Odds are I won't be attending any events at the actual Olympic games next year, so it's a huge treat that they'll be holding the Olympic men's marathon trials in the very same park where I run every day. I'm teeth-chatteringly excited about it. The only Olympic qualifications they had in the park the last time around, that I'm aware of, was for the archery competition. I sat and watched that for a little bit, but I was mostly just curious to see if Geena Davis was there. There's something cool when someone who's famous for something totally different just happens to have athletic skill at that level. She didn't qualify though, so I guess she doesn't.
Anyway...next Saturday morning I finish my crazy overnight working hours at 7 am and the race starts at 7:35, so I'll be sprinting out of the office and heading north and east to catch the speedy marathon boys just as they as they enter the park at about the mile and a half point. They'll be doing five loops of the park, so I should be able to get a glimpse of them flying by 10 times if I plan it right. It's really too good to be true...how often do you see a world class sporting event where you get to be just mere feet away from the athletes? And it's also incredibly rare in our sport to be able to see a race develop from so many points along the course without having to watch it on TV.
Another happy treat will be that the Minnesota contingent, including our own bloggerman Zeke, is making an appearance in the city for the occasion, so hopefully I'll be able to catch up with them during the day as they also scramble around the park watching the boys battle it out for the three Olympic team spots.
I haven't decided yet if I'm rooting for anyone in particular. I tend to go for the underdogs, so I'd be thrilled to see Khalid Khannouchi bounce back from all his injury troubles and show us what he's capable of. He's a local guy and about my age, so I'll definitely have an eye out for him. And I'm really hoping to see some of the other big names just jogging around the park this week. How 'bout this? If I recognize anyone, that'll be a sign that that's who I'm supposed to cheer for.
I'll plan on posting some photos of the race...it'll be good incentive for me to figure out how to do that on this new blog platform.