BID FOR EXCELLENCE

My excitement is palatable.  Four cities have submitted bids to host our USA Olympic Trials Marathon.  Atlanta, Austin, Chattanooga, and Orlando.  The process remains open until March 19th.  Four cities with vision and leadership.  Houston and Los Angeles, our two most recent hosts are not bidding (and Boston before that and St. Louis before that….).

Why does this instill a sense of giddiness in your scribe?  Because the Olympic Trials Marathon are the pinnacle of our sport domestically.  Both for the athlete and the host city.  Race Directors and city officials and administrators and sponsors all coming together to support American Athletes.

What better test of excellence?  If you qualify with either the “A” or  “B” standard you are in.    The best get to race, period.  USATF alive and well on a national scale.

Here is what primarily informs my opinions regarding marathons:  In 2004 I sat with Dave McGillivray, on loan from the Boston Marathon, creating and detailing the conduct of our Olympic Trials Marathon in St. Louis.  Learning from the master.

I was part of the 2008 Olympic Trials site selection committee.  Twin Cities, Akron, Ohio, New York, and Boston Marathons.  Visited each and listened to their best pitch.  Ultimately landing in Boston where it belonged.  And again spent many hours with Dave and his team to ensure the very best for our athletes.

When you hear or read my critiques on marathoning, they have basis.  What I expected from every city then I expect from every city now.  What I insisted on for our very best athletes, I insist the same for you.  The list isn’t long.  And should be filled by event directors and cities and sponsors and administrators.