Thursday, August 1, 2013

The 2016 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials: Qualifying Window Opens!

Any U.S. citizen wishing to compete in the 2016 Olympics in the marathon representing the United States, must first qualify for the trials race, and then finish in the top 3 spots in the trials race, in order to earn themselves an U.S. Olympic team birth.

Qualifying For The Trials Race
In order to qualify for the 2016 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials, the athletes must meet the following standards (information copied from the USATF website):

                                                         Event                    "A"                         "B" 
                  Men                              Marathon            2:15:00                  2:18:00 
                                                        Half Marathon                                    1:05:00  
                                                          Event                    "A"                         "B" 

                Women                          Marathon            2:37:00                  2:43:00
                                                       Half Marathon                                    1:15:00 

Qualifying window:  August 1, 2013 until 30 days prior to the designated Olympic Trials race.

Qualifying Guidelines
  1. Athletes must meet the "B" standard in order to enter the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Marathon event.
  2. The qualifying mark must be made in a race on a certified course Sanctioned by USA Track & Field or a member federation of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF). The course must be USATF/IAAF/AIMS certified with an active course certification and have an elevation loss no greater than 3.25 meters/km. All course configurations will be accepted (no minimum separation). 
  3. The qualifying standards must be met from August 1, 2013 until 30 days prior to the designated Olympic Trials race.
  4.  All qualifying performances are subject to verification.
  5. "Gun" time is the only acceptable method of timing. Chip/net times cannot be used for qualifying. Consideration may be given to "chip/tag" times for competitors with "gun" times extremely close to the above qualifying standards.
  6. Athletes meeting the “A” standard will be provided funding support.
Trials Race Date
The date(s) and location(s) of the trails race have not yet been announced.  During the last 30 years the trials races have been held as early as the November the year prior to the Games and as late as May the year of the Games.  It seems very likely that the trials would again be sometime within the window, making them between November 2015 and May 2016 (although this is not guaranteed).

Qualifying Window: Open
Based the above information, the qualifying window for the trials standards is officially open as of today!   I would suspect that we will see many athletes seeking to secure their trials spot with a performance this fall (2013), or next spring or fall (2014), in order to not have to chase a time in the months leading up to the trials.'s 2016 U.S. Marathon Trials Project
A year and half ago I started a website called as a way to share a very successful training and racing philosophy for the marathon, in order to be a good reference tool for runners and coaches alike.  My goal in starting the site was to help and encourage people to train to run the marathon at the highest levels in the sport.

When the 2016 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials Standards were announced in December 2012, I decided what better way to encourage and help people to train at a high level in the sport than to help them qualify for and do well in the Marathon Trials.  It is something that gets many people motivated and provides them with a lofty but attainable goal to work towards. 

So through, I started the 2016 U.S. Marathon Trials Project in which I provide personal coaching and encouragement to help Project members achieve their goals in relation to the U.S. Marathon Trials and the marathon event. 

In the first 6 months the Project has grown to 10 members before the trials qualifying window even opened.  The project members range from those who sole goal is to meet the qualifying standard and compete in the trials, to those who have competed in the trials before and want to go back, to those who goals include making the Olympic Team.   

In the months and years ahead, I hope to add more members to the Project’s ranks, and help all of the Project members earn their qualifying times and meet or exceed their goals at the trials.  And then repeat the process again in subsequent Olympic cycles (2020, 2024, etc)

You can read more of the 2016 U.S. Marathon Trials Project at:

If the Project doesn't align with your goals in the sport, but you would like to support our efforts, please consider buying one of’s t-shirts:


These performance t-shirts can be purchased at:

Happy Running!

Coach Mark Hadley

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