NC nurse competes with elites in the NYC Marathon

Reported by Colin Hackman – bio|email 

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Good luck keeping up with Christa Iammarino.  She's pretty fast.

In fact, in just her second marathon the 36-year-old nurse from Wilmington will be running head to head with the fastest runners on the planet - in the elite class of the New York City Marathon.

"I think sometimes I feel I'm in over my head.  These girls are going to be the best of the best," said Iammarino after winning the Oktoberfest 15k last month in Brunswick County, but she's no stranger to winning.

In fact, Iammarino won the first marathon she ever ran in March at the Quintiles Wrightsville Beach Marathon.  But she didn't do it alone.

"I call myself the Sherpa.  I just carry her stuff for her," said her husband John.

"He helps me clean and cook," laughed Iammarino. "He takes care of the small stuff, you know, after a long 24-mile run all I want to do is sleep and lay around.  So he helps pick up the slack there."

John claims to be help for her head too.

"It's more nervous - she says things like, 'I think I'm going to throw up.  I can't believe I'm going to be running with the top 30 or 40 fastest women in the world,'" explained John.

Iammarino credits her husband with the support, but it's coach Tom Clifford owner of 'Without Limits Running' that's provided the means of getting Christa to New York.

"I've run decent, but since I've been training with tom my times have improved drastically," Iammarino explained.

"You can't predict the conditions," said Clifford. "You can't predict what's going to happen in a race, so as long as she's happy, I'm happy and eventually she'll get what she wants to get."

What she wants to get - is what some of the ladies she will run against have already achieved - a chance to represent her country.

"I'm not nervous on how I'm going to do, just the experience," said Iammarino.  "A lot of these girls have been to the Olympics...have placed in the Olympics."

In order to be invited to the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials in Houston -- she only has to shave seven minutes from her debut marathon finish.

A time that will certainly get her recognized, and perhaps get her backup some credit too.

Watch Christa's race in the ING New York City Marathon on WIS, Sunday November 7th from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

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