Minot woman competing in 2020 Olympic trials

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MINOT, N.D. - One Minot woman could be running home with a gold medal.

Val Curtis has always been a runner.

“I've been a runner for most of life , and I started running marathons in 2011,” Val told Your News-Leader.

After training for three years she won the Fargo Marathon this past May, beating more than 1000 other runners, and earning her a spot in the 2020 Olympic trials for women in Atlanta.

“I almost couldn't believe that I had finally done it, and to pair that with a win after qualifying for the trials. It was one of my biggest life moments,” Val said.

To practice for the trial Val runs at least 10 hours a week. She says she will practice in temperatures down to 20 below zero.

“So even though I'm not getting heat training, because I live in North Dakota. I got the mental strength and the grit from running in undesirable weather,” Val said.

Val's says she looks forward to the camaraderie with her fellow athletes.

"I'm so excited to be around women like me who have worked toward something for so long. I’m also hoping to meet some of my running heroes," Val said.

Val's trial is Feb. 29. If she makes the top three she'll represent the USA in the summer games in Tokyo.