Just because the Olympic Games are the pinnacle of competition doesn't mean recent Olympian Lindsey Anderson is going to stop racing. She's not even going to take a break, for that matter.
The former Weber State University runner and Utah native is planning to run in the Deseret News' MormonTimes.com Mile on Monday just eight days after the closing ceremonies in Beijing and a little more than two weeks after competing in the Olympics.
Anderson, an assistant track coach at Weber State, said she'll use the Mormon Mile as training for even more steeplechase races she has planned in the near future, including one in Paris, and other possible races in Europe.
"This Mormon Mile will actually be a tuneup for those races," she said Tuesday.
It's Anderson's first race after her run in the Summer Games' women's 3,000-meter steeplechase in which she finished eighth in her heat, with a career second-best time of 9:36.81.
Anderson said before most of her steeplechase races she likes to run a 1,500-meter just about 300 feet shorter than a mile time trial.
"Whenever I race a mile or a 1,500 it's usually been just to tune up for another race," she said.
In Beijing, her time was around 4:20. "I'm planning on going under five minutes" in the Mormon Mile, she said.
In addition to a training exercise, she thinks it's a "good way to earn a little bit of extra money," as there is prize money ranging from $100 to $1,000 for the first five finishers.
Anderson said she likes the relaxed feel of road races, with people of all ability levels and ages competing.
"I like the atmosphere of road races," she said. "To me it feels a little bit more laid back. It feels a little more calm (and) everybody is just there to run."
The Mormon Mile will be the second road race she will compete in sponsored by Nike; up to now, she has done mostly track races.
Anderson's husband of four years, Mark, will be cheering her on at the race in Salt Lake City, just as he was in Beijing, though there will be significantly fewer spectators than when she raced Aug. 15 in China."There was 91,000 people there watching and it was just incredible because they were so excited," she said. "You could really feel the excitement in the air ... They weren't necessarily cheering for one person. ... There was just like a wow factor. It was just incredible to walk into that stadium."