The course, in my mind, well-intentioned, needed some work, in terms of footing (between miles 8-10) and the concern over the 90 degree turns on the course. In speaking to our LDR contacts, and the team from Houston, the good news was that they were quickly on the same page.
In a wellwritten release, the Houston Marathon committee & USA Track & Field reviewed the course and did some significant changes on the course, making the run counter-clockwise for the first 2.2 mile loop then three loops on an 8 mile loop. The counterclockwise allows fans and runners to experience a 190 meter final straightaway.
A gentle suggestion might be for the Houston Marathon Committee and USA Track & Field to invite some key runners to run the loops and make some comments about said changes. In our world, that is good public relations.
In my mind, we should have competitions on both sides that will rival any Olympic Trials for the marathons that we have ever had! And in each case, somewhere, for both men & women, just finishing 1,000 meter repeats or a tempo run, is the surprise third placer that I will be writing about in nine months and two weeks…
USA Track & Field
Associate Director, Marketing & LDR Programs
Revamped Olympic Trials Marathon course unveiled in Houston
INDIANAPOLIS – The
Houston Marathon Committee and USA Track & Field have announced
that the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Marathon
course has been modified based on feedback received from athletes and
coaches after a first run of the course at the USA Half Marathon
Championships last January where the top U.S. men and women “test drove”
the multi-loop course. Houston will host the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team
Trials – Marathon on Saturday, January 14, 2012, a first for a single
city to host both the men’s and women’s Olympic Trials races at the same
“The first iteration of the Olympic
Trials Marathon course used in the USA Half Marathon Championships was a
balance between the request for an eight-mile loop to emulate London
and ever-present city traffic concerns,” said Brant Kotch, president and
race director of the Houston Marathon Committee. “We have now modified
the route to minimize and reconfigure the out-and-back sections, and we
believe that the revised course will be very positively received by
athletes and spectators alike. Moreover, the new route
be even faster than the Champs version, which actually produced
finishing times that were faster than had been predicted by
The improved 2012 course will
feature a one-time 2.2-mile inner loop followed by an eight-mile loop
traversed three times. With only one broad u-turn on the eight-mile
loop, faster marathon times are expected. The relatively flat course has
a similar configuration to the 2012 Olympic Marathon multi-loop,
multi-turn eight-mile course in London.
additional change from 2011 will have the Olympic hopefuls in 2012
running counterclockwise over the entire course. This will result in a
roughly 190-meter straightaway leading to the finish line, also a
benefit to both athletes and spectators. The course will start and
finish in front of the George R. Brown Convention Center, the home base
for the Houston Marathon weekend events (January 14-15). The Olympic
Trials will start at 8:00 a.m.
For a look at the new 2012 Olympic Trials Marathon course map, visit www.usatf.org/events/2012/
To-date, 109 U.S. men and 143 U.S. women have qualified for the
2012 Olympic Trials Marathon. The top 150 male and female distance
runners are expected to compete in Houston January 2012 to qualify for
the six coveted spots on the U.S. Olympic marathon team for the London
2012 Olympic Games next summer.
About the Houston Marathon Committee, Inc.
in 1972, the Houston Marathon Committee, Inc. (HMC), a Running USA
Founding Member, annually organizes the nation’s premier winter
marathon, half-marathon, 5K and kids’ fun run. In 2011, more than 30,000
runners participated in four race weekend events organized by 7,500
volunteers, creating Houston’s largest single-day sporting event. In
addition to hosting numerous world-renowned road races, including the
USA Men’s and Women’s Half Marathon Championships since 2005 and 2007
respectively, and the 1992 U.S. Women’s Olympic
Trials, HMC will host the 2012 U.S. Men’s and Women’s Olympic Team
Trials – Marathon on January 14, 2012.
About USA Track & Field
USA Track &
Field (USATF) is the National Governing Body for track & field,
long-distance running and race walking in the United States. USATF
encompasses the world’s oldest organized sports, the World’s #1 Track
& Field Team, the most-watched events at the Olympics, the #1 high
school and junior high school participatory sport, and more than 30
million adult runners in the United States: www.usatf.org.
Leave a Reply