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2024 US Olympic marathon trials: Preview, schedule and athletes to watch

For American marathon runners with dreams of competing at Paris 2024, the US trials are the most important pre-Olympic race this season. Three men and three women can qualify for the USA Team at the trials in Orlando and the nation’s best will all battle for those vital podium places. Find out everything you need to know about the trials that take place on Saturday 3 February. 

On Saturday 3 February in Orlando, Florida, the USA’s best marathoners will line up on the starting line for the Olympic Team Trials - a one-off race that will decide the athletes that will have the chance to represent Team USA in the Paris 2024 marathon.

maximum of three male and three female athletes could represent Team USA in Paris, and a podium finish at these trials is one essential element when it comes to making it to the Olympic starting line.

This year’s contenders include a mix of returning Olympians and rising stars with their trials qualification secured by setting a marathon time of 2:18 or half-marathon of 1:03 for men, and 2:37 or 1:12 for women over the same distances.

While those stats are impressive, they are also some way off the Paris 2024 athletics entry standards for men of 2:08:10 and 2:26:50 for women, with only two men and three women in the field registering those times in the lead-up to the upcoming trials.

However, in many ways the complexities of the pathway to Paris have little bearing on Saturday’s race, where one thing is exceedingly simple: Finish on the podium and your Paris 2024 dream lives on, finish outside the top three and the journey is over.

Where will the 2024 US Olympic Team Trials Marathon take place?

The US marathon trials will start and finish in the same location in downtown Orlando, close to Lake Eola Park. An approximately five-and-a-half kilometre (2.2-mile) loop will be followed by three 13-kilometre (eight-mile) loops to the finish line. The course is flat, with long straights - so there is hope that fast times could be on the cards.

Athletes to watch at the 2024 US Olympic Team Trials for Marathon

In the men’s race, Conner Mantz set the fastest time to qualify for the trials with 2:07:47 at the 2022 Chicago Marathon. He is one of only two men in the race to have achieved the Olympic qualifying standard, alongside his friend and former mentor Clayton Young, who ran 2:08:00 in the same race as Mantz in the Windy City. Both Mantz and Young hail from Utah, and have a long history of running and training together. However, if they are to make the USA team they will need to be at their very best to see off the challenges of some real veterans of the sport such as Galen Rupp and Scott Fauble.

Rupp (37) is one of the most successful American marathon runners in recent history, with victories in Chicago in 2017 and two second-place finishes in Boston (2017) and Chicago (2021). He also brings with him some real Olympic pedigree, having won 10,000m silver at London 2012 and bronze in the marathon at Rio 2016.

For his part, Fauble has been one of the leading American males for the past 10 years and his qualifying time of 2:08:52, set on the hilly streets of Boston in 2022, is close enough to the Olympic qualifying time that he will once again be among the favourites at this year’s trials.

Also keep a close eye on Sam Chelanga, who at 38 years old will join Fauble as one of the older runners in the field. His qualifying time of 2:08:50 was two seconds faster than Fauble's and the fourth-fastest in the field.

The women’s race is arguably even more intriguing than the men’s and includes several athletes who have made headlines with their performances over the past years.

With a time of 2:18:29 to qualify for the trials - again from the 2022 Chicago Marathon, Emily Sisson is the American record holder and favourite to make it onto the Olympic team. Hot on her heels with a qualifying time of 2:18:12, Keira D’Amato is also one you won’t want to take your eyes off. Having taken a 10-year hiatus from running, D’Amato stormed back to set a then-US record of 2:19:12 at the 2022 Houston Marathon - a time only bested by Sisson later that same year - and holds the American record for the half-marathon (1:06:37).

Kenyan-born Betsy Saina set a rapid time of 2:21:40 in the 2023 Tokyo Marathon for the third-fastest qualifying time in the field. The race followed the birth of her first child Kayla in 2021 as well as two previous races in which she failed to finish, in New York and Tokyo.

Sara Hall is a veteran of the marathon scene whose comeback silver at the 2021 London Marathon will live long in the memory and is proof of the grit and determination she is capable of showing. The 40-year-old also registered a third-place finish in the 2021 Marathon Major in Chicago and will be aiming to make the Olympic team at her eighth trials.

Aliphine Tuliamuk, the winner of the last US trials, will be aiming to make her second Olympic team in a row.

Who will come out victorious? In a race like the marathon, it's just too difficult to predict. However, with a field like this one, you won't want to miss a minute of the race.

2024 US marathon trials schedule

All times EST (CET -6)

Saturday 3 February

Men’s start: 10:10 am

Women’s start: 10:20 am

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