Home > Runs & Races

U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials moved two hours earlier due to heat concerns

The start time, initially planned for noon in Orlando on Feb 3, has officially been rescheduled to 10 a.m. ET due to heat concerns

U.S. Olympic Trials Photo by: Kevin Morris

After months of negotiations between USATF, NBC and the City of Orlando, the 2024 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials, originally set for a noon start on Feb. 3, 2024, have officially been rescheduled to 10 a.m. ET due to concerns over runners’ heat exposure, USATF announced on Wednesday.

The initial noon start time, disclosed in August, raised worries among many coaches and athletes regarding the potential for high temperatures. While February temperatures in Orlando typically range from a low of 13 C to a high of 23 C, recent years have seen temperatures soar to 30 C, posing performance risks and safety concerns.

A letter expressing concerns about the heightened health risks associated with a noon start was penned by 2016 U.S. Olympic marathoner Jared Ward and former American half-marathon record holder Sara Hall. More than 100 runners signed the letter, prompting a meeting between the nation’s top marathon runners and USATF CEO Max Siegel in October with the aim of adjusting the start time.

Initially, runners were informed that moving the start time would be challenging due to logistics with the City of Orlando and the existing TV contract with NBC Sports. However, on Wednesday, USATF released a statement confirming the change: “In collaboration and consultation with feedback from the athletes regarding concerns around weather conditions, it has been agreed that the start time for the event will be moved to 10:00 a.m. ET. The earlier start time will help provide an improved experience for athletes, spectators, and event staff, ensuring the comfort and safety of all involved.”

Shalane Flanagan, USA Olympic Trials Marathon
Photo: Kevin Morris

USATF also assured that contingency plans would be in place to make further adjustments based on the projected weather for the race. The top three male and female finishers at the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials in February will earn the opportunity to represent the U.S. at the 2024 Paris Olympic Games next August.

Check out the latest buyer's guide:

Top 10 shoes our testers are loving in June

We tested tons of great shoes this year, but only the very best make the list