What you need to know about the Olympic Marathon Trials


The Olympic marathon trials, taking place on February 29th in Atlanta, will determine the three women and three men who will represent the United States in the marathon event in the 2020 summer Olympics in Tokyo.

Runners can expect to face temperatures in the mid-high 60’s, which is average this time of year. They may encounter rain and wind as they wind the 26.2 course through the neighborhoods of Atlanta. “Highlighting Atlanta’s Olympic history and legacy, the course for the U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Marathon will take athletes on a tour of some of Atlanta’s most important attractions and neighborhoods,” the race website states.

The start and finish line is in downtown Atlanta at the Centennial Olympic Park with the male runners beginning at 12:03 p.m. and the women at 12:13 p.m. Runners will head north through Midtown, passing by several Atlanta landmarks including the Georgia Capitol building, Atlanta Falcons stadium, Atlanta Hawks stadium, and the United FC. “They will proceed three miles north on Peachtree until they pass the intersection of Peachtree and West Peachtree, then turn around and head back down Peachtree in the opposite direction, loop through Atlanta’s Old Fourth Ward neighborhood and return to downtown,” according to the race website.

Runners will complete this loop three times before turning to a 2.2 mile final loop that runs under the Rings and Torch structure from the 1996 Atlanta Olympics and crossing the finish line back at Centennial Olympic Park. A virtual course tour can be viewed here.

Participants had to qualify between September 1, 2017 and January 19, 2020 with a time of 2:19 for men and 2:45 for women.

Women are listed here with Jordan Hasay leading the group with her 2:20:57 performance at the 2017 Bank of America Chicago Marathon. Men are listed here with Galen Rupp leading the pack with his performance of 2:06:07 at the 2018 Volkswagen Prague Marathon.

Nearly 800 athletes have qualified for the event, which makes the field of competitors nearly double what it was in 2016 so it should be a great event to watch. NBC will broadcast the marathon beginning at noon.

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Mandi has been running for over 25 years and has participated in the Chicago, Detroit, and Boston Marathons. Mandi regularly competes in regional events and enjoys being a part of several running groups including CARA and the Badgerland Striders. She is a co-host on the Ten Junk Miles podcast and looks forward to hosting the Chicago Athlete Podcast. An RRCA certified coach and Les Mills certified instructor, Mandi is also a coach with Chicago Athlete Coaching. Mandi is a local government attorney by weekday and race warrior by weekend.


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