HOUSTON (May 9, 2011) – The Houston Marathon Committee and USA Track & Field have announced that the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Marathon
course has been modified based on feedback received from athletes and
coaches after a first run of the course at the USA Half Marathon
Championships last January where the top U.S. men and women “test
drove” the multi-loop course. Houston will host the 2012 U.S. Olympic
Team Trials – Marathon on Saturday, January 14, 2012, a first for a
single city to host both the men’s and women’s Olympic Trials races at
the same event.
“The first iteration of the Olympic
Trials Marathon course used in the USA Half Marathon Championships was
a balance between the request for an eight-mile loop to emulate London
and ever-present city traffic concerns,” said Brant Kotch, president
and race director of the Houston Marathon Committee. “We have now
modified the route to minimize and reconfigure the out-and-back
sections, and we believe that the revised course will be very
positively received by athletes and spectators alike. Moreover, the new
route should be even faster than the Champs version, which actually
produced finishing times that were faster than had been predicted by
The improved 2012 course will feature a
one-time 2.2-mile inner loop followed by an eight-mile loop traversed
three times. With only one broad u-turn on the eight-mile loop, faster
marathon times are expected. The relatively flat course has a similar
configuration to the 2012 Olympic Marathon multi-loop, multi-turn
eight-mile course in London.
One additional change from 2011 will
have the Olympic hopefuls in 2012 running counterclockwise over the
entire course. This will result in a roughly 190-meter straightaway
leading to the finish line, also a benefit to both athletes and
spectators. The course will start and finish in front of the George R.
Brown Convention Center, the home base for the Houston Marathon weekend
events (January 14-15). The Olympic Trials will start at 8:00 a.m.
For a look at the new 2012 Olympic Trials Marathon course map, visit Houston2012.com.
To-date, 109 U.S. men and 143 U.S. women
have qualified for the 2012 Olympic Trials Marathon. The top 150 male
and female distance runners are expected to compete in Houston January
2012 to qualify for the six coveted spots on the U.S. Olympic marathon
team for the London 2012 Olympic Games next summer.
About the Houston Marathon Committee, Inc.
1972, the Houston Marathon Committee, Inc. (HMC), a Running USA
Founding Member, annually organizes the nation’s premier winter
marathon, half-marathon, 5K and kids’ fun run. In 2011, more than
30,000 runners participated in four race weekend events organized by
7,500 volunteers, creating Houston’s largest single-day sporting event.
In addition to hosting numerous world-renowned road races, including
the USA Men’s and Women’s Half Marathon Championships since 2005 and
2007 respectively, and the 1992 U.S. Women’s Olympic Marathon Trials,
HMC will host the 2012 U.S. Men’s and Women’s Olympic Team Trials –
Marathon on January 14, 2012.
For more information, visit houstonmarathon.com or call 713.957.3453.
About USA Track & Field
Track & Field (USATF) is the National Governing Body for track and
field, long-distance running and race walking in the United States.
USATF encompasses the world’s oldest organized sports, some of the
most-watched events of Olympic broadcasts, the #1 high school and
junior high school participatory sport and more than 30 million adult
runners in the United States.
For more information on USATF, visit www.usatf.org.
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