Prior to Saturday's U.S. Olympic Team Trials - Marathon in Los Angeles we caught up with Jesse Davis, 34, of Indianapolis, Ind. to learn more about his running, how he felt when he learned he had qualified for the Trials, and his life beyond running; including, who he would most like to have lunch with, his role model, and his favorite athlete.
 
This will be Jesse’s second Olympic Trials. At the 2012 Trials he finished 68th running 2:22:24.  Davis's lifetime best marathon is 2:18:00.  
 
So let's GET TO KNOW Jesse a bit better......

What are you doing these days in terms of your job?  
I manage the Runners Forum in Broad Ripple

Favorite Food? 
Homemade Chili 
 
Favorite Singer/Band? 
Bob Dylan / Foo Fighters
 
Favorite author: 
Kurt Vonnegut
 
Favorite book:
A Song of Ice and Fire (Books 1-5). Hoping to read 6 & 7 someday!
 
Favorite Movie: 
Breaking Away
 
Favorite Competitor: 
Nick Arciniaga (I can't keep up but I'm a fan!)
 
Person who had the most influence on your athletic career?
My coach Matt Ebersole, of Personal Best Training. 
 
If you could have lunch with a person you have never met, who would it be? 
Don Fisher (The voice of IU)
 
How about dinner?
Dave Grohl (lead singer Foo Fighters) 
 
What were your high school bests for each year: 
Freshman: 2:03 (800m)
Sophomore 1:55 (800m split on 4 by 800 team that won state and set the state record at the time)
Junior 1:55 (800m)
Senior 4:20.03 (1600m)
 
When did you first realize you might have some talent and a future in the sport?
My first middle school track season when I went undefeated in the 100 and 200 meter dash. 
 
You attend Southern Indiana University.  What other schools did you consider?
Ball State (which is where I went out of high school for two years before they cut the program), IU, Indiana State, Hanover, and Northern Florida. 
 
Best training partner? 
Thomas Frazer ( He beats me into the ground but in a good way. )
 
Worst Training partner?
Greg Humrichouser (We always have to stop for him to use the bathroom. Just kidding Greg you know we love you!)
 
Tell us about your first ultra marathon?  
I wanted to do a fundraiser for my friend Scott Spitz who had just been diagnosed with Cancer. I picked a 12 hour race and people pledged money for every mile I was able to complete. I ended up with 78.4 miles and raised over $3000.   The race was The Hawtthorn Half Day in Terre Haute, IN  It was 1 month after I got back from my honeymoon in June of 2013. Needless to say I had not been running and had gained some weight. It was a challenge to get ready in 1 month when the furthest I had run previously was 26.2.)
 
Tell us about how you were selected to Team USA for the IAU 50 km Championships?
A friend of mine sent me a screen shot of a Tweet saying that the USATF was looking for applicants for the 50 km world champs. I have been interested in doing more ultras for years, so I went ahead and applied a few days before the deadline. Initially I was named the first alternate, but later someone backed out and I was on the team. 
 
Tell us the timeline on your attempts to qualify for the Trials? 
2013: Monumental 2:21:23
2014: Grandma's Marathon 2:18:26
2014: Chicago Marathon 2:18:13
2015: Houston Marathon 2:22:37
2015: Grandma's Marathon 2:19:46
2015: Monumental Marathon 2:18:00
 
At what point during the Monumental Marathon did you realize you were going to be really close to running 2:18? 
The whole last 10 km I knew it would be close. At 26 miles I saw I was 10 seconds faster than 26 at Chicago when I ran 2:18:13. At that point I knew I had to give everything I had because I will never forget how bad it felt after Chicago to just miss the time.
 
What are your expectations/goals going into the Olympic Trials? 
It will be hot, so I want to race smart and hard, and hopefully place better than expected because I had a good plan.
 
What are your top memories from your competitive career? 
note: in Chronological Order
1. 1999 4 x 800 State Championship win and record.
2. Division 2 5th place finisher in the indoor 800 in 2006 (All American)
3. Qualifying for the trials in 2012 & 2016
4. 5th place 50 K world champs performance in there.