Beginning tomorrow January 12 through the 14th, the Houston Marathon Committee will be hosting Trials Town , a FREE, fun and exciting three-day interactive fan festival for all ages in celebration of the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon being held for the first time in Houston.  Everyone is welcome, and it will be a grand time for all! It’s an opportunity for you to join in on the spirit of the Houston Marathon and the thrill of the Olympic Trials.

TrialsTownwill be held at Discovery Green on Jones Lawn in downtownHouston . It will be open on this Thursday, Jan. 12 and Friday, Jan. 13 from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., and 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on race day Saturday, Jan. 14.

TrialsTownwill be featuring these most enjoyable segments: the United States Olympic Committee’s “Road to London Tour”, a Nike Zone, and the USA Track & Field’s Tracktown USA.

The United States Olympic Committee’s “Road to London Tour” is an interactive fan experience for people of all ages to discover more about what goes into achieving the astonishing Olympic Dream as an athlete. This is an experience that will bring the spirit and excitement of the London 2012 Olympic Games to Team USA fans around the country and kicks off in Houston for Saturday’s U.S. Olympic Team Trials Marathon. The tour includes fan participation and sport elements, Team USA giveaways and sponsor activations. All Road to London Tour stops are completely free of charge and open to the public! The Road to London Tour is highlighted by the interactive Team USA Sports Zone – a place for fans to experience the atmosphere of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, and try dozens of sporting activities focused on seven skill sets: agility, endurance, flexibility, Paralympic skills, precision, speed and strength. Examples of activities offered at the Team USA Sports Zone include:

  • Agility: step up to a table tennis table and attempt to return world class shots from an automated opponent
  • Endurance: encourages fans to pedal their way through theLondonOlympic cycling course
  • Flexibility: gives Team USA fans the opportunity to learn the technique of world class weightlifters
  • Paralympic: offers fans the challenge of shooting a basketball and navigating a basketball court while sitting in a wheelchair
  • Precision: features a range where fans test their rifle shooting skills against the records of the Team USA athletes
  • Speed: includes shuttle courses and a field hockey venue where fans dribble a field hockey ball around a slalom course
  • Strength: asks visitors to test their power and hand speed in a boxing simulator

In addition, visitors can learn about TeamUSAand Olympic Games history, have their photos taken while standing on an Olympic podium, play Olympic-themed video games and much, much more.

The Nike Zone will be offering customized apparel where you can personalize your own gear right on site, remarkable athlete appearances and incredible giveaways. Then the USA Track & Field’s Tracktown USA provides an interactive fun zone for aspiring young athletes.

Friday is a particularly special day because you’re invited to join us at Discovery Green for the Olympic Trials Opening Ceremony on Friday, January 13 at 5:30 p.m. where we will celebrate and personally welcome Olympic hopefuls, recognize past and present Olympians, including Carl Lewis, Frank Shorter, and Joan Benoit Samuelson, and feature local and industry leaders. The Ceremony will begin with a procession of the athletes and end with fireworks. We’re lucky to be having Larry Rawson, an Emmy Award Winning Broadcaster who has worked with ESPN, NBC and covered Track and Field for U.S. Olympic Committee since 1986 as our host. It’s our very own version of the Olympic Open Ceremonies. It will be an amazing time available for you to join in cheering on our future Olympians and be in awe of our past accomplished marathon athletes. Let’s come together and rally the spirit of our future Olympians.

Click here for a map and schedule of Trials Town.