Today was an amazing day for marathon running. Houston, Texas was the stage for all the qualified contenders to race for a spot on this year’s United States Olympic marathon team. The team has been determined and Team USA is going to be strong in London this summer.
Marathoners across the country have been busting their tails to even make the qualifications for the trials. For a man to enter the trials he had to run a 2:19 or better marathon, a 1:05 or better half marathon, or a 28:30 or better 10K race. The women’s standards for “A-Standard” qualification is a time of 2:39 or better in the marathon. “A-Standard” qualifiers receive a paid trip to the trials, there is no “B-Standard” for the men anymore. However, the “B-Standard” remains for the women. These women are entered based on a 2:39:01-2:46 marathon, a 1:15 or better half, or a 33:00 10K. The field was big this year and it was full of amazingly fast runners. The top three male and female finishers made the Olympic Team for this summer’s London games.
Our men’s team set records with their trials performance today. This was the first time three Americans finished the marathon under 2:10 in U.S. Trials history. That shows just how intense these men were running.
- The first place winner was 36-year old Meb Keflezighi with a time of 2:09:08, a new personal record for him!
- Ryan Hall was second with a time of 2:09:30 and was shouting “We are going!” to his wife as he crossed the finish line.
- Abdi Abdirahman grabbed his spot on the team with a time of 2:09:47, sending him to his fourth Olympic competition.
The women’s race started 15 minutes after the men and was just as exciting. There were many fan favorites and unknown expectations about this race.
- First place finisher Shalane Flanagan broke the tape at a time of 2:25:37, setting a women’s Olympic trials record.
- Desi Davila came in second with a time of 2:25:55. Davila was a crowd favorite as she was runner-up at the 2011 Boston Marathon.
- Kara Goucher ran a smart race and came in third with a time of 2:26:06. This will be her second Olympic appearance as she raced the 5,000 and 10,000 meter in Beijing.
It’s hard not to chant U-S-A today! We have so much much to be proud of. These impressive races will be broadcast today at 3 PM ET on NBC. It’ll be like watching a great movie after having read the fantastic book, I can’t wait!