The mission of Greenville Track Club-ELITE is:
As stated in the mission, one of our goals has been to have our athletes qualify for the USA Olympic Team Trials. And since our inception in 2012, we have achieved that goal ten times, including the Marathon Trials in Los Angeles (2016) , Atlanta (2020) and now Orlando (2024) in addition to the 2021 Track & Field Trials in Eugene, OR. Greenville Track Club-ELITE will have Jason Weitzel and Jack Mastandrea on the starting line at 10:10 am on Saturday, February 3rd.
Jason Weitzel qualified for the this year's Trials by running 2:15:55 at the Bakline McKirdy Micro Marathon in Cottage Valley, NY in October. His time was a huge 8-minutes 36-seconds improvement from his initial marathon back in May at Ottawa, Ontario. However, it was not a big surprise to his coach and teammates as he had multiple high placings since joining GTC-ELITE in the summer of 2022. Jason has placed 12th twice in the USATF 10K Road Championships and 15th at the USATF 15K Championships, in addition to other very good performances.
Jack Mastandrea had previously qualified with his 2:17:28 at the 2022 Ottawa Marathon before joining this program in August of 2023. He has adjusted to his new environment and won the CPI Security Charlotte Turkey Trot 8K in Charlotte, NC and the Ameris Jacksonville Half Marathon in Florida. He recently placed second to Weitzel in th GTC Run Downtown 5K in Greenville, SC as both athletes did their final tune-up before the Marathon Trials.
The program also has Eduardo "Eddie" Garcia as a two-time Trials Qualifier (2020 & 2024). However, Eddie has dual citizenship and although he ran 2:17:09 to best the 2:18:00 qualification standard, he has chosen to represent the US Virgin Islands in international competition and not compete in the USA Trials. He is currently awaiting a potential selection to the ISV (US Virgin Islands) Olympic team for Paris 2024. Such selection will depend on his World Athletics Ranking points as of the end of April. Eddie has international experience at the marathon distance, participating in the 2019 Pan American Games in Lima, Peru and the 2023 World Athletics Championships in Eugene.
The 42.195 Kilometer/26.2 mile course is relatively flat and consists of an initial 2.2-mile loop followed by three laps of an 8-mile loop through downtown Orlando with the finish near picturesque Lake Eola. The current weather forecast, which can change daily, calls for an early morning low of about 50 degrees and trending warmer by the 10:10 am men's start. The event will be broadcast on Peacock (10:00 am - 1:00 pm) and NBC (12:00 noon - 3:00 pm).
Greenville Track Club-ELITE was established in 2012 and is in its second decade as a post-collegiate, Olympic-development program. The program produced four qualifiers for the 2016 USA Olympic Trials Marathon in Los Angeles, one qualifier/participant for the 2019 Pam American Games Marathon in. Lima, Peru, three qualifiers/two participants for the 2020 USA Olympic Trials Marathon in Atlanta, GA, one qualifier and participant in the 2021 USATF Olympic Track & Field Trials in the 3000m Steeplechase and three qualifiers for the 2024 USA Olympic Trials Marathon in Orlando, FL. The program's runners set four South Carolina State road race records in 2020 (5K, 15K and Half Marathon--twice) and three (15K, 10-Mile and 20K) in 2021. GTC-ELITE also produced the South Carolina Men's 2020 Long Distance Runner of the Year.
The program is sponsored and supported by the 52-year-old Greenville Track Club, ASICS, Joy Real Estate (Adopt an Athlete partner), generous individual contributors and partnerships with Performance Therapy, Carolina Spine and Rehab, Roll Recovery products, FinalSurge (on-line training log), ElliptiGO, NormaTec Recovery Boots, Cocoa Elite recovery products, UCAN energy products, Coach Bob Williams Pace Calculator, the DorsiFlex (stretching device), the MOBO board (balance & mobility), On Pace Wellness (nutrition coaching) and LEVER Movement (treadmill body weight support). The club is a proud and active member of both the Road Runners Club of America and USATF.