Both Boston and New York both bid for hosting the Olympic Marathon Trials as they did in 2007/2008, but fans will not have to travel to two separate races for the 2012 Trials as Houston has been chosen the location for both the men’s and women’s races.

The city of Houston will be investing $1.7 million dollars to manage the event logistics, athlete support, travel and prize money. The Marathon Trials will be held a day before the Houston Marathon on January 14, 2012, with the top 3 runners of both races getting a slot on the London Olympic Team.

The timing for Houston provides enough time to recover from the race before the Olympics, but is close enough to the early August start of the London Games for the race to still be relevant.

“As we expected, all three bids were remarkable, and all three bids had qualities that made each unique,” USATF CEO Doug Logan. “Ultimately, we feel that hosting the Olympic Trials at Houston will afford our athletes the best opportunity to succeed in London. What was most striking about Houston’s bid was their ability to integrate the Olympic Trials into their weekend of racing in a way that benefitted all parties, but first and foremost, the athletes.”

Houston last hosted the Olympic Marathon Trials in 1992, when they determined which women would be traveling to Barcelona.

Houston is a little more difficult for me to travel to then either Boston or New York (or Boston and New York, as the case was in 2008) but I think that it will be a good venue and I hope that I can get down there to watch.

I’ve already got 2 friends who have qualified and a group of my college teammates are currently training for the Trials so I really hope that I’ll be able to see at least a few of them competing as well.

There are normally 2 qualifying standards, an “A” standard that is all expenses paid and a “B” standard that allows you into the race. For 2012, the men only have an “A” standard of 2:19:00 in the marathon, although they can also qualify with a 1:05:00 half marathon or a 28:30 10k.

The women’s “A” standard for the marathon is 2:39:00, although they can run a “B” standard time of 2:46:00 in the marathon, or 1:15:00 in the half marathon, or 33:00 in the 10k.

(More Info: USATF – Qualifying Standards: MenWomen – Image Courtesy: London 2012)

Go here if you want to see my photos from the 2008 Women’s Trials: