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St. Louis celebrates 100 Years of Olympic history with U.S. Olympic Team Trials - Women's Marathon
2-16-2004

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:
Ryan Lamppa
Media Correspondent
USA Track & Field
(805) 696-6232
Ryan.Lamppa@usatf.org

Race to be Held April 3 in City's Acclaimed Forest Park as Part of Spirit of St. Louis Marathon & Family Fitness Weekend Events

ST. LOUIS - (February 12, 2004) - In the Olympic summer of 1904, 32 runners gathered on the track at Washington University's Francis Field, site of the Games' marathon starting line. A century later, St. Louis will again welcome the nation's greatest distance runners and be a gateway to running glory.

The 2004 U.S. Olympic Team Trials - Women's Marathon, presented by Anheuser-Busch, will be held April 3 as part of the Spirit of St. Louis Marathon & Family Fitness Weekend(tm). The race will begin at 7:00 a.m. at Washington University's Francis Field with runners entering a criterium course in Forest Park and finishing on Government Drive, below the World's Fair Pavilion. The route is the same one used for the 2003 Michelob Ultra USA Women's Marathon Championship. In her debut marathon, Sara Wells of Edina, Minn., won the national title in 2:35:37, followed by Colleen De Reuck of Boulder, Colo. finishing at 2:37:41.

Dave McGillivray, best known for his work with the Boston Marathon, is the U.S. Women's Olympic Marathon Trials Race Director.

As of February 1, 2004, 143 women - led by U.S. marathon record holder and 2000 Olympian Deena Kastor (nee Drossin) - were eligible to compete in the Olympic Trials by running times of 2:48:00 or better. Fourteen of those eligible have times below 2:37:00, the new Olympic "A" qualifying time. The previous "A" time was 2:32:00. The new Olympic "B" standard is 2:42:00. Prize money for the top 20 Olympic Trials finishers totals $250,000, including $35,000 for the Trials champion and $10,000 to each woman participating in the marathon at the Athens 2004 Olympic Games.

"It's an honor to host the Olympic Trials," said Nancy Lieberman, president, Spirit of St. Louis Marathon & Family Fitness Weekend. "Bringing world-class long-distance athletes to St. Louis twice in two years is exciting for our local community and something that makes all of us involved very proud. These women serve as wonderful role models for all of us striving to achieve our own dreams and goals."

The Spirit of St. Louis Marathon & Family Fitness Weekend (April 3 & 4) is designed to encourage people of all ages and athletic abilities to engage in one of many fitness events during three days of festivities. There's something for everyone with activities that include the St. Louis Post-Dispatch Health & Fitness Expo, the Energizer Read, Right & Run Marathon(tm), the CEO 5K Run//Walk, The Spirit of St. Louis Marathon, the Blue Cross Half-Marathon and a Marathon Relay. For more information visit www.stlouismarathon.com.

The 2004 Trials, a Celebrate 2004 event, is being hosted in partnership by the Spirit of St. Louis Marathon & Family Fitness Weekend and the St. Louis Sports Commission. The event is a cornerstone to the region's yearlong civic celebration highlighting revitalization accomplishments and marking the centennial of the 1904 Olympics and World's Fair and the bicentennial of the Lewis and Clark expedition.

Contacts: Nancy Lieberman, President, Spirit of St. Louis Marathon & Family Fitness Weekend, (314) 727-0800 or nlspirit@sbcglobal.net Diana Minardi Strauss, PR Director, Spirit of St. Louis Marathon & Family Fitness Weekend, (314) 378-6641 or dmstrauss@earthlink.net

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