It was only a month ago, when I asked Steve Karpas if he thought that Houston would get one or both of the Trials. ” Oh, I am hoping for one, there are some tough candidates.” noted Steve Karpas, managing director of the Chevron Marathon. I also asked Doug Logan that weekend for his thoughts. Logan, CEO of USA Track & Field, noted that their bid was robust and very aggressive. Logan noted, also, the he liked the aggressive proposal from Houston.
Well, be careful what you wish for!
Congrats to the Houston Marathon committee on the acceptance of their bid for not one Olympic Trials marathon, but both the women’s and the men’s U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials to choose the marathon teams for London 2012! This is, as the release below notes, the first time both marathon trials will be hosted in one city on one day! Houston will be hosting both U.S. marathon trials for 2012!
Hosting a U.S. marathon trials is the ultimate of thankless tasks. Ask anyone who has done it before. BAA Boston did a wonderful job on the women’s race in 2008, as did New York Road Runners in November 2007. Note that I did not attach their sponsor’s names in front of Boston or NY. That is because, the nice people in Colorado Springs, the U.S.O.C., without really trying, or caring, make the hosts job quite difficult, in the areas of sponsor development, signage development, among other things.
First of all, anyone who bids for an Olympic Trials is not doing it for the money. The U.S.O.C. cares about one thing if the word Olympic is used: protect the sponsors.
The Houston marathon committee realizes that there will be challenges. There will be some that they are prepared for, and some that they will go, huh?
In the end, the folks that have given us gems of Olympic Trials races, from Olympia, Washington, to Buffalo, NY, and the many-in between, from Boston, MA, to NYC, NY, and now, to Houston, Texas, the hosts of our marathon Trials should be applauded. They are in it for the experience and focus it gives their cities, they are not in it for the bucks.
Houston Selected as Host of 2012 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials
First time a single city is chosen for both men’s and women’s races
HOUSTON (Mar. 1, 2010) – The road to the 2012 Olympic Marathon in London will run through Houston. For the first time in the history of the U.S. Olympic Trials, one city will host the marathon for both men and women in the same year.
The 2012 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials will be held in Houston January 14, 2012, a day prior to the 40th anniversary run of the Houston Marathon. The races will determine the runners who will represent the United States in the marathon at the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
“The Houston Marathon Committee has done an outstanding job of organizing our national half marathon races over the past several years and has distinguished itself as a world-class host for championship events,” said Doug Logan, president of USA Track & Field. “Bringing both Olympic Trials marathons to Houston will allow our runners to benefit from the tremendous community and corporate support that have helped make the Houston Marathon one of the best run road races in the country.”
Houston will be hosting the women’s Olympic Marathon Trials for the second time. The city was the site of the 1992 Trials, a race won by Janis Klecker in 2:30:12. It will be the first time Houston has hosted the men’s marathon trials. New York and Boston also were considered as host sites for the 2012 races.
“We are very proud to be chosen as the Olympic Trials host city for the one of the marquee events of the Olympic Games,” said Houston Marathon Committee board chair Brant Kotch. “Through our involvement with the U.S. Half Marathon Championships, we have developed a strong partnership with USATF, and we are looking forward to having the eyes of the running world on Houston in January 2012.”
Both Trials races will be run on the morning of January 14, with the women’s event expected to start before the men’s. The specific race schedule, as well as details about the 26.2-mile course, will be announced later.
Men seeking to qualify for the race must achieve one of the following “A standards”: 2:19:00 marathon, 1:05:00 half marathon or 28:30 for 10,000m. Women’s qualifying marks include an A and B standard for the marathon (2:39:00 and 2:46:00, respectively), along with 1:15:00 for the half marathon and 33:00 for 10,000m. Complete qualifying guidelines are available on the USATF Web site – www.usatf.org.
To date, 76 men and 58 women have qualified for the Olympic Marathon Trials. The top three finishers in each race will make the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team.
About the Houston Marathon Committee, Inc.
The Houston Marathon Committee, Inc. is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization that plans a multi-race running event embodying the spirit and energy of Houston, Texas. Formed in 1972, the Committee is overseen by a board of directors, eight staff members and approximately 7,000 race-day volunteers. To learn more about the Houston Marathon Committee, visit www.houstonmarathon.com or call 713-957-3453.
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