2012 Olympic Marathon Trials

The 2012 Olympic Marathon Trials are being held this weekend in Houston, TX, the day before the 2012 Houston Marathon.  It promises to be one of the most exciting races in years.  This is the first time that both the men’s and women’s race will be held in the same city, on the same day!  The 2008 Olympic Trials were in different cities, four months apart – the men’s race was in Central Park (day before 2007 NYC Marathon in November) and the women’s race was in Boston (day before 2008 Boston Marathon in April)

(Note: Unfortunately, due to Internet rights, there will be NO live streaming of this event.  NBC will be airing a 2-hour national tape-delay Saturday afternoon, Jan 14  -> check your local listings for more information.  Additionally, Runner’s World will be providing coverage of both races in near-real time with live text coverage – follow this link for more information.  You can also follow tweets using the hashtag #Houston2012)


Date/Time: Saturday, Jan 14th.  The men begin at 9am EST (8am in Houston) and the women start 15 min later (9:15 EST)

Source: http://www.houston2012.com/

Course: Flat, 3-loop course in downtown Houston (each loop is approximately 8+ miles). Click here for a downloadable version.

Weather Forecast: Perfect racing weather!!  Temperatures should be in the mid-30s at race start and gradually increase to mid-40s by the end of the race (Complete forecast can be found here)

Number of Runners: 158 men have qualified for the Olympic Trials; 225 women (Note: not all who have qualifying times will be running).  Runner’s world estimates approximately 100 men should toe the line (many men qualified in shorter distance races and are not expected to participate) while nearly all the females who qualified will likely race (most women qualified with marathon times). For a complete list of all those who qualified, click here.

Qualifying Times: Men – sub-2:19; women – sub-2:46.  Runners can also qualify with half-marathon (sub-1:05 and sub-1:15) or 10k (sub-28:30 and sub-33:00) times. *To put these times into perspective for you: The next time you are on the treadmill, set it to either 9.5 mph (6:18 pace) or 11.3 mph (5:18 pace) and (try to) run a mile -> these are the paces that females and males, respectively, have to maintain for 26.2 miles (and that’s just qualify for the trials)!!

Who moves forward: The top 3 male and female runners will represent the U.S. at the 2012 Olympics in London this summer.

Source: racingnews.runnersworld.com

Women’s Favorites: Five of the most well-known female marathon runners are all running: Desiree Davila, Shalane Flanagan, Kara Goucher, Magdalena Lewy Boulet, and Deena Kastor.  Davila has run two of the three fastest American times the last two years, including a 2nd-place finish of 2:22:38 at Boston in 2011 (she lost by 2 seconds). Goucher was fifth in that race in a PR (by over a minute) of 2:24: 52, just 6 1/2 months after giving birth.  After a recent coaching change, Goucher and Flanagan have been training together in preparation for this race. While Flanagan‘s time of 2:28: 40 is not as speedy as the other two, it was good enough for a 2nd-place finish for the tough course at the 2010 NYC Marathon. Kastor, the only American women to ever run sub-2:20, is running; however, her age and recent marathon times (qualifying time of 2:36:20) do not make her a favorite. Boulet, a member of the 2008 US Olympic Team (before she had to pull out due to injury) and holding the third fastest qualifying time (2:26:22), is also considered a contender.  The women’s field is being touted as the most competitive ever – to read the  10 Women to Watch,  click here.

Source: nolimitsever.blogspot.com

Men’s Favorites: Three males are considered to be heavy favorites – Ryan Hall, Meb Keflezighi, and Dathan Ritzenhein. Up until three days ago, Galen Rupp, the American 10,000-meter record holder, was set to run the race as well; however, he withdrew his name this past Saturday in order to concentrate on the 10,000-meter race for London (full story can be found here).  Hall is expected to be a shoe-in for the race – he is the fastest American in history and has a qualifying time more than 4 minutes faster than the next runner.  Keflezighi, the 2009 NYC Marathon Champion, made a great show at the NYC Marathon this past November after battling injuries the past few years. He has the 2nd-fastest qualifying time (2:09:13). Ritzenhein was ninth in the 2008 Olympic Games and is expected to make a strong show on Saturday.  To read the 11 Men to Watch, click here.

Stories of Everyday Runners:
Wendy Thomas – 32 y/o mother of 2
Local NYC Runners (12 local runners)


Think you know which females are going to come in the top 3?  Check out @FasterBunny‘s  blog to “place your bet” and you could win an AMEX gift card and 2 tubes of Nuun!


Websites to check out: 

Official Website of the 2012 Olympic Marathon Trials

Basic Facts of the 2012 Olympic Marathon Trials

US Women’s Olympic Marathon Trials Preview

10 Women to Watch

11 Men to Watch

Q&A with Kara Goucher

The U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials: How They Got There


Who are YOUR favorites?  Who do you think will win?

Is anyone going to be watching the 2012 Olympic Marathon Trials in Houston??  Let us know so we can follow your tweets!!

To follow the coverage on Twitter, use the hashtag #Houston2012

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    21 thoughts on “2012 Olympic Marathon Trials

    1. Pingback: U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials 2012! | 30 Something Mother Runner

      • It’s so hard to pick a favorite b/c I really like them all! I’ve been a Kara fan for years – we were both pregnant at the same time (with Paula too) – she was due a few months before me and loved that there was so much press about running during pregnancy!

    2. I just read the RW article about Desi and I’d like to see her do well. I’m gonna definitely keep my radar up for the race updates this weekend!

    3. I’m looking forward to the trials and am soo excited for Desiree!! She really deserves a spot on the team. Great post!! My friend Margot is having a contest on her blog regarding top 3 females that make the team. here’s the link http://www.fasterbunny.com!

      love your blog and look forward to learning & reading more!! :)

      • I’m so glad you found me!! Are you on twitter??? And do you have a blog? I love reading new ones =)
        And I already contacted your friend Marg – I am going to enter her contest – SO fun! Thanks for telling me!

    4. Oh I love this post!! I am actually running in the Houston Marathon on Sunday and am going to watch the Olympic trials on Saturday! We don’t run on the same exact course as the Olympic trials but the marathon course is famous for being fast and flat and I am hoping to PR! I am so excited and this post just made me smile! :-) This will be my first marathon since having a baby exactly one year ago. I am a little nervous, anxious and ready to RUN!! Good to know that the Olympic trials will be on TV later. I’m not sure how much we will see since my husband and I will be toting around our 12 month-old!

      • No way!! I’m going to have to follow your tweets! Are you planning to tweet live coverage?!??
        GOOD LUCK on Sunday! What time are you hoping to run?? And congrats on running with a 1 yr old! =)

        • Thanks! I would love to tweet my progress but I am not sure if they are doing that. On their website so far all I can see is text and email updates. I just emailed them about twitter updates so hopefully that is an option! I am hoping to break 3:20…. :-)

          • I’d be surprised if they don’t – most of the bigger races have that option now! I hope they do =)
            3:20 is awesome! My current PR is 3:21:32…I’m training for sub-3:10 right now!
            GOOD LUCK, Tia =)

      • I’m beyond excited, Jess. I think I’m going to stay away from twitter and the news and watch the rebroadcast at 3pm!! I want to watch the whole race as if it were live =)

    5. thank you for doing all this homework for us! I didn’t know there was going to be a rebroadcast–so excited to watch it!

      I’m pulling for Kastor and Davila. After that I don’t really care. Oh and Ryan Hall and Meb, but I think they’re a given. I think the women’s field is probably a bit deeper than the men’s in terms of the top three this year. Should be so much fun!

      • I’m a huge fan of Ryan and Meb so I would love to see the two of them crush it!
        I would love to see Davila win. She was such an underdog at Boston and I was crushed that she lost by 2 sec!! I think the girls race is going to be extremely exciting to watch though – it’s really going to be up for grabs!!

      • I know! I was slightly interested for the men’s race in 2007 but was deployed in 2008 so missed the females! I wish I lived closer to Houston – I would go watch!