The 2008 Olympic Trials for both men and women were tremendous races, and kudos should go to both New York Road Runners (men) and Boston Athletic Association (women) for putting on the Trials. Just dealing with the USOC’s byzantine rules and regulations would put the most patient human into the Betty Ford Clinic. However, both groups performed their tasks with gusto.
I must admit that the women’s race was high drama. Could Lewy Boulet do it? Was Deena Kastor insane for waiting? Then, Kastor took off and the race, with high drama, ended for all three team members. You will be able to see the drama unfold once again on MSNBC on Sunday.
The BAA invested serious denaros on the television expansion of both the Trials and Boston this year, so show your support and watch the show!
A final set of kudos to Dave McGillavray and his team, Jack Fleming, Marc Chalfour and their band of merry media folks and Guy Morse, who showed the great sense to put together such a team in Boston!
2008 U.S. Olympic Team Trials-Women’s Marathon
Ends in Historic Fashion
One-hour highlight show to air on Sunday, April 27 on MSNBC
Boston, Mass. — On a spectacular Sunday morning in Boston, the top female marathoners in the United States put forth an historic performance. Deena Kastor, Magdalena Lewy Boulet, and Blake Russell headlined the April 20 show as they captured the three spots on the U.S. Olympic Team for the women’s marathon. As a result, their next marathon will be run through the streets of Beijing on August 17 as they compete in the 2008 Olympic Games. Behind the three Olympians, 143 other women thrilled the tens of thousands of spectators and viewers on NBCSports.com with one of the greatest women’s marathons ever held.
A one-hour highlight show of the event will air on Sunday, April 27 on MSNBC from 12:00-1:00 p.m. ET. Commentary will be provided by commentator Al Trautwig and 10-time NCAA All-American Ed Eyestone. The show will be the premier episode in a series highlighting a number of Olympic Trials events leading up to the Beijing Olympic Games in August. The Olympic Trials online and over the air broadcast is a joint production of the USOC, Boston Athletic Association, NBC Sports and USA Track & Field.
The attached photograph shows the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team in the Women’s Marathon serving as Grand Marshals of the 112th Boston Marathon on Monday, April 21. Pictured are (l-r) Magdalena Lewy Boulet, Deena Kastor, and Blake Russell. Credit for the image is FAYFOTO/Boston.
Among the many notable accomplishments from the event on Sunday:
* 181 qualifiers (171 via a marathon performance, 10 via a 10,000m performance)
* 146 starters
* 124 finishers
* 98 women ran under 2:50. This is the second largest total in the history of women’s marathon running, trailing only the 1984 U.S. Olympic Trials when 109 women broke that mark.
* By comparison, 61 women broke 2:50 at the 2004 U.S. Olympic Team Trials-Women’s Marathon. 44 did so in 2000; 71 in 1996; 46 in 1992; and 81 in 1988.
* Deena Kastor and Magdalena Lewy Boulet ran the 2nd and 11th fastest Olympic Trials performances in U.S. history.
* Kastor’s winning time of 2:29:35 is the 41st fastest marathon ever run by an American woman. She also owns the 1st, 2nd, 4th, 10th, 12th, 14th, and 43rd-fastest times.
* Lewy Boulet’s second-place time of 2:30:19 is the 53rd fastest marathon ever run by an American woman.
Age Group Records
* Linda Somers Smith (2:38:49) sets U.S. 45+ record. (Previous best was Joan Samuelson, 2:42:28.)
* Joan Samuelson (2:49:08) sets U.S. 50+ record. (Previous best was Shirley Matson, 2:50:26.)
Personal Bests & Qualifying Performances
* 135 women qualified for the Olympic Trials by running a new personal best in the marathon (out of 171 women who qualified with a marathon time).
* 41 women ran new personal bests on Sunday, including 13 of the top 15 and 20 of the top 26.
* 47 women improved upon their qualifying performance for the event (including Blake Russell who qualified via a 10,000m time because she did not have a qualifying marathon performance).
* Deena Kastor won her third U.S. Marathon Championship (2001 and 2007), and become the first woman since Linda Somers (in 1993-1994) to win back-to-back titles.
* Kastor becomes the first woman to win three U.S. championships in the marathon. Julie Brown, Janis Klecker, and Linda Somers each won two.
* Kastor joins Cathy O’Brien as the only women to make two U.S. Olympic Teams in the Women’s Marathon.
* This represents the first time that the first alternate from an Olympic Team (Blake Russell in 2004) has made the Olympic Team four years later.
* The 4th and 5th-place finishers from 2004 (Russell and Lewy Boulet, who finished just 35 and 53 seconds out of third place, respectively, in 2004) both made the Olympic Team this year.
* 48,583 visitors to www.bostontrials2008.com on race day.
* 360,968 race day page views.
* Visitors to the website were from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and more than 90 countries.
USA Track & Field
USA Track & Field (USATF) is the National Governing Body for track and field, long-distance running and race walking in the United States. USATF encompasses the world’s oldest organized sports, the most-watched events of Olympic broadcasts, the #1 high school and junior high school participatory sport and more than 30 million adult runners in the United States.
USATF is a volunteer-driven, not-for-profit organization with a staff of professional program administrators at the National Office in Indianapolis. The mission of USATF is to foster sustained competitive excellence, interest, and participation in the sports of track & field, long distance running, and race walking. For more information, visit www.usatf.org.
Boston Athletic Association
Established in 1887, the Boston Athletic Association is a non-profit organization with a mission of managing athletic events and promoting a healthy lifestyle through sports, especially running. The B.A.A.’s Boston Marathon is the world’s oldest annual marathon, and the organization manages other local events, including the B.A.A. Half Marathon presented by Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Jimmy Fund, and supports comprehensive charity, youth, and year-round running programs. Since 1986, the principal sponsor of the Boston Marathon has been John Hancock Financial Services. The B.A.A. is the local organizing committee for the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Trials- Women’s Marathon.
B.A.A.: Jack Fleming (617-236-1652, x2627; mobile: 617-459-1587; firstname.lastname@example.org)
or Marc Chalufour (617-236-1652, x2632; mobile: 617-459-1586; email@example.com).