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Olympic Trial Results

More than 400 Olympic hopefuls toed the line for the 2020 Olympics (now 2021) marathon trials in Atlanta, GA, on Saturday, February 29th. This year, 771 individuals qualified making it the largest field ever for the trials. 513 women and 265 men qualified, according to the USA Track & Field. To gain entry into the race, men had to run a marathon in 2:19 or faster or a half marathon in 1:04 or faster. For women, the times were 2:45 and 1:13. In all, 175 men and 390 women began the race on Leap Day.

The course and weather conditions were not conducive to a fast race, yet the top athletes had excellent times through a very hilly course with wind gusts of 20 MPH. This year’s course featured nearly 1,389 feet of elevation gain, a staggering amount of uphill running for any marathon. Compare that with the height of the Empire State Building which stands at 1,250’ or the Chicago Marathon which features only 243’ of elevation gain.

The top three finishers in both the men’s and women’s races earned a spot on the American team that will head to Tokyo, Japan for the Summer Olympics, now deferred to 2021. The games were officially postponed on March 24, after just 48 hours of notification to the IOC. Read this related article from ESPN.

Top athlete and repeat Olympian Galen Rupp won the men’s competition with a time of 2:09.20, averaging just a little over 4:58 per mile. This was Rupp’s fourth qualifying event. Second place in the men’s division was Jacob Riley with a performance of 2:10.02, barely edging out Abdirahman.

In the women’s race, Aliphine Tuliamuk won with a time 2:27:23, edging Molly Seidel by eight seconds for the closest finish in women’s marathon trial history. Both Tuliamuk and Seidel were first-time qualifiers for the event. Sally Kipyego took third with a time of 2:28:52 to round out the women’s Olympic squad. Kipyego won a silver medal in the 10,000-meter run for Kenya in the 2012 Olympics.

Men 1. Galen Rupp — 2:09:20 2. Jacob Riley — 2:10:02 3. Abdi Abdirahman — 2:10:03 4. Leonard Korir — 2:10:06 5. Augustus Maiyo — 2:10:47 6. Martin Hehir — 2:11:29 7. Clayton Albertson — 2:11:49 8. Jonas Hampton — 2:12:10 9. Colin Bennie — 2:12:14 10. Matt McDonald — 2:12:19


1. Aliphine Tuliamuk — 2:27:23

2. Molly Seidel — 2:27:31

3. Sally Kipyego — 2:28:52

4. Des Linden — 2:29:03

5. Laura Thweatt — 2:29:08

6. Stephanie Bruce — 2:29:11

7. Emma Bates — 2:29:35

8. Kellyn Taylor — 2:29:55

9. Nell Rojas — 2:30:29

10. Julie Kohnen — 2:30:43

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