Casey Moulton at the Eliot 5k (2006)
Casey Moulton
Photo #58 by Don Penta
Tomorrow morning, the men’s Olympic Marathon Trials will begin at 7:35 EDT. 179 men have run qualifying times to compete in the event, and only 3 of them will be able to continue on to the 2008 Summer Games in Beijing.

The race will be more interesting than usual because only 138 of the athletes have qualified by running a marathon. This will be the first marathon for some of the other 40 runners, who were able to qualify for the trials this year by running a fast 10k or 5k.

The only way to get an “A” qualifying standard was to run a sub 2:20:00 marathon. A sub 2:22:00 marathon, 13:40 5k, or 28:45 10k would qualify for a “B” standard, which gives an athlete the right to compete in the trials but not to any assistance getting there.

NBC will be covering the event throughout the day (as well as the New York City Marathon on Sunday) and will be streaming the event over the web from start to finish. There will also be a recap on your local NBC affiliate from 2:00-2:30 p.m. EDT.

The course starts at 5th Ave and 50th, and takes a 1.5 mile trip through the City before getting into Central Park. The course inside of Central Park consists of 5 loops, the first of which cuts through at 72nd Street and the rest of which follow the outer loop. The race ends at the Tavern on the Green.

Here are a few relevant sites to check out tonight and tomorrow morning before the race starts:

  • Watch the Race – at 7:25 tomorrow morning a link will go live from this page that will begin streaming the race over their website. The Olympic Trials are free; if you want to watch the marathon on Sunday, then you will have to pay $5.
  • List of Eligible Athletes – all of the athletes that have run a qualifying time (and where) and are eligible to compete this weekend.
  • Runner Bios – learn more about the race favorites.
  • NBC Olympics Marathon Page – News and links on the trials by the broadcasters.
  • USATF Marathon Trials News – News and links on the trials by USATF.
  • Course Map (pdf) – download the course map.

We have a very strong crowd this year, so I hope that Central Park can provide some good entertainment and that it will bring forward the 3 best contenders for next year’s games. I really hope that we can bring home a medal or two in this event.

Good luck to Casey and Patrick Moulton! They both ran their qualifying times at the Freescale Austin Marathon in February of 2006. I’m not sure if I have ever raced Patrick, but Casey has beaten me pretty handily a few times.