Orlando gears up for U.S. Olympic marathon trials early next month
The Greater Orlando Sports Commission expects many thousands of people to line the streets of downtown Orlando on Feb. 3 to see the U.S. Olympic marathon trials.
Jason Siegel, president and CEO of the sports commission, said the trials will have an economic impact of $12 million to $15 million.
"But more than just that is the opportunity to host a significant Olympic qualifying event," he added, "as these will be the six athletes that represent our country at the Paris Summer Olympics."
The men's and women's races will have a staggered start shortly after 10 a.m. that Saturday on Rosalind Avenue near Amelia Street. The course takes a 2.2-mile loop in that area and then three laps on an eight-mile loop going east from downtown.
Organizers are encouraging fans to watch the races at several downtown locations, according to a city news release. These are:
- The Start Line on Rosalind Avenue near Amelia Street,
- The Finish Line on Rosalind Avenue near Washington Street at Lake Eola,
- Seneff Arts Plaza at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts and
- City Hall Plaza on Orange Avenue.
There's more information for spectators at Orlando2024Trials.com.
Race director Jon Hughes of Track Shack says the city is ready and is embracing the "Olympic spirit."
"[T]he course was created to set up the athletes for success and to keep them safe," he said. "The fans and spectators will appreciate all the different opportunities, the different areas where they're going to be able to view the event."
Also in Orlando, the NFL Pro Bowl is scheduled for the next day at Camping World Stadium.