INDIANAPOLIS - The largest field since 1984 is set to line up on November 3 for the U.S. Olympic Team Trials - Men's Marathon in New York City, USA Track & Field (USATF) and the New York Road Runners (NYRR) announced Tuesday. Among the entrants are four previous national marathon champions, the American record holder and an Olympic medalist.
A total of 134 men, out of 179 qualifiers, have officially entered the race that will name the first three members of Team USA's Track & Field team for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China.
The final entry list includes 2004 Olympic silver medalist Meb Keflezighi (San Diego, Calif.), 2004 Olympic Trials champion Alan Culpepper (Louisville, Colo.), and American record holder Khalid Khannouchi (Ossining, N.Y.).
Also making a bid for the team will be two-time U.S. Olympian Abdi Abdirahman (Tucson, Ariz.); Brian Sell (Rochester Hills, Mich.), who made a brave attempt to surprise the field at the 2004 Olympic Team Trials - Men's Marathon in Birmingham, Ala.; American record holder for the half-marathon Ryan Hall (Big Bear Lake, Calif.); and 2004 Olympic marathoner and 10,000 runner Dan Browne.
U.S. Olympic Team Trials - Men's Marathon by the numbers
Qualifiers - 179
Entrants - 134
Entrants with personal bests under 2:09 - 4 (Khalid Khannouchi, Mbarak Hussein, Abdi Abdirahman and Ryan Hall)
Entrants who have met the Olympic Games "A" standard of 2:15 - 12
Entrants who have won USA championship titles - 12
Past USA Marathon Champions - 4 (Dan Browne '02. Ryan Shay '03, Alan Culpepper '04, Mbarak Hussein '05-'06)
For a complete listing of entrants, visit http://www.usatf.org/events/2008/OlympicTrials-Marathon-Men/
About the race
The U.S. Olympic Team Trials - Men's Marathon will start in front of the famed Rockefeller Center on 50th Street near Fifth Avenue, with St. Patrick's Cathedral as the backdrop. Athletes will run past renowned New York City locations, including Radio City Music Hall, Times Square, and Carnegie Hall, and will enter Central Park at Seventh Avenue. From there, athletes will begin the course's criterium loops: one four-mile circuit followed by four identical five-mile circuits, and will finish on the park's west side at Tavern on the Green.
A media package featuring national broadcast coverage and live web streaming will bring the Olympic Trials Marathon action to marathon fans for the first time since 1996. The start will be shown live nationally on NBC's "Today Show" beginning at 7:35am and the race will be streamed in its entirety via the Web at www.NBCSports.com. In addition, a 30-minute highlight show will be broadcast nationally on NBC on Saturday afternoon at 1:30 p.m. EST.
Athletes in the Olympic Trials will be competing for $250,000 in prize money with $60,000 going to the champion. Included in the prize funds provided by NYRR will be an additional $20,000 training stipend (payable post-Beijing) for each of the three athletes who compete in the Olympic Games. The men's qualifying window will be open until October 7, 2007.
About USA Track & Field
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, the most-watched events of Olympic broadcasts, the #1 high school and junior high school participatory sport and more than 30 million adult runners in the United States.
USATF is a volunteer-driven, not-for-profit organization with a staff of professional program administrators at the National Office in Indianapolis. The mission of USATF is to foster sustained competitive excellence, interest, and participation in the sports of track & field, long distance running, and race walking. For more information, visit www.usatf.org.
About New York Road Runners
New York Road Runners, soon to celebrate its 50th anniversary, is dedicated to promoting the sport of distance running, enhancing health and fitness for all, and responding to community needs. Our road races and other fitness programs draw upwards of 300,000 runners annually, and together with our magazine and website support and promote professional and recreational running. A staff of more than 100, assisted by thousands of volunteers, stages the ING New York City Marathon, as well as a road race nearly every weekend plus many track and cross country events. NYRR's home base in New York, and its lifelong identification with Central Park, have given many of its events iconic status, attracting the world's top professional runners. Our youth programs provide running to 30,000 schoolchildren in New York City and around the country who would otherwise have few or no fitness opportunities. For more information, visit www.nyrr.org.