For the speedy runners hoping to represent the USA in the Olympic marathon taking place this summer in Rio, this Saturday is their one shot. Nothing else -- no previous race times or PRs, or Olympic appearances, or even Olympic/world championship medals -- matters now. The top 3 men and top 3 women who cross the finish line are on the team. And a great mix of runners are throwing their hat in the ring, from those who run full-time for a living to men and women working full-time in a variety of other professions. Lots of moms and dads too!
This year, NBC is broadcasting unprecedented live coverage of the Trials on network TV and online. Just tune in at 12:00 noon (CST); the men's race will begin first at 12:06, with the women's gun going off at 12:22. If you're out and about, you can catch the race streaming online at nbcsports.com/live-extra. Another late breaking development: FloTrack.com will be posting live splits from 30 different locations on the course right here, if you'd like to track a certain runner.
I was excited to get my hands on the official program (it will enlarge if you tap "click to read") and was a big fan of the team statistic you'll see on page 13.....
That's right, my beloved Oiselle is proud to have eighteen (18!!!) women toeing the line. You can learn a little bit more about these incredible women below.
I've spent time with many of these women at Oiselle's Bird Camps in 2014 and 2015; I also ran behind/cheered on others at the Virginia Beach Shamrock Marathon Weekend events in 2014. On top of running more miles per week at a faster pace than I will ever even dream of, these amazingly disciplined women have managed to juggle their athletic achievements with many other components of dynamic and fully-realized lives. No snootiness to mid-packers either; my experience was that our elites have always been willing to hang out with and share a laugh/drink/dance with their slower sisters in sport.
And one last thing that really matters to me: some GREAT taste in tunes. Here's our "#WomanUpLA" playlist of their favorite pump-up jams (and click here if you are wondering who put what song on the list):
We're going to be cheering for all 18 of our women to have the race of their lives, but there's a lot of sentimental energy this year behind two-time Olympian Kara Goucher, who had an incredible second half of 2015 and strong training in 2016 so far.
Check out Kara's amazing story here:
Go give 'em hell Oiselle and all of the amazing Trials qualifiers! We'll be watching and cheering!