Alysia Montano may have come in last in the 800-meter race at the US Track and Field Championships, but in the hearts of many watching and cheering her on she was the winner.
That’s because Montano, 28, ran in Thursday’s race in California while 8.5 months pregnant. She finished in 2 minutes, 32.13 seconds.
“I’ve been running throughout my pregnancy and I felt really, really good during the whole process,” said the five-time national champion. “I just didn’t want to get lapped and be the first person to get lapped in the 800.”
Montano is not the first example of extreme pregnancy fitness.
In September, photos of a pregnant Lee-Ann Ellison of California lifting 75 pounds for exercise ignited a flurry of Facebook comments.
And in October 2011, days from her due date, Amber Miller, 27, completed the Bank of America Chicago Marathon and then gave birth to a baby girl named June hours later.
Montano, whose baby is due in July, said she’d been running throughout her pregnancy.
“My midwife and my doctors were so encouraging,” she said. “They were like, ‘This is something you can do. You are a professional runner.’ … That took away any fear of what the outside world might think about a woman running during her pregnancy.”
Doctors told ABC News that if a woman was exercising before she got pregnant, she could keep doing it — but if she’s never been a runner, she would not suddenly start training for a marathon.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.