The McKirdy Micro Marathon, which took place on October 14, set the perfect stage for marathoners to chase the elusive qualifying time to the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials in February.
The race took place in Rockland Lake State Park in New York. 148 runners, who had to be accepted into the race via having run a qualifying time, would run a flat 2.94-mile loop nine times.
The race, founded by James McKirdy, was set up to get as many runners as possible to run a qualifying time for the Olympic Trials.
The qualifying time to get into the Olympic Trials for men is 2:18 or better and for women, 2:37 or better. The Olympic Trials are scheduled for February 3, 2024, in Orlando, Florida.
Not only was the course designed to be fast, but personalized bottle service, pacers set to run the men’s and women’s qualifying times, and perfect weather on the day meant there was no better place for Olympic hopefuls to hit the qualifying standard.
Hampton had already qualified to the U.S. Olympic Trials by running a qualifying time at a race prior to McKirdy Micro Marathon.
A total of 23 American men ran a qualifying time for the first time to clench their spot at the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials. Among the sub-2:18 runners include Ben Blankenship, Martin Hehir, and Alan Peterson.
Of the women racing, it would be Calli Thackery of Great Britain took a convincing win in 2:22:17. This result ties her for the second-fastest British marathoner ever, behind the great Paula Radcliffe.
A total of 12 American women ran below the women’s qualifying standard and had punched their ticket to the Olympic Trials in February.
Currently, there are about 185 men and 150 women who have qualified for the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials. These numbers are greater than initially predicted, with still plenty of opportunities to come.
Most notably, the New York City Marathon, which takes place at the beginning of November, and the California International Marathon in December are expected to yield a few more Trials qualifiers before the window of opportunity closes on December 5th.