On your mark: Athletes will race for a spot on Team USA at the Olympic Trials Marathon in Orlando
A look at the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials, which will be in Orlando on February 3, 2024.
Greater Orlando Sports Commission reports that the Olympic Trials Marathon will bring up to $15 million to the area.
Cassandra Matej, President and CEO of Visit Orlando, said local businesses will definitely benefit.
“People are staying in hotel rooms. They're going to be enjoying our restaurants, shopping and experiencing what the destination has to offer, whether they're a fan or an athlete.”
In addition to putting money into the local economy, Matej said the exposure Orlando receives from the Marathon will inspire more people to travel to Central Florida.
“The media attention and the visibility of this being televised, people are going to get to see downtown Orlando, and maybe something that they haven't experienced before.”
She adds that the extra exposure helps increase Orlando’s visibility to the rest of the world.
The trials, The City Beautiful, the locals
Downtown Orlando will be on the national stage when the trials are televised on Saturday.
The City Beautiful has a history of hosting large sporting events, and Matej said having the Trials in Orlando further illustrates the city's capacity to host events of large magnitude.
In addition, Matej said it’s equally important for Orlando to put its best foot forward as major companies will also be paying attention.
“There's going to be some major companies, such as Running USA, Brooks, Asics, (and) Nike that are all going to be here. So there's an opportunity to showcase our region to those businesses to bring a portion of their business to our community.”
Whether you’re a running fan or not, Matej said residents should be excited about the exposure Orlando will receive.
“We need to care that these types of events are happening. There is a financial economic impact to our community, but there's also that visibility of Central Florida and making sure that we're top of mind when others are going to be planning events like this.”
How to see the race
The Olympic Team Trials Marathon will have athletes running a 2.2 mile loop through Orlando’s downtown business district and the Milk District.
The Men’s race begins February 3 at 10:10 am and women begin at 10:20 am.
However, Matej said if you want to see the race, you should get downtown hours before the start time.
“I know myself, I'm probably going to get there between the six and seven o'clock hour.”
Matej said it’s better to park and walk to your viewing location as there will be street closures downtown.
For best viewing locations, Matej suggests the front lawn of Dr. Phillips Center for Performing Arts.
“But really anywhere along the route would be a great place to cheer on these athletes that have been training for years to be at this moment.”
For more information about the race, visit Orlando2024trials.com.
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