A star studded field promising fast racing in Texas
With few other quality road races on the calendar in January, the Aramco Houston Half-Marathon and Chevron Houston Marathon have a reputation for big names and fast times.
The Half Marathon is one of the biggest of its kind in the US, with names such as Shalane Flanagan and Magda Boulet past winners on the women’s side, and Lelisa Desisa, Meb, Feyisa Lelisa, and more recently Jake Robertson winners in the men’s race.
In 2018 Molly Huddle set the American record for the half marathon here with a 67:25, a time Em Sisson was confident of beating in this year’s race as part of her build up to the London Marathon.
Shura Kitata headlined a strong men’s field, with interest also in Parker Stinson, ultra hero Jim Walmsley, and former NCAA XC champ Patrick Tiernan.
The weather forecast coming into race weekend was unseasonably bleak, and fortunately for runners it didn't bring any rain, just almost-freezing temperatures on the start line.
Young Aussie Pat Tiernan rolled home in 61:22, a 2 minute PR.
In her first professional race towards Tokyo 2020, Alice Wright finished in 01:13:17.
What unfolded was another great edition of the Aramco Houston Half Marathon. Shura Kitata, who probably has the most potential of anyone on the world marathon scene at the moment (At the age of 22 he has been runner-up in NY and London already) took the race in 60:11, while the women’s race was won by Brigid Kosgei (winner of the 2018 Chicago Marathon) in 65:50 - a personal record and the new course record.
Em Sisson ran a 1:07:30, coming painfully close to Molly Huddle's record of 1:07:25. It bodes well for a strong showing at the London Marathon in late April.
Ultrarunning lord Jim Walmsley suprised many by hitting the OTQ standard of 1:04:00.