted to do the same. “Running isn’t just a hobby,” says Nelson. “It is a way to have a better life; to escape the hard life in Romania.”

Nelson says, “A pivotal moment in my running career was definitely switching from competing for Romania to the USA. I was offered a spot on the marathon team to compete for Romania at the 2012 Olympic Games, but I chose to compete for the USA and turned it down. It is still a dream of mine to make the Olympics, but I am very satisfied competing for the country where I live and train and where my husband lives.”

“The USA has really embraced me, and I think that is the spirit of America. I am very thankful for this opportunity.”