This past weekend, a few of Oiselle’s Haute Volée Olympic Trials Qualifiers in the marathon ran Atlanta Track Club’s “Road to Gold” course preview race. Check out their insights below, and get pumped for what’s going to be a gritty and epic Olympic Trials in 2020!
Anna Weber: I am really impressed with the course the Atlanta Track Club put together. There definitely isn't time to be bored out there with the abundance of historical landmarks and constant changes in elevation! Some of the highlights include starting near Centennial Park, running past the Margaret Mitchell House, running past Emory and University of Georgia, and making a 180 degree turn at the Olympic rings from the '96 games. The question I know everyone wants answered is how hilly is it really? I can say this will be a much more challenging course than Los Angeles. The first 4 miles of the loop are a net downhill, but then the climbing begins. The hills will definitely present a significant challenge next year, and I'm really excited I got a chance to really experience them! If I had to compare this to another course, I would say it is similar to a condensed version of the Philadelphia Marathon, or the last 6 miles of Twin Cities.
Teal Burrell: Oh man that was a ROUGH one for me! Yikes, don’t know what that was about but at least I got to see the course! I was kind of hoping the hills were over exaggerated, but they definitely are not. I think the worst were just between miles 4 and 5 (which we’ll hit every lap) and the last two or so miles. Even the flatter parts in the first few miles weren’t that flat, I felt like we were always going at least slightly up or down. But the good news is the Atlanta Track Club is doing a phenomenal job and really thinking of every detail to make the Trials a great experience for the athletes and spectators. It’s going to be a really hard race but we will be well taken care of!!
Paula Pridgen: To start with, Atlanta Track Club is going to put on a GREAT race next year. I feel so lucky to be running the Trials in a year that the Atlanta Track Club is hosting the event. They are going above and beyond to provide us the best experience possible, and I am truly grateful for that. As far as the course goes, there will be challenges like a hilly terrain, uneven road surfaces (potholes, broken pavement, etc.), possible wind (especially when funneled through tall, downtown buildings), and many turns to name a few. However, the biggest surprise of the weekend was learning that the marathon may not start until noon! Start time is up to NBC, who will be broadcasting the event. There is not a definite time as of now, but we were told that it could be noon or later.
Course profile from Alissa Kolarik.
The countdown to the 2020 Trials begins! Can't wait to cheer on these birds through the all the course's ups and downs.