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Olympian Alysia Montano runs an 800-meter race while 34 weeks pregnant

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It’s safe to say that Olympian Alysia Montano is on a short list of the jaw dropping super-women who manage to perform serious athletic feats while carrying another human in their bellies.

Montano is 34 weeks pregnant (for those of you who can’t do the math, that’s 8 1/2 months). And Thursday, she ran an 800-meter at the USATF championships in Sacramento.

“I know there is a lot of stigma and really, the word is ignorance, behind pregnant women and exercising,” Montano told CBS LA after the race. “And the truth is, it’s good for the mom and the baby.”

Montano is expecting her first child and she told the Associated Press that she’s been running throughout the pregnancy. She and her husband also planned the baby on an “off year” so she can still compete in the World Championships and the Olympics, according to CBS LA.

“I just didn’t want to get lapped and be the first person to get lapped in the 800,” she told the AP. She was never close to being lapped (though she didn’t qualify for the semifinals, either). But she definitely stood out on the Hornet Stadium track. As her father, Eric Johnson, aptly put it to CBS LA: “Look at her belly hanging out.”

No, really. Look at it. Then bow down.

By the by, Dr. Francis Chang, an OB/GYN at Good Samaritan Hospital, told CBS LA that it’s probably safe for Montano to compete while pregnant because her body is used to that level of physical activity. However, Chang told the TV station, he wouldn’t advise other pregnant women who don’t regularly run 800-meter races to do so anytime soon.

“We tell them that whatever level of exercise they’re used to, that they can continue exercising at that level,” Chang said. “The only thing I worry about if it’s direct trauma to the belly or any falling.”

Abby Phillip is a national political reporter for the Washington Post. She can be reached at On Twitter: @abbydphillip
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