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Julie Culley Ready For Debut Half Marathon

The track specialist has enjoyed running on the roads.

The track specialist has enjoyed running on the roads.

Runner’s World recently caught up with Lebanon, New Jersey resident and U.S. World Championship team member Julie Culley as she prepares to debut at the half marathon in New York City on March 18.

Culley is primarily a 5000-meter runner on the track, having clocked 15:21 for that distance at the 2011 USA Track & Field Championships.

She’s coached by Frank Gagliano.

Culley says all her time training on the roads for the half will complement her ultimate goal, which is to qualify for the U.S. Olympic team on the track.

“I enjoy doing the strength work for it [the half marathon],” she confides, “and I think one of the most important things to do in an Olympic year is to stay healthy, and I think building a really good base, having a half marathon as an early season goal, keeps me from maybe getting a little too fit, too fast, which sometimes happens to me.”

Culley admits that Coach Gagliano (Gags), primarily a middle-distance specialist, is new to half-marathon coaching. “[The half marathon] is new territory for Gags and I, for sure,” she says. “Gags doesn’t claim to be an expert in the half marathon [She laughs.] by any means. It’s fun and it’s exciting. It makes it a lot more lighthearted.”

For More: Runner’s World