Saturday, January 14, 2012

Olympic Marathon Trials Showdown

Lots of drama ready to unfold in today's mens and womens Olympic Marathon Trials in Houston. The races start at 7am MT but won't be broadcast live anywhere, not even streaming. NBC is airing a tape-delayed broadcast at 1pm MT. I'm going to miss it all since I'll be en route to Chama. Can't have it all I guess.

The fields are fairly deep on both sides although the talent up top may be hard to unseat. Ryan Hall is a virtual lock. Desi Davila and Shalane Flanagan may be unshakable. I'll be rooting for the entire New Mexican contingent - Heather McNiff, Magdalena Donahue, Jesse Armijo, and Mbarak Hussein. New Mexico in the house!! Up front, I'd love to see the all-timers Meb Keflezghi and Deena Kastor hold their own. If Joan Benoit-Samuelson lines up she'd be my favorite runner all over again out of general principle. Other than all of that, I'd really like to see a darkhorse or two on either side make it a race. Someone to get out there and get after it in a brilliant run to glory. Ok, well best of luck to all the qualifiers.

There's been quite a lot of coverage and race previews pieced together about today's races. I'll list a few I've read through below.

 - Jesse Armijo Interview -
 - Women's Preview -
 - Men's Preview -
 - Houston's Wild Cards -
 - All Olympic Trials, All the Time -
 - Men's Olympic Trials Preview -
 - Women's Olympic Trials Preview -
 - 10 Long Shots for Trials Glory -

Update and Results:  Los Alamos' Heather McNiff finished 92nd in the women's race in a time of 2:46:23. Albuquerque's Jesse Armijo finished 69th in the men's race finishing in 2:22:25. Mbarak Hussein and Magdalena Donahue did not finish. Joan Benoit-Samuelson did not start even though she would've beat 20-30 runners in the field.

Olympic berths went to Meb Keflezighi (2:09:08), Ryan Hall, and Abdi Abdirahman on the men's side. Shalane Flanagan (2:25:38), Desiree Devilla, and Kara Goucher on the women's side. Both races were historically very fast and very deep.

The following Trials statistics are courtesy of Debbie Fetterman of the Dallas Morning News: The top four women finishers surpassed the previous Trial's record of 2:28:25 set by Colleen De Reuck in the 2004 race. The top four men's times were the second through fifth fastest Trials finishes of all-time. Nineteen personal bests were set in the men's field including the winner, thirty-five personal bests were set in the women's field. Prize purses for the winner's was $50,000 including a $20,000 bonus for each qualifier who makes it to the start of the London Summer Games this Fall.

Related Posts:
  - A Brief Meeting with Billy Mills
  - New Mexican Runners Chase the London Olympic Standards

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