Thursday, December 6, 2012


It’s official. USATF set the time standard for the 2016 Olympic Marathon Trials. The time I’ve openly declared I would beat so that I can run in those trials. The time I’ve been wondering about since realizing I wouldn’t make it to the last Trials. The time I promised I’d get, without knowing what it was.

There are two types of standards, the A and B. The A standard is faster and gets you an all expenses paid trip to the Trials. You are invited to run if you meet the B standard, but to get to the Olympics, you have to run the A at some point. (Likely in the Trials, because you’ll also have to come in the top 3 against the A qualifiers.) In 2008, the B standard for women was a 2:47 (the A was 2:39.) For 2012, that dropped to a 2:46 (with the A still a 2:39). Okay, that seems fair. More and more people are qualifying, let’s raise the bar slightly. However, on the men’s side, they abolished the B standard entirely, and in 2012, they only invited men with a faster, A standard time.

My fear for 2016 was that the B standard would be dropped, just like it had for the men. There was no telling what they would do, but all I could do was wait and see. I had told everyone who would listen I’d go after it, no matter what the standard was. How difficult that would be lay in the hands of USATF.

I had no clue when they would decide. Completely unexpectedly, my teammate B broke the news at practice last week that the decision had been made. 2:43. I breathed a massive sigh of relief. It could be worse! It could be so much worse. My teammates didn’t share my enthusiasm. D did some quick math and figured out that was a 6:13 pace. Yea, okay, that’s pretty freaking fast. Still, I was almost giddy. It could have been only the A standard (now a 2:37, aka 5:59 pace.) And I’ll take any extra six minutes I can get. (In other news, they gave the men back their B standard.)

Obviously, I realize cutting ten minutes off my time won’t be a piece of cake. But qualifying for the Trials was never going to be a cakewalk to begin with. Ten minutes to cut is easier than 16 (or whatever other crazy standard they could have come up with.) Best of all, now I can stop worrying about it. And just get after it.

But that’s months/years away. (Although the training for Boston begins in a few short weeks (yippee!), the qualification window doesn’t open until August.) First up for the GRC team (aka future Trials qualifiers) is the National Club Cross Country Championship in Kentucky this weekend. My love affair with running started on the cross country course in high school, and I'm excited to run my first XC race in ten years. We’ve been prepping all season and we’re ready to roll!

Clubs, clubs, clubs!
We're ready for the Club(s) in our sharp new clothes and sweet shoes.
Look out Kentucky.
(... And later: Trials, trials, trials!)

Dream big (like 2:43 big),


  1. Yippee! I am verrr excited for the moment you qualify. Its gonna be great! Happy training and good luck at clubs

  2. Thanks for the update. Fun to see the target time set... Will be even more fun to see you zoom under it!

    Keep on keeping on!

    Good luck to you and your team at the XC championship.

  3. Love those sweet shoes. Bluegrass, watch out!