FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Olympic Hopefuls to Test Drive
2012 Olympic Trials Marathon Course in Houston
INDIANAPOLIS - The Houston Marathon Committee, in conjunction with
presenting sponsor Aramco Services Company, has announced that the
country's best distance runners and Olympic hopefuls will compete at the
2011 USA Half Marathon Championships on Saturday, January 29, 2011, one day
prior to the 39th Chevron Houston Marathon. The championships will give
athletes a chance to preview the course for the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team
Trials - Marathon, which will be held on January 14, 2012.
"We had some very basic information about early versions of the proposed
Olympic course in London that proved beneficial to our course design," said
Brant Kotch, Race Director and President of the Houston Marathon Committee.
"Of course, the confluence of the already-awarded 2011 USA Half Marathon
Championships together with the awarding of the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team
Trials - Marathon was just too great an opportunity to pass up. This
preview should bring out the country's strongest Olympic marathon hopefuls
The eight-mile loop route will give U.S. athletes a "test drive" of the
2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials course which is similar to the 2012 Olympic
marathon multi-loop eight-mile course in London. The national championships
will also allow athletes to experience the Houston Marathon Committee's
operating plans for the 2012 Trials.
"Getting a preview of the course while in race mode will be an invaluable
experience for anyone hoping to run in the 2012 Olympic Marathon Trials,"
said 2009 USA Half Marathon champion and 2008 Olympian Magdalena Lewy
Boulet. "There's no better way to begin to mentally prepare for a race then
to actually race it. I'm excited to return to Houston to run another USA
Half Marathon Championship."
The 2011 USA Half Marathon Championships will mark Houston's seventh and
fifth year to host the men's and women's national half marathon
championships respectively. Last January, Antonio Vega and 2008 Olympic
bronze medalist Shalane Flanagan won U.S. titles in 1:01:54 and 1:09:41,
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 events at the same Olympic Trials. To-date, 93 U.S. men and 111
U.S. women have qualified for the 2012 Trials. The top 150 male and female
distance runners are expected to compete in Houston January 2012 to qualify
six marathon runners for the U.S. Olympic Team at the London Olympic Games.
The general public has been given an exciting opportunity to run with elite
athletes competing in the 2011 USA Half Marathon Championships on the same
course that will determine the U.S. Olympic Marathon Team in 2012. A
limited number of "Olympic experience" VIP packages are available to the
public. Details about the VIP packages can be found on the event website
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 2010, 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 2007
respectively, and the 1992 U.S. Women's Olympic Marathon Trials, HMC will
host the 2012 U.S. Men's and Women's Olympic Team Trials - Marathon on
January 14, 2012.
For more information contact Jennifer Smollen Carmouche at
or call 713.957.3453.
About USA Track & Field
USA Track & Field (USATF) is the National Governing Body for track & field,
long-distance running and race walking in the United States. USATF
encompasses the world's oldest organized sports, the World's #1 Track &
Field Team, the most-watched events at the Olympics, the #1 high school and
junior high school participatory sport, and more than 30 million adult
runners in the United States: www.usatf.org.