Six come up victorious at Team USA Marathon Trials

ATLANTA, GA (News4usonline) – Over 700 top American marathon athletes flooded downtown Atlanta for the U.S. Marathon Olympic Team Trials, facing one of the toughest marathon courses with gusty 20 mph winds, cold weather and a brutal hilly course to overcome that climbed 1,389 feet uphill and descended 1,382 feet.

The runners pushed themselves through this challenging course with the top athletes finishing the course in less than two and a half hours earning seats to represent Team USA at the Tokyo Olympic Games. Many of the top seeded runners had strong starts, but ended up fading and dropping out as the course took a toll on them. Meanwhile, there were many non-sponsored women with impressive races despite the difficult conditions.

<script async src=""></script>
<ins class="adsbygoogle"
style="display:block; text-align:center;"
(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});

The 2020 U.S. Olympic Marathon team is set. The top 3 finishers of the men’s and women’s marathon will represent the United States at the Olympic Games in Tokyo 2020. Those celebrated athletes are Alphine Tuliamuk, Molly Seidel, and Sally Kipyego for the American women’s team. Galen Rupp, Jacob Riley and Abdi Abdirahman will represent for the American men’s team.

Tokyo Olympics Team USA
Jacob Riley (left), Galen Rupp and Abdi Abdirahman will represent the American men’s marathon team at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Photo by Melinda Meijer for News4usonline

The men’s field was a deeply talented field with all the athletes vying to cross the finish line in top three to earn a spot on the Team USA. All eyes were on Rupp, Riley, Abdirahaman, Jared Ward, Leonard Korir, Scott Fauble, Abdi  and Bernard Lagat. The men’s race started with 2016 Olympic Marathon Trials fourth-place finisher Luke Puskedra taking the lead in the first mile.

He held his own until Brian Shrader moved to the front as the fifth mile approached. By mile 11, Shrader grew a 50 second lead from the pack and started to look fatigued at mile 13 in 1:04:53. Rupp, Abdirahman and nine other men led the chase pack to close the gap. Rupp made up 23 seconds of ground on Shrader at mile 15. At mile 16, Rupp caught up with Shrader and built a lead of his own which triggered the start for Tokyo.

Forty-three-year-old Abdirahman, a four-time Olympian, ran on Rupp’s side with Augustus Maiyo, Matt McDonald and Korir, and led through mile 20. Rupp then pulled away stretching his lead to 17 seconds by mile 21. By the time he reached the finish line, Rupp’s lead had widened. He wound up recording the third fastest win time in Trials history with a time of 2:09:20.

Alphine Tuliamuk, Molly Seidel, and Sally Kipyego broke out of the pack of the women’s marathon trials to earn a spot on the U.S. Olympic team for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Photo by Melinda Meijer for News4usonline

Riley finished with a PR best time of 2:10:02. Abdirahman made his record fifth Olympic team with a time of 2:10:03, good enough for a third place finish. Korir finished 2:10:06, but not on the podium.

Tuliamuk was the women’s winner of Olympic Marathon Trials, crossing the finish line in 2:27:23 with her arms high in the air carrying an American Flag. Seidel, ran her debut marathon with an impressive eight seconds behind Tuliamuk, coming in at 2:27:31. Kipyego placed third in 2:28:52.

The women’s race was equally as exciting as the men’s course with Emily Sisson, Des Linden, Kipyego and Sara Hall leading the pack for the first six miles in 34:24. Staying together as a pack, a group of 20 runners passed with miles in at 45:57. Ten miles in several women took the leading spots. By mile 13, more than a dozen runners timed in at 1:14:38 before Sisson took the lead. By mile 20, the pack started to spread with Kipyego and Seidel moving to the lead.

Top Three: Galen Rupp (left), Abdi Abdirahman, and Jacob Riley will represent the American men’s marathon team at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Photo by Melinda Meijer for News4usonline

By mile 21, Tuliamuk had pushed and moved to the lead. At mile 23, Tuliamuk and Seidel were running shoulder to shoulder, 22 seconds in front of Kipyego. Top contender Laura Theatt and Linden were pushing to get back in contention. By mile 23, Tuliamuk stretched her lead over Seidle and Kipyego by a minute. Fighting through the last portion of climbs, Thweatt had her sight on Kipyego, but did not have enough left in the tank to overtake her for the bronze spot.

Tuliamuk crushed the finish line in 2:27:23, the second-fastest time in Trials history, and eight seconds in front of Seidel. Kipyego sealed the third seat with a time of 2:28:52. Linden finished out of the running for the top three spots 11 seconds behind the trio with a time of 2:29:03.

These six new Olympians with continue their journey to gold in the 2020 Olympic Games in Sapporo. The remainder of the Team USATF will self-select at the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials June 19-28 in Eugene Oregon.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.