This Saturday is a big day for a very special group of marathoners. The 2012 USA Olympic Trials for both men and women take place in Houston, Texas. The top three in each race will have the opportunity to take part in the 2012 London Olympic Games. Both races have large competitive fields. More than 120 men and 200 women have met the qualifying standards (2:19 & 2:46 respectively).
Along with the six I've come to know shown above (Nick, Brett, Emily, Jordan, Danny and Stephanie) I wanted to give a shout out and wish the best to a cadre of other qualifying runners I've come to know through racing, training, pot lucks, and correspondence over the years (I hope I don't miss anyone).
Best of luck to the rest of Flagstaff's qualifiers and those I've met during their stays here at one time or another: Jeffrey Eggleston, Abdi Abdirahman, Fasil Bizuneh, Stephan Shay, Alvina Begay, Paige Higgins, Natasha Labeaud, Trent Briney, Andrew Carlson and Ian Burrell.
I'd also be reticent if I didn't include those who have given some clout to those distances beyond the 26.2 mile mark. Here's to those ultrarunners that may or may not be representing this weekend: Catlin Smith, Kami Semick, Susannah Beck, Devon Crosby-Helms, Leah Thorvilson, Jenn Shelton, Meghan Arbogast, Mike Wardian, Max King and Ryan Bak (though not officially an ultra, Ryan's TransRockies finish is close enough).
You may know of someone who has qualified this weekend. Send them a note, cheer them on and show your support as the best of the best test themselves and each other. Good luck runners!