HOUSTON - 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 of the Houston Marathon. The race 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 hose 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 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 the 10,000m. Complete qualifying guidelines are available on the USATF website 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.