Olympic bronze-medal marathoner and fan favorite Molly Seidel is back. Seidel jumped into the Boston Athletic Association’s (BAA) Half Marathon on Saturday, and in a post-race press interview shared that her 1:16:22 finish (16th woman) was “right in line with what I expected it to be.”
While Seidel said it was frustrating not to have been able to build the fitness she had wanted for the race, her priority had been making sure her health, both mental and physical, was strong enough to compete.
“Lots of nerves, but honestly just pumped to be back on the line in my favorite city,” she shared pre-race on social media, where the athlete has been a compelling force around mental health and eating disorder awareness for legions of fans.
With only two full weeks of running training before the race, Seidel said that while she knows she still has a long way to go, it’s nice to have a foundation of health to build on right now.
After pressing pause on competition pre-World championships in July due to a sacral stress reaction (later diagnosed as a full fracture), Seidel has courageously and candidly shared the ongoing mental health challenges she has been facing, discussing her eating disorder recovery on social media and stressing the importance of reaching out for help.
In February, the athlete was diagnosed with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and after having found some relief from the medication Adderall, dropped out of the NYC 10K Mini while waiting for a therapeutic use exemption (TUE) for the medication.
In October, Seidel went into further detail about the hurdles she was facing in an interview for Runners World, explaining that she had been dealing with a sense of shame after struggling throughout the summer with bulimia, a disease that she had first sought treatment for post-university and that she describes as “coming in waves.”
While Seidel felt pressure to be ‘cured’, eating disorder recovery is far from linear, and the athlete described an intense struggle after the 2022 Boston Marathon (where she was forced to drop out due to hip pain).
Seidel has also openly discussed her choices to step back from Strava and Instagram in the past year, and in sharing bravely about tough topics that are often hidden from view has undoubtedly given hope and courage to others facing similar personal challenges.
While the athlete hasn’t announced plans for her next event, fans and fellow athletes alike will be thrilled to see Seidel back in the racing game, looking healthy and happy.
For full results of the BAA Half Marathon, head here.
If you are in Canada and need immediate mental health support, call 1-866-585-0445 to speak to a mental health professional one-on-one. For eating disorder support, you can call the National Eating Disorder Information Center at 1-866-NEDIC-20.