Boston, New York to host 2008 Olympic Marathon Trials

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  • #5311


    Boston, New York to host 2008 Olympic Marathon Trials

    INDIANAPOLIS – One of the most celebrated pre-Olympic events, the 2008 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials, will be hosted by two of the world's most distinguished marathon organizers. USA Track & Field on Thursday awarded the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Trials -Women's Marathon to the Boston Athletic Association and the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Men's Marathon to the New York Road Runners.

    “The successful bids from the B.A.A and NYRR to host the 2008 Olympic Marathon Trials create an opportunity to continue and expand an established working relationship,” said USATF CEO Craig A. Masback. “Working together, we will create a higher level of visibility for the sport and our athletes. Both cities will put on world-class events as our athletes attempt to fulfill their Olympic dreams, using fan-friendly race formats that will make the races even more appealing.”

    Women take to Beantown

    The B.A.A. will host the women's event on Sunday, April 20, 2008, the day before the 112th running of the Boston Marathon.

    Starting and finishing at the traditional Boston Marathon finish line on Boylston Street, the Olympic Trials race will feature a specially designed course that tours historic Boston with a one-time loop that passes Boston Public Garden, Boston Common, the State House and Beacon Hill.

    The course will then feature four loops of approximately six miles each proceeding down Commonwealth Avenue, crossing the Charles River into Cambridge using the Massachusetts Avenue Bridge, running east, then west along Memorial Drive. Runners then return from each of the Core Loops via Massachusetts Avenue.

    “There's nothing in our sport quite like the Boston Marathon and Patriots' Day weekend,” said Guy Morse, Executive Director, Boston Athletic Association. “The B.A.A. and the greater Boston running community are pleased and excited to have been selected to host the USA's best female marathoners in their Olympic quest. Like much of the City itself, the B.A.A. has worked to make this course and will work to make the next Olympic Trials experience unique to Boston. This is a downtown course in a city synonymous with running.”

    Men hit the Big Apple

    NYRR, the organization behind the world's largest marathon, leading advocate of American long distance running, and organizer of a year-round calendar of races in Central Park, successfully bid to conduct the men's Olympic Trials during the marathon weekend of November 2, 2007. The course is expected to be a criterium-style course in Central Park that will start and finish near Tavern on the Green. It will be the reverse of the loop used when NYRR hosted the USA 8K Championships from 2002 to 2004. Athletes will run the loop five times, with distance added to complete the full 42.195K of the marathon.

    “We are honored to be named as host for the 2008 Men's Olympic Marathon Trials,” said Mary Wittenberg, President and CEO of New York Road Runners. “At the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens we entered the next great era of American marathon running, as we build upon that foundation we look forward to crowning our American superstars on the ultimate stage – New York City.”

    Significant prize money

    Both events will provide $250,000 in prize money in addition to paying travel and lodging costs for athletes who achieve the Olympic Trials “A” qualifying standard of 2:39:00 for women and 2:20:00 for men. In 2004, 24 women and 14 men met the Olympic Trials “A” standard.

    In 2004, a total of 120 women and 85 men competed in their respective Olympic Trials races.

    In addition to marathon times, women can qualify by running a track time of 33:00 or faster for 10,000 meters and men can run qualifying standards by achieving track performances of 13:40 for 5,000 meters or 28:45 for 10,000 meters. Athletes who achieve these times or qualify with a marathon time faster than 2:47:00 for women and 2:22:00 for men may compete in the race but do not receive funding. There are currently 46 women and 67 men qualified to compete in the 2008 Olympic Trials Marathon.

    A one-day qualifying opportunity took place at the USA Marathon Championships hosted by the Twin Cities Marathon on October 2, 2005. The regular qualifying window for athletes to achieve their qualifying times began January 1 and will go through March 23, 2008 for women and October 7, 2007 for men. Olympic qualifying standards have not yet been set by the International Association of Athletics Federations.

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  • #20927


    So, regardless of the new (?) implementation of non-marathon qualifiers and course configuration and prize money, the women get five-plus more months than the men to qualify for the OT?  What a slap to the male athletes, USATF has let money (read: NYRRC funds) hijack the event and hose the men.  I suppose that I should not be at all surprised and do realize that anyone capable of making the team will have qualified so it is not really so bad, it would just be nice to not let money so greatly dictate these things to the obvious detriment of the athletes.  Why not have Boston host both trials races?

  • #20928


    It does seem like a slap in the face of guys who may have been on the verge of qualifying and very possibly could have been looking at a marathon like Chicago or CIM as their last chance qualifier. Now, it looks like they will have to change their plans on relatively short notice and maybe use something like Grandma's as their last chance.

  • #20929


    De Reuck, Culpepper praise trials

    Olympic Marathon Trials awarded to NYC, Boston

    By Michael Sandrock, For the Camera
    June 23, 2006

    The 2008 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials will be the most visible ever, as the men's race will be held on the weekend of the 2007 ING New York City Marathon and the women's the day before the 2008 Boston Marathon.

    Both races will be on criterium courses designed specifically for the trials, with prize purses of $250,000 for each race. The top three runners in each race qualify to represent the United States at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

    The announcement awarding the men's race to the New York Road Runners and the women's to the Boston Athletic Association was made Thursday in Indianapolis, where the U.S. national track and field championships are taking place.

    Two local marathoners with special interest in Thursday's announcement, defending Olympic Trials champions Colleen De Reuck and Alan Culpepper, both praised the decision during a national conference call.

    “This is fantastic, a great opportunity,” De Reuck said. “Being on a flat course is better for me. It's very exciting. I think an April race is fine. You have to be mentally prepared knowing you have to be ready to race in April. I think you can recover in time.”

    Culpepper called the announcement “huge for the sport. I'm just very, very excited. This is where we want to showcase our efforts. It will continue the process of elevating the athletes.”

    Added Culpepper, “I feel I have to get to work, because it's coming up.”

    Indeed, the men's Olympic Trials marathon is now 16 months away. New York Road Runners head Mary Wittenberg said on the conference call that the trials would be held on the Friday or Saturday before the Sunday, Nov. 2, 2007, ING New York City Marathon, the largest marathon in the world.

    The men's race will be held on a criterium course in Central Park, called by Wittenberg “the most beautiful urban park in the world,” finishing on the same stretch of road the mass marathon uses. According to Wittenberg, the men's trials will be a “strength runner's course.”

    The women's marathon, set for April 20, 2008, will also be on a criterium course, starting and finishing at the Boston Marathon start line. Race organizer Guy Morse called the loop course his club is designing a “beautiful, downtown course in a city synonymous with running. Our expectations are high.”

    Boulder's De Reuck is a four-time Olympian while Culpepper, who lives in Lafayette, has competed in two Olympics. The two have different expectations when it comes to making another Olympic team.

    De Reuck, who was injured this spring, said with a laugh, “I will be happy to be on the start line (at the trials).”

    Culpepper, however, said he is training with a focus of defending his Olympic trials title.

    “That is my full intent,” he said. “I want to put myself in position to win another Olympic trials.”

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