The U.S. Olympic Marathon Team Trials took place on the Los Angeles Marathon "Stadium to the Sea" course on Saturday, February 13, 2016.
The men's race started at 10:06 a.m. with a field of 211 qualifiers who ran qualifying marathon times of under 2 hours, 19 minutes (or sub 1:05 in a half marathon) between August 1, 2013 and January 17, 2016. A total of 86 men met the "A" standard time of under 2 hours, 15 minutes, receiving funding support to get to the race.
The women's race had a field of 246 qualifiers who ran a qualifying time of under 2:45 in the marathon (or 1:15 in a half marathon). A total of 42 women met the "A" standard of 2 hours, 37 minutes. A total of 11 "masters" women (age 40+) qualified, which was quite impressive.
It was a warm winter day in Los Angeles, with temperatures in the mid 60s in the morning, reaching high 70s towards the finish of the race. And the race started mid-morning to accommodate TV broadcasts...unlike typical marathons that start early in the morning.
A total of 108 men completed the marathon course, including the top three, who are now slated to compete in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio. The overall men's winner was 29 year old Galen Rupp, who was actually competing in his first full marathon! His time of 2:11:12 earned him his 3rd trip to the Olympics, having competed in the 10,000 meters at the 2008 Olympics and 10,000 and 5,000 at the 2012 Olympics. Rupp took the silver medal in the 2012 10,000 meters, the first American male medalist in the 10,000 since 1964.
Following Rupp in 2nd place was three-time Olympian and now 40 year old master's runner Meb Keflezighi, who finished in 2:12:20. Meb is a sensation indeed, having earned the silver medal in the 2004 Olympics, the first American medalist since Frank Shorter in 1976. After missing the 2008 Olympics with a hip injury (though he still finished 8th in the Olympic Trials), he went on to compete at the Olympic level again in 2012 with a 4th place overall. Rounding out the top three was 27 year old Jared Ward in 2:13.
A total of 149 women completed the 26.2 mile course, with the top three spots going to 32 year old Amy Cragg in 2:28:20, 32 year old Desiree Linden in 2:28:54 and 34 year old Shalane Flanagan in 2:29:19. This will be Cragg's and Linden's first visit to the Olympics. Flanagan holds the 2nd fastest American marathon time ever (a 2:21:14 at the 2014 Berlin Marathon) and this will be her 4th visit to the Olympics, having competed in the 2004, 2008 and 2012 games.
Congratulations to all of the competitors and best of luck with some solid training to those who have earned the right to compete at the 2016 Olympic Games!