Hot weather at the 2000 Olympic Trials marathon in Pittsburgh resulted in slow times and only one athlete making the Olympic squad.
With the 2016 Olympic Team Trials marathon just hours away, there are as many story lines and topics of discussion as there are entrants in the races, which begin at 10 a.m. Pacific Standard Time.
That time has become an issue in the past 10 days or so as it’s become apparent that L.A. is going to be blanketed by unseasonably warm weather (can everyone say el Niño?) that could see the temperatures rise from the lower 70s at the start to above 80 by the finish. Organizers even thought of moving the start earlier, as they did for the open L.A. Marathon last year in similar conditions, but then decided it was unnecessary.
The ink, or whatever the electronic equivalent is these days, was barely dry on last week’s announcement that Los Angeles had been awarded the2016 men’s and women’s Olympic Trials marathon when the recriminations and second- and third-guessing began.
Members of the L.A. Organizing Committee and USATF officials stand in front of the Coliseum facade after the announcement that the 2016 Olympic Trials marathon would be held in Los Angeles.
Athletes, who had a stake in it, and fans and journalists, who had little or none, immediately questioned the decision of USATF CEO Max Siegel to select L.A. over Houston, which had been the choice of the members of the Long Distance Running committees at the USATF Annual Meeting in Indianapolis back in December.
That Siegel seemingly disregarded, or at least went against, those wishes might have been controversial, but was completely within the bylaws of the organization, which gave him the final say-so on awarding the Oylympic Trials. And indeed, it wasn’t totally surprising, given that the announcement didn’t come in Indy, but almost two months later. The prevailing feeling, ultimately proven correct, was that the longer the delay, the greater the chance that Houston was going to come out on the short end.