Miles and Miles
Just not in that particular order and you left out a couple of parties.
2004 USA Olympic Team Trials – Men’s Marathon
Elite Athlete Schedule
Wednesday, February 4
6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. Pizza in the Hospitality Suite – for those of you coming in on Wednesday, we’ll have a variety of pizza and beer in the suite for you.
Thursday, February 5
Elite Hospitality Suite Opens – video of 2003 USA Men’s Marathon Championship race will be available for viewing. Computers with online access will be available for your use. An unlimited supply of bottles of Dasani, Powerade, Cokes and juices will be at your disposal to take back to your room. Snacks and desserts will be abundant. We’re making sure we have everything that each of you has asked for, so if something you’d like is not there, just ask and you shall receive (within reason of course). A keg will be available for your consumption (more so for after the race, although Eddy visited it quite often before the race last year).
Media Center Opens – this will be located in the suite below the Elite Suite. We’ll have an area in the media suite for them to conduct interviews with you during the day. We’ll let you know of any specific requests for interviews that we receive.
9:00 a.m. Trial Run of the loop with Scott Strand – media photo opportunity – for those of you who will already be in town, we’d appreciate if you’d join Scott for a one loop run/tour of the criterium part of the course (a little over 5 miles). We’ll be providing a lead truck for the media to ride on while you’re running. We want to make sure you all get good, positive press for the benefit of Men’s Long Distance Running, so please participate in this if you are coming in early.
11:00 a.m. USA Olympic Trials Athlete Press Conference – Alabama Sports Hall of Fame (across from Sheraton Birmingham)
Featuring: Alan Culpepper, Meb Kheflezghi, Dan Browne, Ryan Shay and Scott Strand – Hosted by former Olympic Marathoner & 1996 Olympic Trials Winner Keith Brantly & 2000 Olympic Trials Winner Rod DeHaven
Subway will be providing lunch for the media and any of you wanting to stick around afterwards. The driver will bring you back afterwards.
12:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Hospitality Suite Open to Families
5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. Private Dinner for Elite Athletes and family members
A very informal gathering in the hospitality suite – a variety of Subway sandwiches, salads, fruits and desserts will be available.
6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. Mercedes Marathon / Olympic Trials VIP / Sponsor Reception (you need to be there from In the Ballroom of the Sheraton Birmingham where the weekend race expo will be– we’ll
6:30 – 7:30 only) provide ongoing shuttles to and from the reception. All athletes, family members and friends are invited. There will be lots of food in case the Subways didn’t fill you up. (Email us names and addresses of your family members coming if you’d like them to receive a “formal” invitation). We will provide you with a shirt to wear to this – please bring a pair of nice khakis to wear to this. We’ll even iron them for you if need be. All we ask is for you to be there from 6:30 until 7:30 to help us score major points with our sponsors and city officials. Your families and friends are welcome to stick around for some fun so you can go get some rest afterwards. Shameless begging will occur to get you to make a brief appearance here to thank everyone that has helped pay for this event! I know some of you have been asked to private dinners and such that evening, but I’d really appreciate if you’d help us out here by making a brief appearance.
8:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. Desserts in the Hospitality Suite – the running community in Birmingham is making you all a huge variety of desserts based on all of your individual requests for the suite.
Friday, February 6
9:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m. Hospitality Suite Open
9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Course Tour – we’ll take you out to the start, drive you in and take you on one loop of the course if you’re interested.
11:00 a.m. EIP Kids Run – Bell Center for Early Intervention in Homewood
Several guys attended this last year (including Ryan Shay and Kevin Collins who came in 1st and 2nd) – once you see these little children (all under 3-years-old with physical and developmental disabilities such as Downs Syndrome, Cerebal Palsy, etc.) from one of our race charities run, walk or crawl in their own race of 50 feet, you’ll think your 26.2 mile race is a breeze! It’s definitely an experience you don’t want to miss. Those of you with children of your own should make this a must on your schedule of things to do.
12:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Mercedes Marathon Race Expo – Sheraton Birmingham
Be sure to show your athlete badge at the merchandise booth to get 30% off of any purchase. I’ve notified the staff working the booth of this, so stop by and stock up on some Trials merchandise for your family.
2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Hospitality Suite Open to Families
1:00 p.m. USA Olympic Trials Athlete Press Conference
Featuring 2003 Marathon Championship Participants (who have all run the course) Ryan Shay, Kevin Collins, Clint Verran, Jeff Campbell, Scott Strand, Brian Clas, Chris Banks, Kyle Baker, Carl Rundell, Fred Keiser, James McGown, Nate Bowen, Rick Fuller, Jason Medler, Ken Pliska, and Michael Wardian– Hosted by Keith Brantly and Rod DeHaven – Sheraton Birmingham at Race Expo.
2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Special Fluids Bottle Fill-Up/Drop-Off
5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. Trials Athlete Technical Meeting – Mandatory – no media or family – USATF officials will be there to check out your uniforms after the meeting. Please plan on bringing what you plan to wear in the race with you to this meeting so there won’t be any issues come race morning.
5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. Family Viewing 101 – How to Maximize the Trials Viewing Experience for Family Members – Crown Plaza Hotel – shuttles and drivers will be provided to family members on Saturday who wish to go to the start, then stop at several locations on the course. Interested family members should attend this meeting to sign up for the shuttle service and review where they will be stopping along the course. Everyone who did this last year had a blast, so be sure they sign up if they are interested so we’ll know how many vans and drivers we’ll need.
6:00 p.m. Pre-race dinner for Trials athletes & families – we’re working hard to provide each of you with your favorite pre-race foods. We’ll have a buffet set up for this in the Tutwiler Restaurant. Family members are welcome to join you, but will need to purchase a meal ticket at the door for $25 each. This will be a very nice, sit down dinner, so children under 12 will not be allowed to attend this dinner. We have arranged for babysitters from 5:00 – 8:00 p.m. at the Crown Plaza for everyone with children. This way, families can go to the Family meeting without having to keep up with kids and everyone can have a nice relaxing, non-stressful time at dinner. We’ll have pizza for the kids to eat and games for them to play. The University of Alabama at Birmingham Women’s Cross Country team has volunteered to provide this babysitting service.
Saturday, February 7
7:15 a.m. Athlete Shuttles to Trials start area – we will leave promptly at 7:30 and will not wait on anyone. It’s about a 15 minute drive to the start. You’ll be on your own to get to the start if you miss one of the buses. The holding area is at a YMCA with an indoor rubber floor gymnasium and running track (it’s old, so don’t expect much). An (old) outdoor track is outside with a large grassy area in the middle if you’d prefer to warm-up on the grass. The starting line is about 10 yards from the front door so it will be easy to walk up to the road to warm-up and come back in to strip down before the start. We’ll have floor mats for stretching, massage therapists, bottles of Dasani water and Powerade, snacks, gels, tea, etc. No one will be allowed into the gym building other than you guys, a few of my staff, and one USATF official who will be checking uniforms again. We’re bringing in extra portalets just outside the back door, so there will be about 18 toilets (inside and outside) available for you all with no one else being allowed to use them. (Only in the sport of running is this such an important issue!) We’ll have extra timing chips, singlets (in case yours is not allowed for some reason), NipGuards (no bleeding nipples in our pictures please), extra gloves, extra sunglasses, extra caps, extra safety pins – you name it and we’ll have it there for you in case you forget something. Scott and I own the running stores in town, so don’t hesitate to let one of us know if you forgot something important for your race. Please bring the gym bag we’ll be providing you with your name on it to stash your gear in before the race starts. We’ll have this waiting for you at the finish. I’m not one who believes in a lot of hoopla prior to the race, as you don’t need to be standing still long before the start. Since it is the Trials, we’ll have to do some sort of welcome and such, but I’ll schedule that to be several minutes before the start and only let it last a minute or two so it won’t interfere with your warm-up. The race will start promptly at 9:00 a.m. We’ll give you countdown warnings every 5 minutes starting 8:30.
7:45 a.m. Family Shuttles to Trials start area – drivers will pick them up from the Crown Plaza and take them to start and throughout the course. We’ll have a heated tent setup at the start in front of the YMCA pool house with coffee and doughnuts for them while they are waiting on the race to start. Shuttles will leave no later than 8:00 a.m.
8:00 a.m. Mercedes Marathon Hospitality 3-Mile Run Downtown YMCA
– continental breakfast provided
8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Burr Forman/Tidwell Dewitt VIP Breakfast – Hospitality Tent and Grandstand Area at Finish Line
– passes for family members will be provided
8:30 a.m. Start of 2004 Mercedes Kids Marathon – Linn Park
9:00 a.m. Start of 2004 USA Olympic Men’s Marathon Trials – Roebuck YMCA
9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Linn Park Olympic Celebration (following Kids Marathon)
11:10 – 12:00 p.m. Olympic Trials Drug Testing
11:10 – 11:15 a.m. Flash interviews with top 3 Holding Tent at Finish – we’ll review this process at the Technical Meeting
12:30 p.m. Trials Press Conference/Luncheon
Tutwiler – mandatory for the top 15 finishers to attend. Everyone is welcome, as I’m sure you’ll be a little hungry by this time.
12:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Massages and Beer – The unlimited Michelob Ultra will be flowing for you in the Elite Suite with snacks all afternoon. We’re hoping to get the tape of the race from our local NBC affiliate by this time for you to watch. We’ll have the Millrose Games on the tv where they will be doing a short feature on the race between 3:30 and 4:00. The local NBC station will be providing me with a copy of the race and a copy of their 30 minute show they are producing on the race. I’ll make sure each of you gets a copy of all of both of these soon after race weekend.
12:00 – 7:00 p.m. Mercedes Marathon Race Expo Sheraton Birmingham – don’t forget your athlete access badge to receive 30% off of everything.
2:00 p.m.- 4:00 p.m. Olympic Team Sign-up – top 5 finishers must stop by the Hospitality Suite and fill out the “official” Olympic Team entry form at this time.
4:00 p.m. USA Olympic Trials Awards Ceremony Alabama Sports Hall of Fame – Mandatory for top 15 to attend if you want your check.
5:00 – 9:00 p.m. Aramark Pasta Dinner & an IMAX Movie
McWane Center – This is the pre-race dinner for the Mercedes Marathon participants. Feel free to attend – just let us know you’d like to go (great place for families as the McWane Center is a hands-on science museum for children) and we’ll give you tickets and provide you transportation.
5:00 – 9:00 p.m. Olympic Trials VIP Party –
Sponsored by The Running Network
Alabama Sports Hall of Fame
· Big screen showing the race
· USATF officials, sponsors, media, visiting race directors, volunteers, athletes, families, coaches, etc.
· Lots of good food and beverages will be available.
Sunday, February 8
6:55 a.m. Mercedes Half-Marathon Wheelchair Division Start – presented by Lakeshore Foundation
7:00 a.m. Mercedes Marathon & Half-Marathon & Enterprise Rent-A-Car 5-Person Marathon Relay – WARNING – I made poor Ryan ride on the back of a nice $100K Mercedes convertible last year with the Princess Mercedes. We even had him throwing out confetti and noise makers to everyone. I want the winner to do the same with the Half-Marathon lead car and the number 2 & 3 guys to ride in the Marathon lead convertible. Bring something warm if you plan on being in the top 3. It’s a great chance to thank your fans and see a race from another perspective. It’s also a great media opportunity. Several women who have qualified for the Women’s Trials will be running the half, so you’ll get to watch them race. I’ll be hunting you down on Sunday morning, so just go ahead and plan on meeting me at the start area at the Sheraton at 6:45 a.m.
8:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. VIP Hospitality Blood Mary Breakfast – tent at finish area – your athlete badge will provide you access. Your family’s access badges will provide them with access as well.
9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Jim ‘n Nick’s Post-Race Celebration & Awards Ceremony – lots of free southern bbq and beer here.
11:00 a.m. Awards Ceremony – Half-Marathon
1:00 p.m. Awards Ceremony – Marathon
1:00 p.m. Course Closes
1:30 p.m. Door Prize Drawings (drawing for 2004 Mercedes M-Class – all Mercedes Marathon and Half-Marathon official finishers are eligible)
We’ll have ongoing shuttles to the airport for your return flights. Holly and Challis have most of your flight schedules and will take care of this. We’ll miss you all by this time!