Earlier today, Fargo’s Eric Loeffler qualified for the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials for the second time.
Eric finished the USA Half Marathon Championships, in Houston, Texas, in 1 hours, 4 minutes, 48 seconds – an incredible race that earned some travel reimbursement for his trip to Los Angeles, which will host the 2016 U.S. Marathon Trials. Here’s the Los Angeles Times story on the announcement.
Three years ago, Eric also ran CIM to qualify for the 2012 trials, which were held in Houston. He came within seconds of qualifying for the second time when he ran the same course just last month. And today, in impressive fashion, Eric accomplished what very few runners can accomplish.
This year, qualifying for the A and B standards in the marathon became more difficult as elite runners continue to get faster and faster. For men, the A standard is 2:15, and the B standard is 2:18. Men can also run a half marathon in 1:05 to qualify with a B standard mark.
How much more difficult is it to qualify now? For the 2012 U.S. Trials, the A standard was 2:19, so runners hoping to make that mark much run 4 minutes faster.
Here are the qualifying guidelines, and only athletes meeting the A standard will receive funding support to participate. Athletes meeting the B standard can run in the Trials, but do not receive financial assistance through USA Track and Field.
Awesome job, Eric. You’ve earned another trip to the Olympic Marathon Trials.