AUGUSTA, Ga. – GRU Augusta assistant coach for cross country and track and field, Pardon Ndhlovu, has a chance to qualify for the 2016 Olympic Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil from August 5-21, when he races the Grandma's Marathon in Duluth, Minn., this Saturday, June 21st.
Grandma's Marathon is a point-to-point course run along the north shore of Lake Superior. The 26.2-mile stretch begins on scenic Old Highway 61, just outside Two Harbors, Minn., and finishes in Duluth's Canal Park. Enthusiastic volunteers, spectators and live entertainers line the streets to cheer runners on as they stride to the finish line. The A standard qualifying time for the men's marathon event — 2h:15 min.
Ndhlovu must be one of the top-three marathon runners from Zimbabwe and be selected by their athletics federation to represent Zimbabwe at the 2016 Olympics. He must first run under 2:18:00 this weekend.
"We are extremely proud of Pardon and grateful for the ongoing service he is giving us as a graduate assistant coach for Jaguar Cross Country and Track & Field," said head coach Adam Ward. "I know one of his long term goals has been to represent his home country of Zimbabwe in the Olympics and this weekend he is again attempting to do this. He will race the Grandma's Marathon in Duluth, Minn., and we wish him all the best as he does so. I'm privileged to have the opportunity to work with him as a coach and friend."
2016 Olympic Trials - Marathon Qualifying Standards (Men)
Event "A standard" "B standard"
Marathon 2:15:00 2:18:00
- Athletes must meet the "B" standard in order to enter the 2016 Olympic Team Trials – Marathon event.
- The qualifying mark must be made on a certified course, in an event Sanctioned by USA Track & Field or a member federation of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).
- The course must be certified with an active course certification and have an elevation loss no greater than 3.25 meters/km. All course configurations will be accepted (no minimum separation).
- The qualifying standards must be met from August 1, 2013 until 30 days prior to the designated Olympic Trials race.
- All qualifying performances are subject to verification.
- "Gun" time is the only acceptable method of timing. Chip/net times cannot be used for qualifying. Consideration may be given to "chip/tag" times for competitors with "gun" times extremely close to the above qualifying standards.
- Athletes meeting the "A" standard will be provided funding support.