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USA Olympic Trials Marathon has achieved the IAAF Gold Label Status

USA Track & Field (USATF) announced today that the 2020 USA Olympic Trials Marathon, scheduled for February 29, in Atlanta, has been granted IAAF Gold Label status. That's a critical development because it means that the top-5 male and female finishers will automatically achieve 2020 Olympic Games qualifying marks, regardless of their finish times. As part of the Tokyo Olympic Games qualifying program unveiled by the International Association of Athletics Federations earlier this year, top-5 finishers at Gold Label marathons are given automatic Olympic Games qualifiers. As such, the six-athlete USA Olympic team in the marathon can be named with certainty on the day of the Trials with the top-3 male and female finishers nominated for the team.

In a press release, USATF said that "the announcement of the Tokyo 2020 Qualification System in March presented challenges to USATF and its partners as planning for marathon trials had begun well before the changes to the qualification system were announced." Those partners include the not-for-profit Atlanta Track Club, which will host the Trials, as well as NBC the network which will broadcast them. The Trials would be devalued for both of these parties if the team could not be named that day.

Right now only a handful of USA athletes have achieved the Olympic Games qualifying standards (2:11:30 for men and 2:29:30 for women since January 1, 2019). On the men's side, there are only two, Scott Fauble and Jared Ward who ran 2:09:09 and 2:09:25, respectively, at last April's Boston Marathon (they also finished in the top-10, which also confers qualifying status at any Abbott World Marathon Majors event). On the women's side there are nine: Emily Sisson (2:23:08), Jordan Hasay (2:25:20), Kellyn Taylor (2:26:27), Molly Huddle (2:26:33), Aliphine Tuliamuk (2:26:50), Des Linden (2:27:00), Nell Rojas (2:28:06), Roberta Groner (2:29:09), and Lindsay Flanagan (2:30:07/9th place at Boston). Those athletes lose the relative advantage of having a qualifying mark in advance of the race.

But, for most of the 181 men and 340 women who have qualified, according to a tally done by MarathonGuide.com, this announcement will be good news. Athletes can now approach the trials in the traditional way, with their focus only finish place and not on time. That's particularly important considering the difficulty of the Atlanta course which has a number of challenging hills.

"Hilly is an understatement," said Brogan Austin who won the men's division of an 8-mile test event held on part of the course last March. "I definitely have a new respect for this marathon. I only ran eight miles. I can't imagine doing four times that distance."

Amy Cragg, the winner of the 2016 Trials in Los Angeles, agreed. "It's going to be really, really tough," she told Race Results Weekly after winning the women's division of the test event last March. "We're going to send a good women's team, a really good women's team (to Tokyo). If you can get through this course, you're going to be ready."

(07/23/2019) ⚡AMP
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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...

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Could an american woman win the Chicago Marathon this year? Very strong field is lined up

There haven't been three American women in the top five at the Chicago Marathon since 1994, and the 2019 field has a good shot at changing that, Jordan HasayAmy CraggStephanie BruceLindsay Flanagan and Emma Bates have a chance at rewriting Chicago Marathon history this fall.

On October 13, one of the strongest-ever American contingents will line up in Chicago for a race that hopes to see Deena Kastor’s American record fall.

Hasay announced in May that she would be returning to Chicago to target the American record and yesterday the remainder of the American elites were announced for the world major. This field includes the five women mentioned above who all own sub 2:30 personal bests.

Cragg, who was the 2016 U.S. Marathon Olympic Trial champion, is an interesting addition to the field. She’s run the fifth-fastest time in American history and ended a 34-year medal drought by taking home a World Championship bronze in 2017.

She’s barely raced since running her personal best at the 2018 Tokyo Marathon, but we’re excited to see what she can do come the fall.

There haven’t been three American women in the top five at the Chicago Marathon since 1994, and this particular field has a good shot at changing that.

(07/13/2019) ⚡AMP
by Madeleine Kelly
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Bank of America Chicago Marathon

Bank of America Chicago Marathon

Running the Bank of America Chicago Marathon is the pinnacle of achievement for elite athletes and everyday runners alike. On race day, runners from all 50 states andmore than 100 countries will set out to accomplish a personal dream by reaching the finish line in Grant Park. The Bank of America Chicago Marathon is known for its flat and fast...

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Strong field of American runners will join previously announced superstars Galen Rupp and Jordan Hasay at the Chicago Marathon on October 13

“This year’s elite field highlights an exciting resurgence we are seeing in American distance running right now,” said Bank of America Chicago Marathon Executive Race Director Carey Pinkowski. “We have a deep pool of American runners who are coming to Chicago to run fast, and we cannot wait to welcome them in the fall. We could see new American records and a lot of personal bests in October.”

With a PR of 2:20:57, Jordan Hasay leads this year’s women’s field as the second-fastest American woman in history and the fastest to ever run the Bank of America Chicago Marathon. Hasay hopes to put Deena Kastor’s long-standing American record, 2:19:36, in jeopardy.

But Hasay’s primary competitor won’t be the clock alone – Amy Cragg, Emma Bates, Stephanie Bruce, Lindsay Flanagan and Taylor Ward represent a strong contingent of U.S. women all vying for podium finishes. The last time three American women finished in the top five in Chicago was 1994, and the last time U.S. women claimed the top two spots was 1992. Chicago’s history could be rewritten this fall.

Cragg, a member of Nike’s Bowerman Track Club since 2015 and the winner of the 2016 U.S. Olympic Marathon trials, enters this year’s field as the fifth-fastest American woman in history with a personal best of 2:21:42. Cragg stunned the world at the 2017 IAAF World Championships Marathon when she ended a 34-year medal drought by taking home the bronze. While she hasn’t raced much in 2019, she won the one-time Road to Gold eight-mile road race in Atlanta in March.

Galen Rupp, a two-time Olympic medalist in the marathon (bronze) and 10,000m (silver) and the current holder of four American records, stands out in the men’s field as the 2017 Bank of America Chicago Marathon champion and as one of the fastest runners in U.S. history with a PR of 2:06:07. While it will be difficult to match the foot speed of someone like Rupp, several American men have the potential to run significant personal bests and place inside of the top ten.

Brogan Austin, Chris Derrick, Scott Smith, Diego Estrada, Dathan Ritzenhein, Noah Droddy and Brendan Gregg are among some of the top Americans in this year’s field. Austin closed out 2018 with a career-boosting win, a national title and a huge personal best, 2:12:38, at the California International Marathon. Prior to that breakthrough performance, he broke the course record at the Indiana Monumental Half Marathon, clocking 1:02:39. He built on his 2018 momentum by winning the Road to Gold eight-mile road race in March.

The Chicago Marathon will be Austin’s third go at the marathon. Derrick, a native of Naperville, Illinois and the 2013-2015 U.S. Cross Country champion, made his highly anticipated marathon debut in Chicago in 2017, running 2:12:50 to finish ninth. He followed up his debut performance with a ninth-place finish in 2:13:08 at the 2018 New York City Marathon.

Derrick, one of the elite pacers for Nike’s Breaking2 project in 2017, is one of the most versatile runners in the field with PRs of 13:08 in the 5,000m, 27:31 in the 10,000m, and 1:01:12 in the half marathon. 

Smith, a 4:01-miler, experienced a huge breakthrough in the marathon in 2017 when he posted a 2:12:21 in Frankfurt, and then he hung on to finish sixth overall at the 2018 Boston Marathon (the now infamous year where runners endured whipping winds and freezing rain). He trains with Northern Arizona Elite, and he has represented the U.S. internally in both the half marathon and marathon at the IAAF World Championships. Smith’s strongest performance came in May when he finished second at the USATF 25K national championships. 

Estrada has been a favorite among Chicagoans, ever since his 2016 breakout performance in Chicago and his second-place finish at the 2017 Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle. After slipping on a bottle at the 10K mark during his Chicago debut and badly twisting his ankle, Estrada rallied to finish eighth overall (first American) in his still-standing personal best, 2:13:56. He finished 16th in 2017 and he did not race a marathon in 2018. Estrada hasn’t raced much on the roads in 2019, but his half marathon speed (1:00:51) and 2:13 PR indicate that he has the talent to be a top marathon runner heading into 2020.

Ritzenhein (“Ritz”), a three-time Olympian and the fifth-fastest American in history, enters Chicago with one of the most impressive resumes. He has broken 13 minutes in the 5,000m, run 27:22 in the 10,000m, collected four national titles, and earned a bronze medal at the 2009 IAAF World Championships Half Marathon. He set his marathon PR seven years ago in Chicago, 2:07:47. At 36 and now racing with the Hansons-Brooks Distance Project, Ritzenhein is a veteran, but his 1:01:24 half marathon earlier this year still makes him a top contender. 

Droddy and Gregg both bring massive potential to this year’s field. Droddy, always a crowd favorite, ran his personal best, 2:16:26, in Chicago in 2017, but his half marathon best, 1:01:48, suggests that there is room to demolish his PR this fall. Gregg made his debut in Chicago in 2014 in 2:18:30, and he experienced his best performance in 2018 at the California International Marathon, running 2:13:27. 

This year’s field also includes 25K American record-holder, Parker Stinson, and exciting debuts from Reed Fischer and Justin Gallegos. In 2018, Gallegos became the first professional athlete with cerebral palsy to sign a contract with Nike.

(07/12/2019) ⚡AMP
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Bank of America Chicago Marathon

Bank of America Chicago Marathon

Running the Bank of America Chicago Marathon is the pinnacle of achievement for elite athletes and everyday runners alike. On race day, runners from all 50 states andmore than 100 countries will set out to accomplish a personal dream by reaching the finish line in Grant Park. The Bank of America Chicago Marathon is known for its flat and fast...

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John Hancock 2019 Boston Marathon US Elite Open Team

Featured video: 2019 Boston Marathon John Hancock U.S. Elite Open Team for Monday April 15.

Abdi Abdirahman, a four-time Olympian, placed sixth at the 2017 Boston Marathon. He is a multiple national champion in the 10,000m, 10K, 10-mile and half marathon. 

Shadrack Biwott finished third this year in Boston. Last year, he was second American and fourth overall. Biwott placed fifth at the 2016 TCS New York City Marathon in a personal best time of 2:12:01.

Aaron Braun, 13th at the 2018 Bank of America Chicago Marathon, is a versatile road runner. Braun is a national champion in the 12K and was top American at the 2015 Houston Marathon.

Sarah Crouch has finished top-ten three times at the Bank of America Chicago Marathon, including this year where she was top American and ninth overall. She is a past champion of the Tallahassee Marathon and finished 11th at the 2016 Boston Marathon.

Jeffrey Eggleston has raced on three IAAF World Championships Marathon teams, placing as high as 13th in 2018. He has won the Pittsburgh, Woodlands, Lima and San Diego Marathons and has been runner-up in Brisbane, Pittsburgh and at Twin Cities.

Scott Fauble was the second American and seventh overall at the 2018 TCS New York City Marathon. Fauble placed fourth in the 10,000m at the 2016 Olympic Trials and represented the United States at the 2017 IAAF World Cross Country Championships.  

Lindsay Flanagan, the 2015 Pan American silver medalist in the marathon, finished 11th at the 2017 Boston Marathon and set her personal best of 2:29:25 at the Frankfurt Marathon this year.  

Sara Hall is the tenth fastest U.S. women’s marathoner of all time having set her 2:26:20 mark at the 2018 Ottawa Marathon. Hall has earned national titles in the marathon, 20K, 10-mile, mile and cross country. She is married to Ryan Hall, who is a John Hancock Elite Athlete Ambassador and holds the American course record of 2:04:58 at the Boston Marathon. 

Jordan Hasay set an American debut record of 2:23:00 with her third-place finish in Boston in 2017. She then ran the second fastest marathon of all time by a U.S. woman at the 2018 Bank of America Chicago Marathon, where she placed third in 2:20:57. Hasay is an 18-time All American and a national champion at 15K and 20K.  

Elkanah Kibet, a member of the U.S. Army World Class Athlete Program, has had two top-ten finishes at the Bank of America Chicago Marathon. At the 2017 IAAF World Championships Marathon, Kibet finished top American and 16th overall. He was 8th in Boston in 2018.

Desiree Linden, a two-time Olympian, returns to Boston as defending champion. A top-five finisher in eight Abbott World Marathon Majors, additional accomplishments include placing seventh at the 2016 Olympic Games Marathon, tenth at the 2009 IAAF World Championships Marathon, second at the 2012 and 2016 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials and second in the 10,000m at the 2015 Pan American Games. In addition to her 2018 win in Boston, she placed second in 2011.

Timothy Ritchie, the 2017 U.S. National Marathon champion, ran for the U.S. at the 2016 IAAF World Half Marathon Championships where he placed 23th. Ritchie is the head men’s cross country coach at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Dathan Ritzenhein is the fourth fastest U.S. marathoner of all time with a 2:07:47 personal best. Career highlights for the three-time Olympian include finishing ninth at the 2008 Olympic Marathon, winning the bronze medal at the 2009 IAAF World Half Marathon Championships and finishing 13th at the 2012 Olympic Games 10,000m. 

Sarah Sellers ran through freezing rain and torrential wind this year to finish second behind Des Linden. In her 2017 marathon debut, Sellers won the Huntsville Marathon. In New York this year she finished 18th.

Brian Shrader is a versatile runner on the track and roads. He made his half marathon debut in Boston this year at the B.A.A. Half Marathon, running 1:05:26. He also made his marathon debut in 2018, running 2:13:31 at the USA Championships in Sacramento.  

Becky Wade, a champion of the California International Marathon, finished 11th at the 2018 Virgin Money London Marathon and tenth at the 2017 Bank of America Chicago Marathon. 

Jared Ward placed third at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials and followed with a sixth-place finish at the Olympic Marathon in Rio de Janeiro, less than a minute and a half out of medal contention. In 2017 Ward was tenth at the Boston Marathon and this year, he finished top American and sixth overall at the TCS New York City Marathon. 

(04/10/2019) ⚡AMP
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Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon

The Boston Marathon is the world's oldest annual marathon and ranks as one of the world's best-known road racing events. The event attracts 500,000 spectators each year, making it New England's most widely viewed sporting event. Though starting with 18 participants in 1897, the event now attracts over 20,000 registered participants each year. You have to qualify to participate. Among...

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