Mom-to-Be Runs 800-Meter Race at U.S. Track and Field Championships

06/27/2014 at 11:00 AM ET

When it comes to keeping her first child active, Olympian Alysia Montaño is off to a running start.

On Thursday, the former University of California track star, 28, ran the 800-meter race during the U.S. Track and Field Championships — at 8 months pregnant.

“I’ve been running throughout my pregnancy and I felt really, really good during the whole process,” Montaño told ESPN following her prenatal dash. “I just didn’t want to get lapped and be the first person to get lapped in the 800.”

Though the five-time national champion didn’t beat her 2010 personal record of 1:57.34, the mom-to-be wasn’t that far behind. While maintaining a steady pace and hauling an extra 30 pounds, she still managed to clock in at 2:32.13, with a roaring audience ovation to carry her to the finish line.

Alysia Montano Pregnant 800 Meter Race Ezra Shaw/Getty


Holding onto her winning title may not have been the goal, but Montaño still made sure to plan the run out with her physician prior to the race.

“That took away any fear of what the outside world might think about a woman running during her pregnancy,” she explained. “What I found out mostly was that exercising during pregnancy is actually much better for the mom and the baby.”

This time around she won’t be able to share a medal with her newborn, but the experience will make for a great bedtime story.

“I did all the things I normally do … I just happened to be pregnant. This is my normal this year.”

Katherine Foreman

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Showing 43 comments

Xan on

This is great! I’m sure she’s taking her doctor’s advice, and not overdoing it. Though it might seem like a lot to us civilians, Alysia enjoys a significantly higher level of fitness, and has experienced far more grueling training than most of us ever will. Not for everyone, I’m sure, but I’m really impressed. I hope I can maintain a similar level of fitness to the one I have now once I get pregnant (assuming I have the energy and will to do so when I’m sore, nauseous, and bloated!).

Bella on

GOD LOVE HER :D

guest on

Alysia is my inspiration! I am 7.5 months pregnant and a runner, but I can only manage to walk/jog nowadays! She rocks look at those legs! She will lose the baby weight soon after she delivers.

Anonymous on

how is that healthy for the baby.?? all that bumping around in side her belly? that would scare me I was harming the baby..i know this sounds stupid…

Heather on

Wow, that’s great! But I feel like I can hear her stretch marks busting from here from all that movement!

Anonymous on

If you can do it…JUST DO IT!!!

mers on

I have heard that doctors say whatever exercise you are used to doing is acceptable when you are pregnant, until the last month or so. Running at this pace looks pretty extreme to me. The poor baby, although well insulated, must be flopping around like a sack of grain. Common sense tells me this just isn’t a good idea. I guess that will remain to be seen. Good luck.

Catherine on

I glanced at this headline and thought it said “Alyssa Milano” (the actress). I was so confused! This woman is awesome!

Becca on

Completely unnecessary, every woman should stay reasonably fit throughout their pregnancy- no need to argue that but come on seriously this is a bit much, it completely contributes to the unrealistic pressure to stay thin while pregnant and lose it as quickly as possible afterwards.

It’s like we are applauding women for chancing overexerting themselves along with their baby and I’m sure there was a chance- there is no need to feel like you can’t take a small break while pregnant- your body is working hard enough and all you should be concerned with is staying healthy, reasonably fit and eating a diet consistent with creating a healthy human. Just sayin

heather on

oh boy, here we go with the comments…

heather on

Personally, I’d be afraid of tripping & falling but congrats to her!

SDL on

LOVE THIS!!!!! She is my total rock star of the week. She’s gonna need all that energy when her little bundle of joy comes. No doubt, he or she will be running soon after! :-)

Larna on

Good for her! Women have been having babies since before man invented time, so what’s wrong with running if you are a runner? Pioneer women walked, rode, worked in the fields, swam, enchanted, ran from predators, etc.. Pregnancy is not a disease. What an inspiring role model.

disneymommy75 on

I read this so fast I thought it said Alyssa Milano!

Christi on

Really, Becca? She’s an Olympian and a runner. She’s not making any statement or contributing to unrealistic pressure to stay thin and drop weight after the baby. I think it’s awesome! I also think you must be really bored or just an argumentative pessimist!

Shaindy on

Glad I’m not the only one who read Alyssa Milano, LOL! Good for Ms. Montano – she’s an inspiration!

boohoobytch on

if her doctor likes it, I love it…good for her and early congratulations on her little one

bitsy on

You go girl! That’s awesome.

libba on

Look at those arms…wow!

Ana on

Not sure if this is good for baby at this late stage, but I’m sure her doc is on top of it. I couldn’t even walk without having to pee. Don’t know how she managed. Good for her.

Melissa on

Wow! How unbelieveable!

Amber on

Imagine how embarrassing it would be if you were a participant in this race and she beat you! Good for her for continuing to do what she loves (with her doctor’s permission).

chevjuls on

This lady is a Rock Star, champion

Linda on

Alyssa is well spoken! Sounds like a class act! Congratulations to her and her husband!

aimee on

I wonder if baby got a concussion during the race?

Lala on

Good for her!! It’s what her body’s used to, and I’m sure if she was this fit pre-pregnancy, she stayed active during her pregnancy. The baby is fine, and protected from the movement — and if she tripped, instincts tell us to put our arms out, to catch ourselves, so her belly probably would never hit the ground.

Kirsten on

I know Alysia and am very proud of her. She’s an amazing person, an amazing athlete, and is going to be an amazing mother!

Kim on

I run, but had to stop around 6-7 mos. Too much pressure on my bladder! Way to go to her though!

DancerMama on

This is wonderful. I was physically limited during my pregnancy, but most of my fellow dancers were as active as Alysia during theirs and their babies, and mine, are happy and healthy! Babies inside their mama’s belly are really well protected and super resilient. I remember a dance instructor who taught a class up until the week before her due date…that little girl is now going into her freshman year at Princeton – clearly she was fine!

Dawn on

Good for her! but all I could think about is tripping or falling.

Nuts on

One sneeze and most pee their pants, how can she do this?

Nuts on

How does she not pee her pants?

Anonymous on

She is not running to try to stay thin during her pregnancy, she is running because she is an athlete and there is no reason for an athlete to stop their regular routine if there are having a healthy pregnancy and their doctor has approved the activity.

country gal on

Poor baby getting all shook around in there :(

megan on

“Pioneer women walked, rode, worked in the fields, swam, enchanted, ran from predators, etc.. ”

“Enchanted” does not mean what you think it does. Also, they did not run from predators, they
shot ‘em or the predator outran the pioneer ladies & had them for a snack

Isabel on

She’s an Olympian who’s used to a set regimen. Barring complications, pregnant women can still maintain their normal level of physical fitness until birth without harming the fetus. I’m surprised others find this shocking, especially given her caliber of athleticism, but, as these comments sections usually reveal, certain people will find fault with everything.

Ala Lemon on

You know, if she was cleared by her doctor, then that’s all fine by me

Jen on

Wonderful. Fit before pregnancy, fit during pregnancy means fit after pregnancy. Cleared by her MD and she is good to go. The baby is fully formed at this point and just cooking a bit longer for good measure. Bet the baby was rocked to sleep. Oh, she is pregnant, not ill, so she should do what she did before, if cleared by her MD. Go for it!! And she looks great.

Mol on

Alysia is amazing, good for her!

nelleo on

She is awesome and an inspiration! I definiately need to get off my lazy non pregnant butt and excercise. Go Alysia!

lovely123 on

During my first two pregnancies I jogged, then the third I walked. I was able to job until about 4 months then I felt like I was going to drop something. Depends how many pregnancies and if you are doing something you normally would do.

Erika on

How come all of a sudden when someone is pregnant everyone else gets to make judgements about their lives? Seriously, unless someone is on drugs or doing something else illegal it’s none of your business. It’s her body and her baby, and I’m sure she’s cleared it with a doctor. The human body is amazing and babies in the womb are extremely well protected, so if she is physically able to do it then the baby should be fine! If anything it’s better to be more active- studies have shown that exercise during pregnancy leads to an easier and less complicated labor and delivery. I’d worry more about the women who stop doing everything the moment they find out they are pregnant (and no I’m not talking about people on bed rest or people who are too uncomfortable in their third trimester. I’m talking about people who refuse to lift a finger their whole pregnancy, I had a few friends like that), but not my body or my baby, so it’s none of my business. I’m not saying people should push themselves, especially that late in pregnancy, but if this is what she’s comfortable with, then why not?

She looks great and I hope everything goes well for her!

Katie on

If she wants to do that, fine good for her. I’m pretty sure the medical community really has no idea of what can happen to a growing baby while mom is still exercising that heavily that late in pregnancy. Medicine is never an exact science. No one really knows for sure because most pregnant women don’t run during their pregnancies.

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