2009 Marathon Runner Profile
Elva Dryer
Hometown: Gunnison, Colo.
Age: 37
Personal best: 2:31:48 (Chicago, 2006)

Career notes: "When I asked my father to buy me my first pair of running shoes in high school, I made the promise to him that I would make it to the Olympics someday," says Elva Dryer. She kept true to that promise and is continuing to develop as an athlete. A two-time Olympian on the track, Dryer has also won four national titles on the roads in the half marathon, the 10K (twice) and the 5K, as well as a national championship in the indoor 3,000m. Dryer has run only three marathons and made her debut in Chicago in 2006 with a solid 2:31:48. Seeing her potential at the longer distance, she toed the line in New York City the following year, and although she didn't improve her time, she finished sixth and was the top American woman. She tried to make the 2008 Olympic team with a run at the US Marathon Trials in Boston last year, but did not finish. With new resolve, Dryer won the Austin Half Marathon in February and was fourth at the US 15K Championships in March; she expects a personal best in Boston this year.

Personal notes: Growing up at altitude in Durango, Colorado, Dryer says she was inspired to run by her older brother and encouraged by her high school coach. "I enjoyed the team aspect as well as being able to have my own individual goals," says Dryer. In college she ran for Western State in Gunnison, Colorado, where she was a 17-time All American and a seven-time national champion at the NCAA Division II school. In 1991 she married Russ Dryer, also an All-American at Western, and he has coached her for the past 17 years. Dryer holds a bachelor's degree in business administration and volunteers at the local animal adoption center taking care of homeless cats.
-- Courtesy BAA