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Articles tagged #2020 Trials
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After have had Open Heart Surgery, Erin Menefee Qualifies for Olympic Trials

Two and a half years ago, Erin Menefee didn’t know if she’d be able to run competitively again after having open heart surgery. But on December 8, the 27-year-old physical therapist realized her dream when she qualified for the 2020 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials at the California International Marathon (CIM) in Sacramento with a time of 2:43:10.

Surrounded by dozens of other women who qualified for the first time, Menefee basked in the accomplishment of a goal that motivated her throughout the long recovery. For the first time since she underwent surgery for a rare congenital heart defect in July 2017, she ran a personal best by more than eight minutes.

Setting a lifetime PR that beat the Trials standard by almost two minutes wasn’t just a running milestone for the San Diego native—it was a turning point in her life.

“Not having the definition of ‘post-heart surgery PR’ for this one just feels like a big weight [has been] lifted,” Menefee told Runner’s World. “I’m finally back to who I was before.”

Menefee was nearing the end of a long run in December 2015 when her heart started beating at an alarmingly fast pace and pain shot down her left arm. At just 24 years old, the former collegiate runner for the University of Arizona thought she was having a heart attack. Menefee could barely breathe, but she managed to get herself to the emergency room.

After a series of tests, her cardiologist discovered that she had partial anomalous pulmonary venous return, a condition where the veins that are supposed to carry blood to the heart’s upper left chamber instead carry it to the heart’s upper right chamber, or to other blood vessels. When this happens, poorly-oxygenated blood mixes with oxygen-rich blood, thus robbing the body of oxygen. The diagnosis meant that Menefee was only getting about 60 percent of the oxygen needed from her lungs to her body.

Because she was a healthy, young runner competing at a high level, the doctors decided to forgo the surgery option for periodic check-ups on the size of her heart. Eight months later, Menefee was getting lightheaded standing up from a chair and the tips of her fingers turned blue from the lack of oxygen traveling to the rest of her body. When she went in for more tests, they discovered that her heart was so enlarged that it required surgery.

On July 26, 2017—after she graduated from San Diego State University’s doctor of physical therapy program and days after she took her board exams—Menefee went in for surgery at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center. During the nine-hour procedure, doctors built a stent and moved her vein into its proper place from her heart to her lung. In order to reach her organs, they had to saw open her sternum.

The surgery was a success, and six weeks later, Menefee was cleared to go on her first run: an 8:49 mile.

Just five months before her surgery, Menefee had made her 26.2 debut at the 2017 Los Angeles Marathon, finishing in 2:51:31—within striking distance of 2:45:00, the 2020 Trials time standard. She trained for the marathon with the San Diego-based Prado Racing Team under Paul Wellman.

(12/23/2019) ⚡AMP
by Taylor Dutch
2020 US Olympic Trials Marathon

2020 US Olympic Trials Marathon

Atlanta will host the 2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Marathon for both men and women, USA Track & Field and the United States Olympic Committee announced Monday. Hosted by Atlanta Track Club as the local organizing committee, the 2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Marathon will be held Feb. 29, 2020, and will take place in conjunction with the...


Gwen Jorgensen announces move to track for 2020

The 2020 US. Olympic Marathon Trials on Feb. 29 were marked on Gwen Jorgensen’s calendar since her Nov. 2017 announcement that she was leaving the triathlon to pursue running full time in hopes of winning the 2020 Olympic gold medal in the marathon.

But now, less than three months out from the event, Jorgensen announced that she will not run the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials and instead focus on making the U.S. team for the Summer Games on the track in the 10,000 meters.

“It’s a multitude of emotions,” Jorgensen, 33, says. “I’m disappointed. At the same time, I’m also excited. I’m at a point where I’m running 70 miles per week and training is going well. I just know that if I went to the trials, running 70 miles per week, I’d be hoping that I made a team. That’s not what I want to do at an Olympic Trials.

I want to go in confident and knowing that I have the ability to make a team. My goals in the marathon aren’t changing. My timeline is.”

Heel surgery forced Jorgensen, who converted to distance running after winning the Rio Olympic triathlon, to pass up the Feb. 29 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials and focus on the track and field trials in June in the 10,000m and, probably, the 5000m.

She made the decision after recent talks with her coach, Jerry Schumacher, following a difficult recovery from late May surgery to correct Haglund’s deformity.

“I could get bent out of shape and sad about it, but at the end of the day, I’m excited because I know this path that I’m on will not only be a successful route, but I also think it will lead to success long term in the marathon," she says. "I’m confident in my abilities on the track."

Jorgensen’s goal was a lofty one from the onset. No American woman has won gold in the marathon at the Olympics since Joan Benoit Samuelson’s victory in the 1984 inaugural running. The 2020 trials, where the top three finishers qualify for Tokyo, are shaping up to be one of the most competitive races of the year, as American women’s distance running is at its highest level with recent World Marathon Major victories by Shalane Flanagan at the 2017 New York City Marathon and Desiree Linden at the 2018 Boston Marathon.

Even after giving birth to her son Stanley in Aug. 2017, Jorgensen could have returned to the triathlon and arguably been a contender to become the first woman to win back-to-back Olympic gold medals. But she and her family decided to move to Portland, Ore., and once settled there, Jorgensen signed a professional running contract with Nike and joined the Bowerman Track Club.

Jorgensen worked her way to the marathon by racing on the track in the spring of 2018 and ran a few U.S.A. Track and Field road race championships. She says her training went well, nailing all but one workout in 12 weeks. But in the three days before she was set to compete in the Chicago Marathon, Jorgesen battled a fever and underestimated the effects of running while sick. She finished in a disappointing 2:36:23 in her professional marathon debut.

Now fully healed, healthy and recovered, Jorgensen is working her way back to train with her Bowerman teammates. Her day sometimes includes a hill sprints, a track workout, pelvic floor therapist treatment, physical therapy exercises for her achilles and then an evening workout before returning to her family.

“I think it’s important not to be afraid when you need to admit that your goal needs to change,” Jorgensen says. “I’m not going to say that I’m failing because I still want to have my marathon goals, but the timeline has changed. It’s still important to have big goals and to share those goals. It holds everyone accountable.”

(12/05/2019) ⚡AMP
by Chris Cahvez
2020 US Olympic Trials Marathon

2020 US Olympic Trials Marathon

Atlanta will host the 2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Marathon for both men and women, USA Track & Field and the United States Olympic Committee announced Monday. Hosted by Atlanta Track Club as the local organizing committee, the 2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Marathon will be held Feb. 29, 2020, and will take place in conjunction with the...


Why I am running the TCS New York City Marathon by Jared Ward

Next year is a big year, so for qualifiers for the February 2020 trials, there is a heightened sensitivity to fall 2019 marathoning. Some athletes and coaches advocate sitting out a fall marathon to “save up” for the trials. There are certainly exceptions, but elite marathoners typically run 1-2 marathons a year. In contrast, some athletes are looking for the proper tune-up marathon.

Two weeks ago, marathon runners were considering where they were going to chase the standard (2:11:30, top 10 at a World Major Marathon or top 5 at a Gold Label Marathon). Recently, the IAAF granted the U.S. Trial gold label status, meaning a top-3 finish would simultaneously earn an athlete the standard needed and a U.S. selection. I imagine this will have the effect of fewer trials qualifiers racing this fall.

I have chosen to return to the TCS New York City Marathon ahead of the trials for the following reasons.

I have a goal of a top-three finish at a World Major Marathon (NYC, Boston, etc.) and I think this fall presents a great opportunity for me to chase that. I’m coming off my fastest marathon time in Boston last spring, and I am healthy. And I think the New York course is a great course for me.

I love New York. My family and I have had fantastic experiences there and we are giddy to come back. This course also has some amazing energy. I remember last year banking on the crowds coming off the Queensboro Bridge, but feeling carried by the crowds even as early at the 3-mile mark in Brooklyn.

I have a family to feed. The 1-2 marathons/year that I run account for roughly half of my annual income. Coming off a good New York Marathon last fall and a great Boston present unique financial incentives to run.

I think this is going to help my trial race in February. Many athletes consider only the downside of running two marathons in four months, i.e. if you get injured that’s a tough turn-around. But there are upsides too. One is that the Atlanta trials course is hilly. Most major marathons are relatively flat, so experience on hilly courses among elite marathoners is largely in short supply.

Another compelling reason to race is to avoid burnout, which can present problem when training for one huge race so far out. Marathoners especially are known for being fit two months ahead of the trials, and then overcooked by race day. Putting a marathon on my calendar between now and Atlanta offers me a nearer focal point. Then following some forced time off after New York, there will be a healthy amount of time to train for and focus on the trials—not too much, and not too little.

I’ll see you in New York. Then Atlanta.

(08/07/2019) ⚡AMP
by Jared Ward
TCS  New York City Marathon

TCS New York City Marathon

The first New York City Marathon, organized in 1970 by Fred Lebow and Vince Chiappetta, was held entirely in Central Park. Of 127 entrants, only 55 men finished; the sole female entrant dropped out due to illness. Winners were given inexpensive wristwatches and recycled baseball and bowling trophies. The entry fee was $1 and the total event budget...


Here is why the USATF reopened the bids for the U.S. 2020 Olympic Trials

USA Track & Field didn’t learn about lawsuits that jeopardized the 2020 Olympic Trials until two months after its board awarded the meet to Mt. San Antonio College in June 2017, newly revealed documents show. But by late October 2017, USATF was threatening to pull the showcase event from Mt. SAC — six months before it shocked the track world by reopening bids for the meet.  Adam Schmenk, USATF’s managing director of events and entertainment properties, on Oct. 27 demanded that Mt. SAC provide a construction timeline and a guarantee that Hilmer Lodge Stadium would be built no later than April 2020. “Should you be unable to provide the above assurance by November 17, we will reopen the bid process to secure a host city who can provide the commitments necessary to host a successful Olympic Trials,” Schmenk wrote Doug Todd, Mt. SAC’s athletic special events director. Two months later, USATF Deputy General Counsel Donald Woodard doubled down in a letter to Mt. SAC’s president. “We, and our major partners, are extremely concerned about whether the construction of the appropriate facilities will be complete in sufficient time to host a first class high caliber 2020 Trials,” Woodard wrote William Scroggins. “Therefore, we require unequivocal proof that the lawsuits have been dismissed or otherwise resolved in such a manner as to remove any doubt that construction of the stadium and other facilities will not be delayed in any way whatsoever,” he said Jan. 3, demanding a Jan. 4 conference call. Woodard said that at an August 2017 campus meeting, “we were made aware of the existence of two lawsuits filed against Mt. SAC directly or indirectly related to Mt. SAC’s preparation and ability to successfully host a first class 2020 Trials.” (05/13/2018) ⚡AMP
by Ken Stone

Tracktown USA hopes to be selected to host the USATF 2020 Olympic Trails

The University of Oregon says work will begin in June on a renovation of Hayward Field, to be completed in 2020. The plans include a 165-foot, 9-story tower named in honor of Bill Bowerman, the coach who brought Steve Prefontaine to campus and helped Phil Knight launch Nike. The work will be funded by Penny and Phil Knight and more than 50 other donors.  Tracktown USA made it clear Wednesday that they'll be making a bid to bring the 2020 Olympic Trials back to Hayward Field. USATF pulled its original bid from Mount SAC in California, due to concerns over the stadium construction.  Construction on the new Hayward Field will start this summer.  Tracktown USA CEO Michael Reilly says the new-look Hayward Field will be completed in plenty of time to host the 2020 Trials. "We understand everything is going to be ready to go for an entire Track and Field season in 2020," said Reilly. "I can't think of a better way to welcome America's top athletes than to bring them to a new Hayward Field."      (05/04/2018) ⚡AMP
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