Olympic marathon trials are coming to Atlanta; here’s what you need to know

Who is competing, how to watch, where the course is and more

Whether you’re a seasoned runner or a novice with a resolution, this could be your year to take on a marathon.  And if you’re eyeing the Publix Atlanta Marathon or another 26.2-mile jaunt this year, your heart may thank you.

On Feb. 29, hundreds of marathon runners will leave the start line with hopes of becoming Olympians.

After the 26.2-mile foot race, the top three men and top three women will be bound for Tokyo’s 2020 Summer Olympics to represent the U.S. in the marathon.

As Atlanta prepares to hold the Olympic marathon trials, here are some things to know ahead of the event.

The race will start around noon on Feb. 29, with the men leaving the start line around 12:03 p.m. and the women slated to begin around 12:13 p.m.

The athletes will start and finish the race downtown in Centennial Olympic Park. After leaving the start line, the course heads north, looping through Midtown. Eventually, the athletes will make their way down near Summerhill, before heading back to downtown.

"Highlighting Atlanta's Olympic history and legacy, the course for the U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Marathon will take athletes on a tour of some of Atlanta's most important attractions and neighborhoods," the race's website notes.

Elevation information for the course can be found here.

In order to participate in the trial, athletes had to run a qualifying marathon between Sept. 1, 2017, and Jan. 19, 2020. For men, the qualifying time was between 2:15:00 and 2:19:00. For women, it was between 2:37:00 and 2:45:00.

Information on the athletes who have qualified for the trials is available on the race's website here.

Running Magazine reports that nearly 800 athletes have qualified for the event, which makes the field of competitors nearly double what it was in 2016.

Scott FaubleParker Stinson and Andrew Bumbalough are among the male runners with the fastest qualifying times, while Sara HallStephanie Bruce and Nell Rojas are at the top of the women's field.

NBC will broadcast the race beginning at noon, but for Atlantans who want to go out and see it live, spectator information can be found here. For visitors coming in from out of town, there is information on navigating MARTA, where to say and what to do in Atlanta available here.


Noon- 3 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 29
Centennial Olympic Park