Adna cross country coach, volunteer firefighter competes Olympic trials in the marathon


A runner while at Concordia University, Roman Kirkov initially felt burned out after college and planned to stop, though he was convinced by a friend to do a turkey trot.

Six years later, Kirkov, a volunteer cross country coach at Adna High School and a firefighter for South Mason Fire and Rescue, placed 50th in the U.S. Olympic Trials in the marathon. Kirkov finished the race, which was held in Orlando on Feb. 3, with a time of 2:19:15.

Kirkov qualified for the Olympic trials at the 2023 California International Marathon, and he estimated he’s now completed six of the races. His personal best time was 2:16:47.

While he didn’t finish with his best time, 27 racers did not finish the course, partly due to warm weather.

In the runup to the race, Kirkov said it takes about 20 weeks of preparation. His routine includes running between 110 and 120 miles a week, which typically includes two runs a day and some additional strength training.

On race days, Kirkov said he likes to eat a bagel with peanut butter and drink coffee to fuel up.

With so much training and preparation, Kirkov said he’s thankful for his family’s support.

“I have quite a bit of a support system who supports me,” he said. “It kind of takes a village to get where I’m at right now.”

While he didn’t qualify for the 2024 Olympics in Paris, Kirkov said he may try again in four years. The 2028 games will be held in Los Angeles.

In the meantime, he is taking two weeks off as a much-needed break. While he plans to continue running, he said he may opt for shorter races five to 10K races for the time being to focus on his speed.