Birru Holds Her Ground Against Elites

At the USATF Cross Country Championships in Tallahassee, Florida, Obsie Birru was the highest finishing Iowan, placing in the top 10. Birru, who competed for the Johnston Dragons as a prep and stayed in the Des Moines area to compete for Grand View University moved to Providence, RI earlier this year to train and compete with the NE Distance crew. According to their website, "NE Distance is a New England based 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with a unique dual mission to promote health and well-being among children while providing support to post-collegiate athletes on a training path to top-level competition."

Birru finished the 10K cross country course in a time of 35:32, an impressive 5:43 per mile pace, to take 8th place overall. Emily Infeld of the Nike Bowerman Track Club, who holds a World medal in the 10K, was the victor in a time of 33:18. In the 10K distance (on the track), Birru holds two NAIA National titles and a Drake Relays title. She also holds an NAIA National Title in the 5k for Cross Country. She finished one place behind her teammate Katrina Spratford, who clocked in at 34:45. Other elite runners in the top 10 include Molly Seidel of Saucony, Stephanie Bruce of Hoka One One, Courtney Frerichs of the Nike Bowerman Track Club, Emily Durgin of New Balance, and Susan Tanui of the US Army.

Birru qualified for and competed in the 2016 US Olympic Trials Marathon with a half marathon time of 1:21:59. She took 144th place at the Trials in a time of 3:14:15. At the time she was working full time for the Johnston school district while maintaining a high volume of training. Now that she is able to focus her energy primarily to her training and the other missions of NE Distance, she has begun showing strong improvements like her performance this past weekend. It will be an exciting journey to watch her continue to make improvements and compete in the professional world of running as a part of NE Distance. 

You can check out the full results here.