ATLANTA -- April 23, 2018 -- The road to Tokyo will run through Atlanta, Georgia. USA Track & Field and the U.S. Olympic Committee announced Monday that Atlanta will host the 2020 Olympic Team Trials – Marathon. The race will determine the six athletes who will represent the United States in the marathon at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.
“Atlanta is Running City, USA,” said Rich Kenah, Executive Director of Atlanta Track Club which led the efforts to bring the race to Atlanta and will serve as the Local Organizing Committee. “We are excited to show America’s best distance runners why we claim that title. We are equally as excited to give the people of Atlanta the chance to cheer on these athletes as they chase their Olympic dream on our streets.”
Starting in Centennial Olympic Park, the 2020 Olympic Team Trials – Marathon will be held on Saturday, February 29, 2020 in conjunction with Publix Atlanta Marathon weekend. The course, which is still being finalized, will start and finish in Centennial Olympic Park and take competitors through Midtown Atlanta, Piedmont Park, Historic Old Fourth Ward, and underneath Atlanta’s iconic Olympic rings and cauldron.
Kenah pointed out that the strength and dedication of Atlanta's running community was a deciding factor in the Club's decision to bid for the event. It became a major selling point for the committee that ultimately chose Atlanta over three other bidding cities. "Atlanta Track Club has more than 120,000 finishers at its events, 29,000 members, 10,000 active volunteers and a decades long history supporting high school and youth running. It is our intention to bring this community together in a grand celebration of running on the weekend of February 29, 2020," said Kenah.
As part of the bid, Atlanta Track Club developed a first-of-its-kind revenue share with the athletes and committed to cover travel expenses of all qualified athletes regardless of their ranking. “The athlete experience was the foundation of our bid to bring the trials to Atlanta,” said Kenah. “We plan to deliver a race weekend where all qualifiers are treated like U.S. champions.”
Kenah explained 60% of any money generated by the trials will go back to the Club to cover the cost of the event. The remaining 40% will go back to the Athletes Advisory Committee of USA Track & Field to be distributed among the competitors. “This is about giving back to the sport,” said Kenah. “To preserve Atlanta’s Olympic Legacy, it is imperative that we invest in the Olympic future. The future is all of the athletes who qualify for the 2020 Olympic Team Trials – Marathon.”
“Atlanta’s legacy in the sport, their creative commitment to athlete support, and the experience of their event management team were compelling,” USATF CEO Max Siegel said in a release. USATF looks forward to working with Atlanta Track Club, the City of Atlanta and the U.S. Olympic Committee on what promises to be an amazing 2020 Olympic Trials Marathon”
The 2020 Olympic Team Trials – Marathon adds yet another high profile sporting event to Atlanta’s calendar. Under the leadership of the Atlanta Sports Council, which worked with Atlanta Track Club to secure the Trials, Atlanta has hosted the 2018 College Football Playoff Championship game and will host the 2019 Super Bowl and the 2020 NCAA Basketball Men's Final Four.
The qualifying window for the 2020 Olympic Team Trials – Marathon is open now. Men must run 2:19:00 or faster for the full marathon or 1:04:00 or faster the half marathon to be eligible. Women must run 2:45:00 or faster for the full marathon or 1:13:00 or faster for the half marathon to be accepted into the race.
The top three finishers in the 2020 Olympic Team Trials – Marathon will be named to the 2020 U.S. Marathon team. They will also receive part of a prize purse totaling $480,000.
The Publix Atlanta Marathon, Half Marathon & 5K will be held March 1, 2020. It will not be run on the same course as the Olympic Team Trials - Marathon. The course for the Publix Atlanta Marathon is being designed this spring and will be unveiled in the coming weeks.