Olympic Hopefuls, U.S. Olympian Carrie Tollefson Announced for Main Stage Panel at 2024 Running USA Industry Conference

November 16, 2023

Elite athletes and U.S. Olympic Marathon Team Trials competitors Frank Lara, Dakotah Lindwurm will speak on Thursday, Feb. 1

ORLANDO (Nov. 16, 2023) – Running USA is excited to announce the first of many conference events connected to the U.S. Olympic Marathon Team Trials at the 2024 Industry Conference presented by haku in Orlando, Jan. 31-Feb. 2, 2023. Not registered for the world’s biggest and best running industry yet? Sign up today.

On Thursday, Feb. 1, Marathon Trials qualifiers Frank Lara and Dakotah Lindwurm will join the event for a main stage panel moderated by Olympian Carrie Tollefson, who represented the U.S. in the 1500 meters at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece. The panel will take place from 10:15-11:15am.

Carrie Tollefson was a 13-time Minnesota state champion: eight in track and five in cross country. Her five cross country titles established a national record for most consecutive titles, which still stands to this day. Tollefson attended Villanova University, where she was a 5-time NCAA Champion and the 1998 NCAA Indoor Track Athlete of the year. As an elite athlete, she was a three-time national champion and the only woman to represent the U.S. in the 1500m at the 2004 Games. Carrie now serves as an analyst on some of the sport’s most high-profile event broadcasts. She also hosts the CTolle Run podcast.

Frank Lara competed collegiately at Furman University in South Carolina, graduating in 2019, and is now a member of the Boulder, Colo. based Roots Running Project. He was the 2020 USATF 15K National Champion, placed 11th at the 2023 London Marathon, and is sponsored by Altra Running.

Dakotah Lindwurm competed collegiately at Northern State University in South Dakota, graduating in 2018, and is now a member of the Minnesota Distance Elite team. She has won Grandma’s Marathon twice, placed 12th at the 2023 Bank of America Chicago Marathon with a PB 2:24:40 , and is sponsored by Puma.

The panel will discuss how races of all sizes can utilize elite athletes on race weekend and leading up to race day, the difference between racing vs. non-racing appearances, mutual benefits for races and athletes, and the most effective way to work with elite athletes.

“We’re thrilled to share the first of several ways for our 2024 conference attendees to connect with the excitement and energy of the U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Marathon in Orlando,” said Jay Holder, Executive Director of Running USA. “Carrie, Dakotah and Frank are sure to be both entertaining and informative, bringing an elite athlete perspective from which all Running USA Member events can benefit.”

Not registered for the world’s biggest and best running industry yet? Sign up today – a price increase is coming Nov. 30.

About the Industry Conference

Since its origins as a small gathering of Running USA’s founders in Southern California in 2004, the Running USA Industry Conference presented by Race Roster has grown to becoming the best-attended, most esteemed gathering of running industry professionals from around the USA and the world. Now moving locations each year, the conference has been held in Los Angeles, San Diego, Savannah, Houston, San Antonio, Denver, New Orleans, Puerto Rico, Las Vegas and returns to Orlando for the 2024 event.

About Running USA

Running USA is a non-profit organization committed to the growth and success of the running industry. Our promise is to deliver quality education, exceptional industry content, valuable research and ample networking opportunities. We connect. We support. We educate. Running USA brings together an entire community. As the voice of endurance running, we’re all about connection and collaboration. Whether we’re connecting race organizers with sponsors, partners and athletes, or connecting our members with vital information and best practices, our goal is to raise the profile of running and help more people get more out of it. For more information, visit runningusa.org.