FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Revamped Olympic Trials Marathon Course Unveiled in Houston
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
For a look at the new 2012 Olympic Trials Marathon course map, visit
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
About the Houston Marathon Committee, Inc.
Established in 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 the 1992 U.S.
Women's Olympic Marathon Trials, HMC will host the 2012 U.S. Men's and
Women's Olympic Marathon Trials on January 14, 2012.
For more information, visit houstonmarathon.com or call (713) 957-3453.