Children in an Arroyo Grande daycare program welcomed a special guest on Thursday — Linda Somers Smith, a two-time national marathon champion and local resident.
Somers Smith, a San Luis Obispo attorney, took second in the Olympic marathon trial in 1996 with a personal best of two hours, 30 minutes and six seconds, according to a Running Times profile. She finished 31st in the Atlanta Olympics that year in spite of an Achilles tendon tear.
She has not slowed down. In 2008, Somers Smith set the 45-49 age group record of 2:38:49 at the Boston Marathon. Last year, she qualified for her seventh Olympic trials by completing the Los Angeles Marathon in 2:36:33.
Somers Smith, 50, showed the children a video of current Olympic athletes, told stories about the Olympic experience and passed out pins and stickers.