Carlos Trujillo’s Goodbye to Mom and Dad
The former Oregon Duck has a marathon breakthrough after leaving his parents’ basement
by The Trailer
CHICAGO – “And then I started working with Brad Hudson,” says Carlos Trujillo, 27, of Middleton, Idaho. As if that explains everything.
“Everything” was the Chicago Marathon on October 7, where he finished 18th overall and the third American in a massive, six-minute best of 2:14:21.
But before Chicago, before he started to contemplate a future making money on the roads, Trujillo has been living with his parents in the town where he grew up, assistant-coaching at a high school, and somehow persuading a girl to get engaged to him despite this.
Trujillo left the University of Oregon in 2008, and since then his running has gone up, and it’s gone down. Living in Idaho for the last year, he’d have flashes of brilliance: the 28:15.94 he set in the 10,000m at the 2012 Payton Jordan Invitational is an example, as is his top American finish at the 2012 Lilac Bloomsday Run.
But then there would be races that didn’t go well: America’s Finest City Half Marathon in August, an ignominious 1:08:17; or the track trials 10,000m, where he literally finished last.
“I was struggling. I just figured I need to get out somewhere different, get a group, be where my coach is,” he says. And almost as an afterthought, “And maybe get a new event.”
So Trujillo left his assistant coaching job and his parents’ basement—he’s yet to express regrets over that—and spent the last month in Boulder building toward Chicago and a future in the marathon. He immersed himself with marathoners Pat Rizzo (2:13:42) and Fernando Cabada (2:11:53), along with the rest of the Hudson group. Everything, he says, started to click.
Like others in the elite American field, Chicago was Trujillo’s second marathon after a debut at the 2012 Olympic team trials. “It was my first, and obviously the first time qualifying for the trials. Just both things overwhelmed me,” he says. He went out fast at 66 minutes for the half and paid for it on the back end, fading to 2:20:56 for 58th place. He questioned if it was the best event for him.
He talked with his coach the day before Chicago, and his coach said conservative at the start, to “work through the miles.” Trujillo went through the half in 1:07:08, and held together for an even finish. And just like that, everything changed.
“Running 2:14, now I know what it feels like trying to hit that even pace,” he says. “I can’t wait to just work hard for the next one.”
What Trujillo’s more excited about is lowering his 63:51 half marathon best, and he’ll look to do that in the next few months before a possible spring marathon. But even with money to be made on the roads, it won’t prevent him from a return to the track, where his 10,000m time this year gets him into the 2013 U.S. Outdoor Championships.
But first things first, he says: he’s got to move to Boulder full time. For a 2:14 marathoner, his parents’ house in Idaho just isn’t working anymore.