Over 300 Have Entered USA Olympic Trials Marathon
by David Monti
(c) Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved
(18-Dec) -- Over 300 athletes have entered the USA Olympic Trials Marathon, scheduled for Saturday, January 14, in Houston. Regular on-line entries had to be completed by 5:00 p.m. Eastern time last Friday, but USA Track & Field (USATF) will accept late entries through next Wednesday, December 21, until 5:00 p.m. Eastern time.
On the men's side, 122 athletes have entered so far out of 159 qualifiers (the 2008 Trials had 131 entrants). For the women's competition, 201 have entered out of 227 qualifiers (vs. 153 entrants in 2008). USATF reported that all of the 122 men are "qualified," meaning that their qualifying marks had been accepted. All but two of the women --Atalelech Asfaw, who switched her citizenship from Ethiopia, and Nicole Hagobian, whose submitted mark is six seconds outside of the required minimum marathon qualifying time of 2:46:00-- are listed as "qualified."
Interestingly, USA 10,000m record holder Galen Rupp has entered the Trials. Rupp's longest race to date was last March's NYC Half-Marathon where he ran 1:00:30 in his debut. It is unknown whether he plans to run in the Trials, but like all of the men entered in the race he is considered an "A" qualifier, meaning all of his travel, lodging and meal expenses will be paid by race organizers, the Houston Marathon Committee.
Athletes who submitted regular entries prior to last Friday's deadline, paid an entry fee of $50. Late entrants will pay $100. With 323 entries already recorded, USATF has collected $16,150 in entry fees (those fees do not go to the local organizing committee). Athletes who wish to start the race must declare their intention to start the race by January 10, at noon Eastern time, although petitions for late declaration will be accepted on January 12 from noon to 5:00 p.m. Central time. There is an additional $100 fee for submitting a late declaration.
The USA Olympic Marathon Trials are the only one-day competitions in the world where two entire Olympic Marathon teams will be selected based on a top-3 finish.