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RRCA Programs Show the Value of Investing in Emerging Elite Athletes Heading into the USA Olympic Team Marathon Trials

February 18, 2020

The Olympic Marathon Trials boasts the largest field ever, with 54 athletes having received support from RRCA over the years.

The Olympic Marathon Trials boasts the largest field ever, with 54 athletes having received support from RRCA over the years.

 Arlington, VA – Through its Roads Scholar and RunPro Camp programs, the Road Runners Club of America (RRCA) shows that financial and programmatic support of emerging elite athletes can pay dividends over time.  On February 29, 2020 at the USA Olympic Team Marathon Trials in Atlanta, Georgia, 54 athletes (25 men and 29 women) that have received grants from the RRCA or attended RunPro Camp will toe the line in an effort to make the US Olympic Team.

Since 1996, the RRCA has awarded grants through its Roads Scholar program to assist American, post-collegiate, road runners who show great promise to develop into national and world class road running athletes. The Roads Scholar program, including the Trials grants, has distributed over $680,000 in support of elite athlete development.

At the 2012 Olympic Trials Marathon, 12 Roads Scholar grantees ran in the event.  Four years later at the 2016 Olympic Trials Marathon in Los Angeles, the RRCA saw 34 grantees run in the event, with top Roads Scholar finishers getting the 4th, 5th, and 6th place spots.

“Having 54 athletes running in the Trials that the RRCA has supported over the years is a testament to the importance of investing in athletes at the start of their careers,” explained Jean Knaack, RRCA executive director.  “A key message we provide during RunPro Camp is that athletes should take a long-term view of the sport and understand that professional running success often comes several years, if not a decade, after a collegiate running career.  Some of the athletes running in this year’s Trials received grants from the RRCA as far back as 2009.”

In addition, the RRCA will provide financial support to the Atlanta Track Club (an RRCA member) who has taken on the important task of hosting the Olympic Trials Marathon, which boasts the largest field of qualified participants ever for an Olympic Trials Marathon.

“By supporting the Atlanta Track Club in their efforts to host the Trials, we feel it is yet another way to financially support all of the athletes running in the event,” explain Knaack.

Patricia Goodwin, founder, Minnesota Distance Elite, remarked,“the RRCA, in the last four years, has provided the best support of any organization for American distance runners.  With their RunPro Camp, Roads Scholars, and Elite grants, plus their presence at the upcoming Trials in Atlanta, they have stepped it up even more.It reflects well on the RRCA’s investment in athletes.”

About the RRCA: The Road Runners Club of America (RRCA) is the oldest and largest national association of running organizations and runners dedicated to growing the sport since 1958. The RRCA champions the development of community-based running clubs and events that serve runners of all ages and abilities in pursuit of health and competition. The RRCA’s vision is to see organized and active running clubs and events in every community in the U.S. To learn more, visit: www.RRCA.org.

About RunPro Camp: The purpose of the RunPro Camp is to personally connect aspiring professional runners with the resources necessary to pursue a professional running career. The next RunPro Camp will be held July 16-18, 2020 in Arlington, VA. Application information can be found on RunPro.com and 15-20 athletes will be funded to attend this special orientation to professional running.  Athletes interested in running distance events on the track and on the roads professionally are encourage to apply.