Olympic Hopefuls Come To Houston

This Saturday Houston will host the U.S. Marathon Olympic trials for the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London.


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In front of the George R. Brown Convention Center, workers are putting up tents, canopies, staging areas, even a Nike retail booth.

The road to the London games starts here.  I found participant Caitlin Chrissman out on the street about to try out the course. She had just flown in from North Carolina.

“Well, if I was going to win, I’d probably have an entourage of people around me right now, so I’m not one of those people, but my goal is to finish in higher place than what I’m seeded in. And I don’t know what I’m seeded. Maybe like 70th or 80th so I’d like to place higher than that.”

Chrissman says she qualified in 2010 and spent all of last year training for the Olympic trials, running 80 to 90 miles a week and spending time in the weight room. Still she says coming in the top 3 and making the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Marathon will be tough.

“My family is here. Just the whole experience is an experience of a lifetime.”

Bill: “And if somehow you actually made the team?”

“I would be very surprised and ecstatic of course, but I already have tickets booked to watch other events at the Olympics in London.”

Liana Bernard of Medford Oregon is another Olympic hopeful. She’s also not expecting to finish near the top, but she says she’s just excited about the opportunity.

“Oh, super-excited. I’m so glad I’m here. I’ve been working so hard for this moment and this time, so I’m super blessed to be here.”

Saturdays Olympic trials will be nationally televised. Jim Estes with the U.S. Track and Field says they wanted to design a course that is similar to the one in London, but that also shows some of Houston’s beauty.

“We want to try and mimic what the athletes are going to be dealing with in the Olympic Games the best we can. So the trials themselves, this course is laid out to mimic the London course in some ways. It’s going to be the same type of layout with a 2.2 mile loop at the beginning and then three 8 mile loops.”

Estes says there’s almost no chance of rain causing the trials to be canceled. The course was specifically designed to avoid areas that might flood.

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