Cathy O'Brien (athlete)

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Cathy Schiro O'Brien (born July 19, 1967 in Janesville, Wisconsin) is a retired female long-distance runner from the United States. She set her personal best (2:29:38) in the women's marathon in 1991 while winning the Los Angeles Marathon.


While attending Dover High School, her 2:34:24, finishing 9th place in the 1984 Olympic Trials Marathon still stands as the national high school record in the marathon. She competed in the United States Olympic Trials Marathon two more times, in 1988 and 1992: In the Olympic Trials Marathon in 1988 (May 1) in Pittsburgh, PA, she finished third in a time of 2:30:18, qualifying her for the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea.[1] In the Olympic Trials Marathon in 1992 (January 26), in Houston, TX, she finished second in a time of 2:30:28, qualifying her for the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, Spain.

Other notable performances include, in 1989: Second in the Paris Marathon, in a time of 2:31:14; third in the Chicago Marathon, in a time of 2:31:19; winning the Crim 10 miler (Flint, MI) in a then-world record time of 51:47 (which stood until 1991). In 1990: Silver medal in the Goodwill Games 10,000 meters, in a personal best time of 32:05.

Personal life[edit]

She is married to Michael O'Brien and has two children, Patrick Finbar O'Brien and Andrew Joseph O'Brien. O'Brien is now a violin teacher and she runs every day. She lives in Durham, New Hampshire.


  • All results regarding marathon, unless stated otherwise
Year Competition Venue Position Notes
Representing  United States
1988 Olympic Games Seoul, South Korea 40th 2:41:04
1991 Los Angeles Marathon Los Angeles, United States 1st 2:29:38
1992 Olympic Games Barcelona, Spain 10th 2:39:42


  1. ^ "Chicago Marathon Just Part Of O`brien`s Maturing Process". Chicago Tribune Sports. Retrieved December 3, 2013. 

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