Jan 14, 2012
Videos, results and highlights from the 2012 Olympic Marathon Trials in Houston, Texas on January 14, 2012. All the best will be fighting for a spot on the US Olympic team to represent the country at the London Olympic Games in August 2012. Expect to see Dathan Ritzenhein, Ryan Hall, Meb Keflezighi, the Black Cactus, Brett Gotcher, Deena Kastor, Desiree Davila, Kara Goucher, Shalane Flanagan, Amy Hastings and many more step to the line for there chance to get to London.
USOC Athlete Selection Procedure for USA Track & Field at the Olympic Games
Jun 21, 2012
A standard, B standard...Who gets in to the Olympic Games?
Jun 21, 2012There has been a lot of questions as to who will be getting into the Olympic Games based on the qualifying procedures around athletes hitting A and B standard marks. Based on the rules it is safe to say that NO athlete will qualify in for Team USA that does not have an Olympic A standard in a running/track event. This really changes the dynamic of most races from 800 meters and up because many of the athletes will have to make sure the pace of the race is at the pace of an Olympic A standard mark if they want a chance. Check out the excerpt below from an official USOC document on the athlete selection procedure. The paragraphs highlighted in red we found most relevant in the explanation:
Olympic Trials Reflection
Feb 6, 2012It has been 3 weeks since I ran in my first Olympic Trials Marathon and have really enjoyed some relative down time (6 days off) to reset the body in preparation for a spring campaign. Although my official time in Houston was a far cry from what I am capable of accomplishing, I am 100% proud of it.
Brett Gotcher Interview
Jan 17, 2012
Athletes in Houston Assess their chances at 2012 Marathon Trials
Jan 13, 2012ATHLETES ASSESS THEIR CHANCES AT MARATHON TRIALSBy David Monti(c) 2012 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved. Used with permission.HOUSTON (13-Jan) -- Poked and prodded by reporters here yesterday, athletes competing in tomorrow's USA Olympic Marathon Trials gave their assessments of their fitness and their chances in the race. Here some excerpts from with they said (comments have been edited and condensed):Nick Arciniaga (McMillan Elite/adidas):"Put $100 on place," he said if you were betting on him. "A lot of guys have better credentials, but you've got to have it on race day."Brett Gotcher (McMillan Elite/adidas):"I'm always the kind of buy who likes to be under the radar, but right there," he said of his racing tactics. "You have to have the confidence to hold back. You have to make game-time decisions and be confident with it." He added: "Everyone who is toeing the line thinks they have a shot."Stephanie Rothstein (McMillan Elite/adidas):"I see it going fast, but controlled," she predicted of the early pace. "We see how Desi (Davila) runs and how her coaches are (they like to push the pace). I have a lot of confidence running on my own in a marathon."Jason Lehmkuhle (Team USA Minnesota/Saucony):"It's been the most seamless preparation since the the last Trials. Every year the competition gets deeper with more guys moving up the marathon. I've run a PR (personal record) every year since age 30 (at different distances). Have I figured out the marathon? I don't know. I don't know if that's happened for me yet. There will certainly be some pain and carnage; that's part of the game of the marathon."Shalane Flanagan (Nike Oregon Track Club):"It's just a really harsh event. There's still something which can go wrong; that's the nature of the marathon. I'm prepared for anything and everything. Jerry (Schumacher, her coach) prepared us physically for all times of scenarios. On any given day, anything can happen. We could leave a medal contender home. To me (the Trials system) is fair."Janet Cherobon-Bawcom (MarathonGuide.com):"It makes me feel great to come from some local races in Alabama (to this level). Flagstaff is awesome, but the weather is a little unpredictable. In November, we had two feet of snow." On the possibility of making the team: "It would be crazy. This (America) is where I learned everything about running (she was not a runner in Kenya). It's been amazing."Kara Goucher (Nike Oregon Track Club):On getting hit by a car while training in Las Vegas last month: "It scared the guy (driver) more than me." On parting ways with her previous coach Alberto Salazar: "I ate a lot of ice cream and cried a lot." On the fairness of the Trials as a team selection method: "How would you select the team? The only person we would put in there is Desi (Davila, who had the fastest qualifying time). The most fair way is to put everybody out there and have at it." On her fitness: "This is so different than when I qualified for the last Olympics at Beijing. Then, I had more room for error." (she also said that her son, Colt, would be with her mother and her sister in the family viewing area).Desiree Davila (Hansons-Brooks):"It went very well," she said of her training. "The best one so far." On the possibility of a a fast race: "I prefer an honest race, but I don't mind sitting around and waiting." Of her position as the top athlete in the Hansons group: "I don't know if I consider myself a leader. I don't think there is one person who stands out in the group." On Deena Kastor's ability to rally and make a fourth Olympic Team: "I'm unsure; she's Deena Kastor so you can't count her out. She can always surprise you." On the possibility of making the team with her Arizona State roommate Amy Hastings: "That would pretty much be the best thing ever."Amy Hastings (Mammoth Track Club/Brooks):On the possibility of making the team with her former Arizona State roommate Desiree Davila: "Absolutely! We've been thinking about it from eight to nine years ago. I just can't imagine anything better. (But) neither of us will give each other an inch. I know how bad she wants it and how hard she's been working." On the chances of her MTC teammate Deena Kastor: "Everybody should always be worried about Deena. She's doing very well." On her training: "Every day I go to practice with this race on my mind. I'm not sure (what will happen), but I'll do whatever it takes."
My Houston Trials
Jan 13, 2012Houston: Home to the 2012 US Olympic Marathon Trials; my surprise home for three months during the winter and spring of 2005 and 2006. Life can change in an instant, in November 2005, when my dad asked me and my five siblings to show up for a doctor’s appointment in San Diego, everything did. The doctor delivered the news: our dad had stage four cancer and seven months to live. I felt like I couldn’t breath. I discovered two realities that day: We’re all one moment away from our knees. When a family member gets cancer, the whole family gets cancer.
Enjoy the Moment
Jan 12, 2012I’m not a fan of a blogging, but this is a special occasion, and Fenton made a request. Today, as I prepared serum samples for dialysis in a laboratory at Penn State, my mind wondered back to the emotions and feelings I had four years ago at this time. Four years ago, I was a lot more nervous, more fit, and more confident in where I was going in life. I’m glad my nerves are getting a break, but honestly, I miss the feeling of being on the edge of something big. Since my retirement from running, life has moved on. I graduated in December from Penn State (could be seen as a positive or a negative right now) with a Master’s degree in Biotechnology, I have two healthy kids, and both my wife and I are closer to our families. At first, there was a bit of panic and uncertainty getting back to the academic grind, but that has passed. However, thinking about this upcoming weekend my mind wonders back to life four years ago. There was something to be said for the gratification of being in the best shape of my life; knowing that because of the work that I put in, I could run 5 minute mile pace for a marathon. It was nice to be at the top of something, and being there is something I miss greatly. I never had even a faint hope of a comeback. I did what I wanted to do, and after the Olympics (and especially the 2009 New York City Marathon) my body said it was time to be done. But running has not left me. I still get those competitive juices flowing every time I crank out a workout (albeit short and slower) with one of the guys I run with here in the mornings, and it makes me think that I might still be able to give it a go. But then I remember that it took three hard workouts a week, as well as 160 plus miles of volume to get there, and that makes me change my mind in a hurry. I suppose the point of this rambling is to say congratulations to all of 2012’s qualifiers and enjoy the moment on Saturday. I’m rooting for (just about) everyone in the field, as I have been on US teams, college teams, or at Hanson’s-Brooks with just about half the field. I know how much I miss my “moment” and I wish everyone the best of luck in reaching their goals this weekend.
Can Ryan Hall Be Beat?
Jan 12, 2012California’s Ryan Hall is the favorite to win the Olympic Trials Marathon on Jan. 14th, but he’s not going to tell you that. He’s not going to tell you how many miles he’s running, any details of his workouts, or if he has a race plan come race day. The 28 year-old man to beat is playing coy, but he will tell his goal - “to get everything out of me that God has put in me.” And that’s bad news for everyone else racing, because what “God” has put in him this past year is a 2:04 and a 2:08 marathon. One can wind adjust that 2:04 however they want, but those times are the two fastest by an American going into the trials, by over a minute. Ryan Hall is not the most decorated American marathoner running, that would be Meb Keflezighi, but on the right day, he’s the best we have. The men who’ve beaten him Meb(NYC ‘09), Ritz(Olympics ‘08), and Trafeh(Houston ‘11), all go into the race with question marks: Meb’s on a short rebound with just 69 days between the New York City Marathon and the Trials in Houston, and he’s been dealing with injuries to boot. Ritz, perpetually injured, hasn’t raced further than 5k in over a year. He’s also yet to find the same success in the marathon as he’s had in shorter distances. And Trafeh, though coming off a fast 1:01 half in China, is unproven in the marathon, having dropped out of his London debut back in April. The possibility of a Galen Rupp debut is also not throwing Hall off. “I don’t spend any time thinking about the other guys. I pray for them and wish the best for them…” And they‘re probably going to need it. Short of details, he says his training has gone as well as he could have hoped. “I haven’t missed one workout due to sickness or injury, so that is all you can hope for going into a marathon.” As for mileage, “I never add up my mileage anymore, so I couldn‘t tell you what it is, but I will say it‘s somewhere as in the same neighborhood as previous to Chicago and Boston. Taking one day off per week really reduces my weekly volume. I think the mileage game can hurt you more than it can help you sometimes.” And for a tune-up race, Hall says he never considered one as, “God never put the thought in my mind.” The densely religious Hall has become a bit of an anomaly in the U.S. marathon game. Since leaving the Mammoth Track Club in a widely criticized decision in October of ‘10 to become self-coached and train alone, he has incorporated a day off per week to avoid the burnout that forced him out of the 2010 Chicago Marathon. So far, the moves have worked. He’s run two of his three fastest times and remains a major marathon podium threat, as well as dominant among the Americans(which counts for something, regardless of what Phil Hersh thinks). It’s his consistency that makes him such a favorite. Since smashing the AR in the Half in ‘07, Hall has become a pure marathoner. He hasn’t run slower than 2:10 in his last 5 races. No Americans at this point are close to his level of talent. He’s split faster half’s in 6 of his marathons than 2/3 of the Trials entrants half qualifying times. His 1:02:56 first half split from Chicago would rank him 10th(Boston would put him 3rd). A fast early pace suits him best and if he takes the race out in anything close to 14:30, as he‘s capable, we could see a lot of carnage on the roads of Houston, and it would make sense for him to do that - he’s the only one who’s proven he can hang on to it. But the favorites not showing any cards. “My plan is to stay close to God and to listen to the body He has given me.” Hall said. “He hasn’t given me a plan yet and usually doesn’t, so I listen to Him during the race.” It’s either going to take someone having a very good day, or Hall having a very bad day for him to not be standing on the middle podium Jan. 14th. He can play coy all he wants, but we know what he can do. This is his race to lose.
WOMEN'S HOUSTON UPDATES - 2012 Olympic Marathon Trials Mile by Mile Updates
Jan 11, 2012LIVE Houston 2012 Olympic Marathon Trials
Its hard to comprehend how things turned
Jan 11, 2012As I finish up 2011 and look forward to 2012, it's almost hard to comprehend how things turned out like they did. At the beginning of 2011 I was a new US Citizen who'd had the wind taken out of my sails by the new IAAF rule that imposed the 2-year waiting period. I had resigned myself to continuing to race the same road circuit as in the past, and I was grateful to pick up a little extra money at non-championship races that still offered a US citizen division, and I was planning to run New York City as my first “serious” marathon. I had begun working with Jack Daniels, my husband's schooling had taken us to Flagstaff, and all my thoughts and energies were focused on November 6th.