One of the greatest footraces in American history could take place Saturday morning and too few people are aware of it. The US Olympic Marathon Trials go off this Saturday morning, January 14, in Houston. (Men start at 7am EST, women at 7:15.) The men’s race features two well known runners, Ryan Hall and Meb Keflezighi, and their duel will be fun to watch. But the real action is on the women’s side.
One veteran marathon coach put it to me this way: “This is the best women’s marathon field, ever. Period.”
Two-time Olympian Deena Kastor will try for one more Olympic bid, but it’s the race among the top three qualifiers that’s the real attraction. This is the first time Kara Goucher, Desiree Davila, and Shalane Flanagan have gone head-to-head against each other in any race. Over the past two years I’ve had the great fortune to profile Goucher, Davila, and Flanagan in three separate features for Runner’s World. They’re each amazing athletes and interesting characters, and I can’t wait to watch them compete. Runner’s World resident guru Amby Burfoot will be blogging the race live on the RW website, and NBC will broadcast it in tape-delay later Saturday afternoon, 3pm Eastern, 12 noon Pacific. Also: Check out our handicapping guide: Amby's 11 Men To Watch and my 10 Women To Watch. I invite you to join me and become a running geek for the day.
UPDATE: The results are in. After 26.2 miles, Shalane, Desi, and Kara finished with less than 30 seconds separating them. All three will represent the United States in London.
1) Shalane Flanagan 2:25:38
2) Desiree Davila 2:25:55
3) Kara Goucher 2:26:06