Houston to host 2012 Olympic Marathon trials

March 1, 2010 10:26:00 AM PST
US Track and Field leaders are in the Bayou City, offering new details on the 2012 Olympic Marathon Trials. Houston is the city where the marathoners who represent the US in 2012 Olympics will be chosen. The excitement at City Hall was palpable as members of the marathon committee, the mayor's office, and US Track and Field all made the announcement. It is an unprecedented event, because both the men's and women's marathon Olympic trials will happen here. Usually those are hosted in separate cities.

US Track and Field folks say Houston has proven itself to be a world class city, capable of hosting a big sporting event like the Super Bowl and a problem-free marathon like the one we just held in January. Runners who advised US Track and Field said they like running in Houston, but there were also some very specific reasons why Houston was chosen.

"There were a lot of compelling arguments by the athletes to include a very fast course and we know that we are going to put a fast course together," said Doug Logan, CEO USA Track and Field. "The fact that the course is going to be relatively flat which is going to approximate what London is going to be. We already know what the London course is going to be. Third and really important the incidence of it being a mid-January race falls extremely well in the training cycle leading up to the games themselves in August."

The trials will take place January 14, 2012, one day before the 40th annual Houston Marathon. The bid for the marathon trials was $2 million but the marathon committee is estimating that the event will bring in $30 million to Houston businesses. So far 76 men and 58 women have qualified for the Olympic Marathon Trials. The top three finishers in each race will go on to represent the US in London at the 2012 games.