Runner trains for Olympic trials

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Even though Brian Lyons' collegiate career has ended, the talented runner continues to pound the pavement as a member of the Big River Racing Team in St. Louis.

Lyons, a graduate of Purdy High School, continues to challenge himself physically and is building a reputation as one of the St. Louis area's most competitive runners.

On March 11, Lyons won the 2006 St. Patrick's Day Run out of field of 7,000 area runners. He finished the course in an impressive time of 24 minutes, 47 seconds. He finished his first mile at 4:49 and his second at 4:50 to take the lead that he held throughout the run.

On March 19, the Big River Racing Team of Lyons, Jay Hill, Joe Conley, Joe Porter and Matt Helbig placed fourth overall in Kansas City's Brew to Brew Race with a scratch time of 3:56.14 for the 44-mile course.

At the Elite 2 Mile Challenge held in St. Louis last week, Lyons broke the nine minute barrier and placed second out of a field of 56 men competing in the 3,200-meter run exhibition. He ran the two miles in 8:58.58 just behind his Big River Racing teammate Ben Rosario, who won the race in 8:56.10.

Currently, Lyons is training for the Olympic Marathon trials. His running regime, as reported at, is doing "some quality tempo runs around 5:10 pace for seven or eight miles" and doing speed work on the track.

To qualify for the Olympic trials, Lyons will have to run 26.2 miles faster than 2:22. Lyons trains several times a week with other members of Big River Racing.

Lyons, who graduated from Purdy High School in 1999, was an All-American at Missouri Southern State University in Joplin. He was a member of the mens' cross country and track and field teams.

In an interview posted on, Lyons was asked about his favorite running moment to date.

"I believe in college when we won indoor conference my senior year," said Lyons. "I won two of the three races I was in and was the top point scorer at the meet."

Lyons and his wife, Margaret, recently announced the birth of their first child, Lillian. Margaret grew up in St. Louis and also was an All-American miler at MSSU.

Lyons is the son of Les and Diane Lyons, of Cassville, and Judy and Kelly Hayes, of Purdy.

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