Polina Carlson is Hawaii’s fastest female distance runner who has already ran under the Olympic Trials marathon qualifying standard. Polina was a competitive tennis player in college before her coach noticed that she outran everyone in running drills, including the members of the men's team. His encouragement to work out with the cross-country team to simply “stay in shape” for tennis led to her giving up tennis in order to focus solely on running.
Finding running later than most professional runners, Polina has already seen success in her running career, taking victories at the 2014 Great Aloha Run, the 2013 XTERRA World Championship Half-Marathon and finishing 5th in the 2013 Honolulu Marathon. In December of 2014 Polina placed 6th at the California International Marathon with a time of 2:35:15, and has her sights now set on the Olympics.
Currently living and training in Oahu, Hawai'i, Polina loves the ocean and finds solace in the mountains. Polina is a happy runner and often finishes races with a smile on her face.