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.
Most commemorations of historical events wait for multiples of five or more to hold any sort of significant celebration, but there’s at least one that deserves recognition even though it’s just one year shy of the half-century mark.
Billy Mills wins the 1964 Olympic 10,000m
In fact, it could well be argued that Billy Mills’ stunning victory in the Olympic 10,000 meter run in Tokyo on the ides of October, 1964, is worth celebrating on each of its anniversaries, and indeed, every one of the 364 days in between.
For those whose grasp of track and field history is a bit foggy, Mills was the Native American and U.S. Marine who shocked the world by outsprinting world record holder Ron Clarke of Australia, the pre-race favorite, and Tunisia’s Mohammed Gammoudi down the final straightaway to grab the gold medal in an Olympic record 28:24.4, a PR by almost 50 seconds. It remains the only Olympic gold won by an American in the event and was the only medal of any color until Galen Rupp won silver in London in the race last year. Continue reading