Track star runs in national race five months pregnant
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Alysia Montano wasn’t expecting to win — the 31-year-old Olympian, instead, was hoping to inspire.

At five months pregnant, she ran the 800-meter race at Thursday’s USATF Outdoor Nationals in sweltering Sacramento, California heat.

Montano, who also competed in the event while carrying her first child in 2014, wasn’t trying to demonstrate that pregnant women can still exercise. She wanted to empower women, pregnant or not, who may feel pressured to follow one certain path.

Though the seven-time USA champion has had a successful career on the track that she wants to continue, Montano isn’t limiting herself to just track — or her theater background — or even motherhood.

“I think a career is so open,” she told The Washington Post the day of the race, where she finished last in her heat with a time of 2 minutes and 21.40 seconds. “Who wants to pick up a book and read the same chapter over and over again?”

Alysia Montano at five months pregnant holding her first child Linnea after Thursday’s race. Photo: Associated Press

Montano rocked her signature flowers in her twists, which were lifted into a neat bun. She also sported a Wonder Woman — a black Wonder Woman — crop top in the race, showing off her little bump. Her 2-year-old daughter Linnea wore a shirt that read “Strong Like Mom.”

When Montano saw the new Wonder Woman movie, she knew she was signing up for nationals.

When she crossed the finish line Thursday, she raised her arms and smiled beneath the 110-degree sun. For it wasn’t about the finish, it was about the message, the beautiful effort and the platform.

“There is something about coming out to any venue not really expecting to win but going along with the journey and seeing what comes out of it,” Montano said in a Team USA release. “It is the most beautiful part about me being a track and field athlete with the platform I have, I feel so responsible to be a representative for people who don’t have a safe platform or voice that I do.”