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


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 (26 men and 28 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.”

RRCA Wishes Our Grantees and RunPro Campers the Best of Luck:

Brogan Austin
Colin Bennie
Andrew Colley
Johnny Crain
Daniel Docherty
Eric Finan
Reed Fischer
Martin Hehire
Tyler Jermann
Elkanah Kibet
Bernard Lagat
Craig Leon
Kevin Lewis
Matthew Llano
Augustus Maiyo
Tyler McCandless
Matthew McClintock
Connor McMillan
William Milam
Nico Montanez
Tyler Pennel
Luke Puskedra
Joel Reichow
Patrick Smyth
Parker Stinson
Matt Welch  

Gabi Anzalone
Esther Atkins
Emma Bates
Samantha Bluske-Palmer
Kelsey Bruce
Stephanie Bruce
Nicole DiMercurio
Kristen Findley
Lindsay Flanagan
Kaitlin Goodman
Roberta Groner
Michaela Hackett
Sara Hall
Megan Hogan
Brittni Hutton
Katy Jermann
Heather Lieberg
Michelle Lilienthal
Dakotah Lindwurm
Meaghan Nelson
Mara Olson
Meghan Peyton
Tara Richardson
Bethany Sachtleben
Maria Scavuzzo
Susanna Sullivan
Aliphine Tuliamuk
Rebecca Wade
Alexis Zeis


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