Chattanooga in running to host 2020 Marathon/Half Olympic Trials - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Chattanooga in running to host 2020 Marathon/Half Olympic Trials, USATF visiting this weekend

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The PyeongChang 2018 Games closed in style Sunday night on NBC.

The Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics are on deck. Sure it's two years away, but Chattanooga wants in on the Olympic narrative right now. So much so that they're officially on a short list of just four cities trying to host the marathon and half marathon Team USA Olympic Trials.

"Just to know we have an opportunity for Team USA to be defined on our streets," said President of the Greater Chattanooga Sports and Events Committee Tim Morgan. "That's kind of cool."

Chattanooga submitted it's letter of intent to bid for the 2020 Team USA Marathon and Half Marathon Olympic Trials. 

Morgan said, "we are extremely familiar with hosting major events."

For example, Chattanooga has recently hosted the USA Cycling National Championships, the IRONMAN World Championship and other major events, but Chattanooga hasn't hosted a US Olympic qualifier since hosting the US Boxing Olympic trials in 2007.

Now it's up to Morgan and his team to convince US Track and Field Chattanooga is better suited than three other cities, Atlanta, Orlando and Austin.

"Larger markets, so we're going to play to our strengths," Morgan explained. "The ability to make things happen. That's our differentiator. At the end of the day, we care more."

Morgan says the soon to be finished estimated $14 million renovations of Miller Park will serve as the race day epicenter. Just like the role Ross's Landing plays for the IRONMAN.

"It's an opportunity for us to showcase the heart of downtown Chattanooga, Hamilton County," Morgan added.

The 2020 Olympic trials would take place on a Saturday in March of 2020, and the annual Chattanooga Marathon would follow on Sunday. That's perfect timing because members of the USA Track and Field governing body will make a site visit this weekend during the Chattanooga Marathon.

The winning city will also host the 2019 USA National Championship Marathon and Half Marathon races. March 19th is the deadline for finalized bids. Morgan says this isn't just a track and field thing. He's eyeing other Olympic trials as well.



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