Sunday, January 8, 2012
Does Rhines Have a Real Shot at Olympic Marathon Trials?
One thing is clear in the lead-up to next weekend's US Olympic marathon trials: no one is giving Jen Rhines much of a chance to finish in the top three and make the team. Only one of the 263 experts who voted in a Runner's World poll predicted that Jen would win the trials. Most observers think that she'll have to catch lightning in a bottle to make the team. Three reasons form the basis of this conventional wisdom: (1) Jen has not completed a marathon since running her PR (2:29:32) in Rome in February 2006; (2) she was a DNF at the 16 mile mark at the New York City marathon in November, despite some optimistic talk prior to the race; and (3) Jen has been rather clear that she'll try to make her fourth USA Olympic team at a different distance: the 10,000 meters. On the other hand, Jen did win national titles on the roads in the past year at 15,000 meters and the half-marathon (where in January 2011 she ran her PR of 1:11:14). Moreover, one of Jen's three Olympic berths was a marathoner (Athens in 2004).
Click HERE for a good review from Runner's World of the major contenders at the trials.