2004 U.S. Olympic Team Trials - Women's Marathon
Presented by Michelob Ultra
Thousands of fans line course in Forest Park; Three women earn spots on U.S. Olympic team
April 3, 2004 - Forest Park
The weather couldn't have been any better, the fans were tremendous, and the runners provided quite a story at the 2004 U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Women's Marathon presented by Michelob Ultra.
Thousands of fans with American Flags lined the course in Forest Park cheering on the top women's marathon runners in the country, adding to the region's Olympic legacy and showing why St. Louis is one of America's best sports cities.
The top three finishers at the Trials earned a spot on the U.S. Olympic Team headed to the 2004 Summer Games in Athens. Colleen DeReuck, a South Africa native who became a U.S. citizen a little more than three years ago, won the race and set a new trials record with a time of 2:28:25. De Reuck qualified for her fourth Olympics, first for the United States, just 10 days shy of her 40 th birthday. Deena Kastor (2:29:38) and Jen Rhines (2:29:57) also secured Olympic berths. For the first time, all three women ran a sub-2:30 time at the Olympic Trials. A total of 107 runners finished the race.
Hosted by t he St. Louis Sports Commission and the Spirit of St. Louis Marathon & Family Fitness Weekend, the Trials commemorated the 100 th anniversary of the Olympic Marathon in St. Louis. The event was part of Celebrate 2004, the region's yearlong civic celebration highlighting revitalization accomplishments and marking the centennial of the 1904 Olympics and World's Fair, and bicentennial of the Lewis and Clark expedition.
According to Running USA writer Ryan Lampa, “The city of St. Louis embraced the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials and the athletes who performed well before supportive crowds in Forest Park. Congratulations on producing such a memorable event.”
Lampa summed up the race quite nicely, “Over a criterium course in Forest Park, the women's Trials race produced plenty of drama and plot twists as Blake Russell tried to steal the race from the start, but was overcome by Trials favorite Kastor who took control of the race after 18 miles and later lost it at 24 miles to De Reuck who was seeking redemption from last year's "crash and burn" here at the USA Championship and finally, Rhines who passed Russell at 26 miles put together the marathon everybody in the sport expected of her.
“This team is arguably the best that the United States has qualified for the Summer Games,” Lampa added.