2016 Women's and Men's U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials to Be Hosted by the City of Los Angeles on February 13, 2016

Today USA Track & Field, the U.S. Olympic Committee, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, and LA MARATHON LLC announced that the City of Los Angeles will host the Women’s and Men’s 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Marathon.

The 2016 Olympic Trials will be held February 13, 2016. With separate starts, the men’s and women’s races both will be carried in their entirety on NBC. The 2016 Olympic Games will take place in Brazil.

In winning the bid, LA MARATHON LLC proposed a February race date that accommodates an NBC broadcast and ensures athletes optimal time to recover should they choose to run in the 2016 Olympic Trials for Track & Field in June.

Now for the other interesting news in the announcement...the LA Marathon will follow a day later, on February 14, 2016. For those of you who have followed the LA Marathon in the past, this should sound unusual to you. In the history of the LA Marathon going back to 1986, the LA Marathon has never been run (literally and figuratively) in February. In all years with the exception of 2009 (when the marathon took place in late May), the LA Marathon took place in March.

Start times and specifics on the criterium courses for both the men’s and women’s races will be determined in coming months

USA Track & Field (USATF) is the National Governing Body for track and field, long-distance running and race walking in the United States. USATF encompasses the world's oldest organized sports, some of the most-watched events of Olympic broadcasts, the country’s #1 high school and junior high school participatory sport and more than 30 million adult runners in the United States. For more information on USATF, visit www.usatf.org.

LA MARATHON LLC is a leading U.S. running organization dedicated to inspiring the athlete in every runner and connecting communities through health and fitness.  The LA Marathon is among the largest marathons in the country with more than 25,000 participants, thousands of volunteers and hundreds of thousands of spectators. The “Stadium to the Sea” course, starting at Dodger Stadium and finishing near the Santa Monica Pier, is one of the most scenic in the world, taking runners on a tour of Los Angeles past every major landmark. The race has been named Best Big City Race by Runner’s World.

Video Footage of June 28th U.S. Men's 5,000 Meter Olympic Trials in Oregon

On June 28, 2012, 26 year old Galen Rupp of Portland, Oregon broke Steve Prefontaine's 1972 5000m trials record, running the race in 13:22.67. Galen's career best time in the distance was set earlier that month on June 2 at the Prefontaine Classic in 12:58.90, where he finished in 3rd place. This will be Rupp's 2nd appearance in the Olympics, finishing 13th in the 10,000 meters in Beijing 2008 Summer Olympics.

Rupp will be joined by 38 year old (ancient by 5,000 meter standards) Bernard Lagat, who finished 15/100ths of a second behind Rupp, and 3rd place finisher Lopez Lomong. This is a great finish in what was a very tactical race. Looking forward to seeing these guys compete in London next month.

With 2012 Men's Olympic Marathon Around the Corner, the 1968 Event Comes to Mind

One of the most memorable scenes from any recent Olympics marathon came not from the winners' finish but from the last placing marathoner's finish at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City.

74 runners were entered in the event and 57 finished, with winner Mamo Wolde of Ethiopia finishing over 3 minutes in front of the next closest runner.

But the story that filmmaker Bud Greenspan brought a lump to our throats was about the last place finisher, John Steven Akhwari of Tanzania, who limped to the finish in 3 hours, 25 minutes, over an hour after the winners crossed the line.

Mexico City sits at an altitude of over 7,000 feet. If you haven't trained at that kind of altitude, running a marathon can do a number on you. Before the halfway point of the race, Akhwari was jostled by other runners and fell, injuring his knee and slamming into the pavement. Most would have stopped at that point, but he decided to keep running.

Interviewed at the end of the race he said something along the lines of "My country didn't send me 5,000 miles to start the race. They sent me 5,000 miles to finish it." Truly inspirational.

2012 Marathon Trials Winner Meb Keflezighi is Motivational For a Number of Reasons

Before I get to that, a brief update on me. Boston Marathon is less than 3 months away and until I hear about my "next steps" for my lousy 20/70 vision in my right eye. If I hear that surgery is viable to correct the vision, that will sidetrack my training. In the meantime, last Saturday I was able to comfortable boost my long run to 12.5 miles in 1 hour, 35 minutes. If the rain is pouring too hard tomorrow morning, I'm hoping to run another 15 minutes longer.

So last Saturday was the 2012 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials, where, the top runners around the country who met qualifying time standard competed for 3 slots to the Olympics. The men's "A" standard (and thus receives funding support to the trials) was a 2:19 marathon, 1:05 half marathon or 28:30 10,000 meters on the track. The women's "A" standard was a 2:39 marathon or a "B" standard of 2:46 full, 1:15 half or 33:00 10,000 meters. I'm happy to say that back in the day I met all the women's standards...though unfortunately, or fortunately (depending on how you look at it) I'm not a woman.

So in a nutshell, naturalized U.S. citizen Meb Keflezighi, won the Men's Olympic Trials in a personal best time of 2 hours, 9 minutes, 8 seconds, with favorite Ryan Hall and Abdi Abdirahman rounding out the top 3. Notably, the top 2 are both California residents (Mammoth Lakes).

At age 36, he's the oldest winner of the Marathon Olympic Trials after an injury slowed him down at the 2008 trials. In 2004 Meb won the silver medal in the Olympics, the first U.S. male medal winner in the marathon since Frank Shorter in the 1970s.

Perhaps though, this is what inspired and impressed me the most with his recent performance. Only 68 days prior to Saturday, Meb finished 6th place in the New York City Marathon. But he did something really lame that day. Something I can relate to. He accidently ran with a Breath Right nasal strip in his left shoe. And it messed up the ball of his foot so badly that he got an infection. As a result, he had to take extra time off to heal.

Yes, this world class runner made a rookie mistake that I can relate to! Like the day I stupidly ran 45 minutes in "barefoot" running shoes in my first attempt. Even the best of the best make boo boos. This is really motivating! We're all human and we all make mistakes! But we move on!

Congratulations all trials winners! The women's top 3 that are going to the Olympics are Shalane Flanagan (2:25:38), Desiree Davila (2:25:55) and Kara Goucher (2:26:06). Agoura High alumnus and 2004 Olympic bronze medalist and U.S. marathon record holder (2:19:36) Deena Kastor finished 6th in 2:30:40. Not bad for a 38 year old who became a mother just 10 months ago!!