(Olympic) Trial run for Roseville marathoner Tollefson

Rocklin High grad takes his first crack at making Team USA
By: Bill Poindexter/Roseville Press Tribune Sports Editor
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Tim Tollefson says he was more of a soccer player at Rocklin High School. He gets his kicks now running marathons.

Tollefson, 26, is running for the first time in the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials Saturday, Jan. 14, in Houston.

“I’m pretty excited,” he said. “It really is just unbelievable to be out there with the best in the country.”

Tollefson was raised in Rocklin. He finally made the full-time switch to cross country and track and field in his senior year of 2002-03.

“I was a pretty good soccer player,” he said. “Finally, I realized my potential in running.”

He hasn’t stopped. Tollefson ran cross country and track and field at Chico State and said he started thinking about the Olympics in his senior year of undergraduate work.

“I thought that would be a great ultimate goal to strive for,” said Tollefson, who moved to Roseville in 2008. “I never thought it would happen this quickly though.”

It happened in December, when he was timed in 2 hours, 18 minutes, 26 seconds in the California International Marathon from Folsom to Sacramento. The qualifying standard is 2:19.

Tollefson said the last time he looked at the list of competitors, he ranked 64th out of “right around 140 men.” Three men and three women will earn Olympic berths for this summer’s games in London. His fiancé, Lindsay Nelson, is running in the women’s race on the streets of Houston.

Tollefson said he looks at the Trials as a great experience, and he wants to learn from it.

“This year, I look at it as a zero-percent chance, but for a lot of us, the Trials is our Olympics,” he said.

Just the same, his parents planned to be in Houston to watch.

Realistically, Tollefson said he’s excited to be looking at four more years of training and could be in the top 20 in 2016, “where I’d have a more legitimate shot at making the Olympics.”