2012 USA Olympic Marathon Trials - The Course
by MarathonGuide.com Staff
A Course Like the Olympics Course
The 2012 Olympic Trials course was designed to mimic what the athletes are expected to find at the London Olympics with the idea that the runners should be tested on a course similar to what they will run on if they are lucky enough to make the Olympic team. The course was built to have the same number of out-and-back segments and loops as the expected London course - and, as Houston is relatively flat, the course had little choice but to be flat as will the London Olympics Marathon course.
Short Loop + Three Longer Loops
The 26.2 mile course begins with a short loop - approximately 2.2 miles in length and then continues with three 8 mile loops. Race organizers were clever to arrange the course such that the mile marks on each lap at the same location - the benefit of an EXACTLY 8 mile loop. Race organizers will be able to and plan to record every mile split and will be able to do that reusing eight sets of timing mats.
The men will begin their race first at 8:00AM and should clear the first loop and pass the start line in less than 12 minutes. The women will then begin their race at 8:15AM following just behind the men.
Watching the Runners
With the configuration of the course, the athletes will pass by the finisher stands and VIP spectators a total of five times. Without moving, a spectator will see the men pass by five times and the women pass by five times in almost a continual procession of runners.
For those hoping to follow a specific runner, the proximity of the out and the back sections of the course make it so that a spectator could easily see their athlete eight to ten times along the course with just a little bit of walking back and forth.
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