Chad, I think you were self-interested here.
By setting the standard of qualifying for the Olympic Martathon Trials, you were motivated to keep working toward that goal and to better yourself in that way.
You are self-interested the way that many, many mid-level marathoners are. And frankly, that's not such a bad thing.
|Miles and Miles|
Thanks Rick, you were one of the 12 in attendence.
|Miles and Miles|
You lost me. Not sure where this was related. But I am sure if there were no Olympic Trials I would set another goal. Regardless of how it affects me I am against the proposal. I would think that if they were going to do such a thing that it wouldn't take place until 2012, since they already set a standard and a qualifying window for 2008. In 2012 I will probably be done. If they did this there would be no reason for a standard or window since everyone will be in.
Moving away from the one-race Olympic Trials format is a BAD idea. Didn't they select an Olympic team once before using two races? One was the Trials and one was the old Nike race? I think it was 1968? I'm remembering it from George Young's book. Anyway, this is a very BAD idea...
Now, I'm nothing more than a local hack (2:33:58) who would do anything simply to make the trials. If you take that away then you'll have a lot of hacks like me with less to shoot for. Granted, we all should just train to race fast and whatever happens happens, but that's not realistic. A lot of times you NEED that carrot to shoot for. Without that carrot we might not have had someone like Dick Beardsley who decided to train for the marathon because he found out the trials were coming up or someone like Mark Conover who won the trials as a B-Standard guy.
The three race setup does benefit the top 3 and does allow the US to pick the best team but it does NOT benefit the sport in general. It does NOT generate more interest in the sport. With the setup we have now local communities can get behind their local hack trying to make the trials. Feel good stories in local papers bring the sport closer to the public at large. A three race setup pushes toward elitism and alienates the rest of the running community and the sports fan in general.
I think USATF wants to put an end to the kinds of problems we had in 2000, but that's not a selection problem that's an athlete problem. It's not the USATF's fault if we only have 3 runners under the Olympic A standard or a B standard guy wins. So, in a way the 3 race setup sets the bar too low. The easy solution to the TV coverage problem is of course giving it to Boston, Chicago, and NYC so the problem solves itself instead of doing something proactive about it. Meb and Deena both have medals. Why can't you promote that? Draw people to the tube to see if they can make the team again. Draw people to the tube by profiling Sell and the "blue collar" team of Hansons.
"The Olympic Marathon Trials" has become an institution in this sport. It's become something that hacks like me look forward to striving for. It gives post-collegiates another avenue to shoot for. If you dismantle that you ruin the sport in many ways.
Just one man's opinion.
-- From a PR standpoint, except for those who are dedicated fans and already know things like A and B standard rules, there is indeed an extra "buzz" created by appending the word "Olympic" to something. Might add a little fillip to the TV $$ as well.
-- Does it protect the best runners by allowing another kick at the can in case of injury or flu or a plain old bad day? Yep.
-- To me it makes sense to choose a team based on who runs well against an international field rather than who can beat a bunch of Americans. These 3 big-city races would fill the bill. If the US team members feel diminished because they finish 8th-14th and 16th in the race, well, call it tough love.
-- However, what's overriding is that the fairest way to decide is head-to-head competition.
So my thought is immerse the trial race in a big-city marathon.
Signed, Joseph McVeigh
(Full disclosure: I don't really have anythign at stake here -- I am old, and even when I was younger I wasn't good enough to make the Olympic team)
I've talked to some of the people involved with this and it seems to be a very open process. The request for bids has not even been approved yet. As long as people with ties to the races excuse themselves I don't have a problem with it.
Chicago and Boston and NY don't want to bid for the Olympic Trials because if they use the word "Olympic" then I believe the Olympic sponsors get to promote their brands for free. I believe ultimately this is shortsighted by the USOC and if they told their national olympic sponsors they would not get every selection race but would get the right to the rings, etc, promoting the US Olympic Team, the total pool of money for the athletes would be bigger as each sport could promote its own selection trials better. I believe the olympic sponsors, the bank of america's, etc should just be given the right of first refusal, but forget about getting this done at the USOc level.
They can call the race, a "selection" race and get their own sponsors. The press and perhaps even the tv announcers would still call it the olympic trials. I don't see how the USOC could sue them for that. Just don't use the rings or the word olympic on any signage.
It seems a factual description to me, "the trials for the olympic team." "olympic trials race". I don't see the USOC being able to sue the promoter of the race for describing it in its packet as the selection race for the US Olympic Team. Someone correct me if i'm wrong as I know the USOC has the rights to the rings and the word Olympics in the US.
|Miles and Miles|
Yeah and your eliminated the "Olympic" Trials. Couldn't they just make the Trials a better event?
What about your tough love theory?
Isn't the Trials our U.S. National Championships as well? So finding out who is the best in ths U.S. is done by racing against foreigners?
That's right. Can't dodge the best then.
Couldn't this be done by including it in a weekend, such as what was discussed with Boston. Have the Trials on Sun (different legal course) and Boston on Monday.
Just my thoughts.
|Miles and Miles|
Don't you love all the commercials for things surrounding the SUPERBOWL that have to use the Big Game or this Sunday's Football Game or something stupid. I could see this if one of these Marathons were involved. Finding anyway around the word "Olympic".
Mens Olympic team 100 metres selection changes;
First at NIKE prefontaine classic
First at ADDIS p.jordan track classic
First at REEBOK grand prix
Something out of new balance here? mizuNO!
Men's Olympic Team 10,000 meters selection changes:
First at Stanford Invite 10k
First at Cardinal Invite 10k
First at Harry Jerome 10k (yeah, in Canada, but what the heck).
I hated the idea at first, but the more I heard, the more my opinion changed. Think about the goals of the Olympic Marathon Trials.
1. Send our best three men/women to the games.
2. Give our developing athletes the chance to get their feet wet in the pressure packed trials situation which will hopefully keep them training for another four years.
3. Use the trials to promote the sport to the public.
1. We sent our best three guys to Athens, but we were lucky. More than any other event the marathon is a crapshoot and getting the best guys to all run well on the same day is highly unlikely. With the three race format, there is a chance to live another day. It gives us better odds of sending the three best guys to China. Hopefully we'll have five or six equally qualified guys by then and it will add to the drama. Let the appearance fees flow and it will help sort out who's running Chicago and who's running New York. Boston won't have to pay fees because they already have everyone minus two, but they could up the prize money.
2. There would still be qualifying times and your way would be paid just like in the past. The young guys in the 2:15-2:18 range, who would be in the picture four years later, aren't happy to just have the qualifier. They want a chance to prove themselves and they want to get paid. This plan gives them two chances to show how good they are while everyone's watching and it opens the deep pockets of LaSalle Bank, ING, and John Hancock. That is assuming that the races can use their healine sponsors.
3. This is the big one. Birmingham was a perfectly organized race, everyone had a blast, but nobody outside of the letsrun crowd gave a damn. There was no TV, and there weren't 40,000 other runners in town that weekend. The big three marathons are PR/marketing machines. Let them do what they're good at, promotion. Grab the interest of the general public and at the very least, grab the attention of all the other runners in the race. More people are running marathons than ever but we can't reach them. Why not bring our best showcase of talent to the people? People respond to the word Olympic. It can be marketing magic in the right hands. The races are already on local TV, just find a way to get it nationwide.
Sorry for the longwinded answer, somebody had to stand up for the "yes" side.
8th 2004 Olympic Trials Marathon
3rd American 2003 LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon
2nd American 2005 BAA Boston Marathon
Just as a point of clarification from my previous post and a reply to Miles and Miles---
The Olympic "A" standard was changed from 2:12 to 2:15 late in 2003 (after Meb had run Chicago to insure his "A" mark). I do not believe the Olympic standards have been announced for 2008.
But what if two runners run 2:10 and 2:11 at Chicago and NYC and qualify. Boston turns into a 85 degree day and the favorites dnf or fall of the pace and somebody runs 2:17 and is the first American (without the standard). Who gets the third spot?
On the women's side in Japan, the defending Olympic champion, Takahashi was the first Japanese runner in the Tokyo Trials race, but on a hot day did not run under 2:26 and was not selected. The winners of the other two Trials' races (Osaka and Nagoya) were selected and Noguchi was selected based on her silver medal in the 2003 World Championships. Is that the route we should take?
The 2:18 guy doesn't make the team because he doesn't have the Olympic 'A' standard. I think it was eased to 2:15 shortly before the OMT in '04. Dehaven didn't have the 'A' in '00, so we only sent him. So, if the winner of one of the races doesn't have the 'A' he/she won't be able to go in most scenarios.
I think what's scary is the fact that you don't know going in who's going to be contending for the Team spot at 25 miles. In a Trials-only race, there are a lot more definites. If you're going to be on the team, you have to do it that day just like everybody else. In a 3-race system, somebody(let's say Meb) drops out at Chicago because somebody else(Alan?) is beating him by a few minutes, so Meb decides he'll save himself for NY. Then, Alan or whoever, might hit the wall and walk in in 2:20. Then, whoever decided not to save for NY steps in and wins. That doesn't seem to be what we want to have happen.
I think the USA Olympic Triathlon Team is selected from several different races. Does anyone know the exact criteria they use and how the system has worked?
|Here is why|
They are planning on sending the first guy that has the A standard from each race. (The A standard may be achieved prior to the race). For example if the 2000 trials in Pittsburgh were (Boston) the third qualifier. Then because of the heat we would be sending either Joe Lemay or David Morris (whoever was first) who both ran over 2:30 because they were the first american with the A standard. There are at least a thousand stupid possibilities. I don't think that this was very well thought out. If I were Pete Gilmore or another 2:14 marathoner, this is the exact scenario that I would want. If you are not good enough to finish in the top 3, then you hope for some possible loophole that will enable you a chance to qualify. Lets put everyone on the line and have at it. I will then cheer for Pete to beat all others because only then will he deserve to be an Olympian.
Have the trials. Take the first three guys. Take the first Americans at Chicago, NYM & Boston so you have six. Three biggest penises get to go.
Now, about the girls....
A little back ground on me. I have a PR of 2:23:06..ohh so close :o I have been hurt the last few years with nagging injuries. I am finally healthy and I am going to make a run at the ever elusive (at least for me) 2:22.
I am in favor of the one race format. It makes thing easier to understand for the casual observer. The winner goes.
I also agree the race needs to be done better. Perhaps having it on the sat/sun of asun/mon race would be the answer? The masses that are in town for the regular marathon can come out the day before and watch the trials and then do their race the next day.
I do not have the answers but I also feel that the three race system is NOT the answer.
And Chad, I love the humility
70th Place (DFL) 2004 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials
Dude, you are a badass for your time. Maybe not Tergat, bad a badass nonetheless
1. Khalid 2:09:10
2. Meb 2:09:12 (he has often been kicked down)
3. Ritz 2:09:50 in his debut
1. Culpepper 2:11:54
2. Browne 2:11:59
Boston (doesn't have to pay appearance $$--They have been cheap in the past)
Whoever survives this race will be running the Olympic Games as their 3rd race (less than ideal). Now Khalid decides not to go. Then 2 of our 3 entries will be running the Olympics as their 3rd race.