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Two and a half years ago, Erin Menefee didn’t know if she’d be able to run competitively again after having open heart surgery. But on December 8, the 27-year-old physical therapist realized her dream when she qualified for the 2020 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials at the California International Marathon (CIM) in Sacramento with a time of 2:43:10. Surrounded by dozens of other women who qualified for the first time, Menefee basked in the accomplishment of a goal that motivated her throughout the long recovery. For the first time since she underwent surgery for a rare congenital heart defect in July…

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