When Lisa Stublić gave up her brief swimming career and took up running instead, it soon proved to be a good choice: She won her first race for Crosby (CT) High School, a 4K, by two minutes, before going on to compete at Columbia University, where she earned All-America honors in the steeplechase while studying music theory. After drifting in NYC for a couple of years, Stublić had what she calls “a quarter-life crisis” and moved to Croatia, the country of her father’s birth. She vowed to at least learn the language if nothing else, but she met a coach, Slavko Petrović, who sparked her running career. In December 2008, less than four months after she began training under Petrović, Stublić set a Croatian record in the half-marathon. In the 2010 Berlin Marathon, her debut at the distance, she ran 2:33:42 to set another national mark and achieve the Olympic “A” standard; she thus became the first Croatian female marathoner to qualify for the Olympic Games. Earlier this year, Stublić finished third in 1:09:18 in the NYC Half to lower her national mark for that distance, and then in April turned in a surprise 2:25:44 victory in the Zurich Marathon, a personal best by more than five minutes. She will be running her first ING New York City Marathon on November 3.
“Our races are to our sport what Wimbledon and the Australian, U.S., and French Opens are to tennis, and what the Masters, U.S., and British Opens and PGA Championship are to golf. Each race has the history, the tradition, the honor roll of legendary champions, and a special place in the eyes of all to make them stand apart from the other events.” Mary Wittenberg