Orlando Marathon Course Opens To Top American Marathoners For Test Event

American half marathon record holder Keira D'Amato says this is a fast course

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The 2024 US Olympic Marathon Trials won’t be happening until February but has already managed to ruffle some feathers.

With complaints from many athletes about the start time and the selection of Orlando as the host city, the US Olympic Marathon Trials has already managed to make headlines on multiple occasions. 

Last weekend, on Sunday, December 3, Track Shack Events and the City of Orlando hosted a marathon trials Test Event to allow runners to preview the Olympic Trials course.

The event was open to athletes who had already qualified and registered for the US Olympic Marathon Trials.

Orlando Marathon Course Opens To Top American Marathoners For Test Event 1

The Test Event showcased the 8-mile loop, which runners will complete three times on the day of the Olympic Trials. The US Olympic Marathon Trials will also include an additional 2.2-mile section alongside the three 8-mile loops.

The 8-mile loop will take athletes through several neighborhoods, main streets, and business districts in Orlando, with designated viewing areas along the course.

It was an opportunity for qualified athletes to experience the environment of the course, including the surface, the elevation changes, and the climate. It also gave runners a chance to preview where various course elements will be, including the location of hydration stations, mile splits, and the start-finish area.

The Test Event saw over 30 of the USA’s top marathoners, all of whom will compete at the Olympic Marathon Trials in February.

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Race director John Hughes said the course was a challenge to create. Downtown Orlando has a lot of brick, which is something USATF, the national governing body, and many athletes said they did not want to have for the entire race.

According to Hughes, the athletes are pleased with the outcome.

Keira D’amato, the American record holder in the half marathon, was in attendance at the Test Event.

She spoke to WESH2 following her preview of the course.

“It was flat. It was fast,” she said, “I appreciated the kind of loop aspect of it, and I enjoyed the scenery of it.”

American distance runner Reid Buchanan also took to the start of the Test Event. He hopes that both the athletes and the city of Orlando will benefit from the trials taking place in the city. 

Buchanan believes that Orlando is a vibrant city with many landmarks which he hopes will help draw a big crowd to restaurants near the race course to support the athletes. 

The US Olympic Marathon Trials are currently scheduled for Saturday, February 3, 2024. The original start time of 12 pm was recently moved to 10 am. The change in start time came after a long dispute between competing athletes and USATF over concerns about dangerous weather conditions.

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Jessy has been active her whole life, competing in cross-country, track running, and soccer throughout her undergrad. She pivoted to road cycling after completing her Bachelor of Kinesiology with Nutrition from Acadia University. Jessy is currently a professional road cyclist living and training in Spain.

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