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Ethiopians Jemal Yimer (60:42) and Sutume Kebede (64:37) won the overall titles in Houston Half

In what is becoming an annual tradition, Weini Kelati ran 66:25 on Sunday to break the American record at the 2024 Aramco Houston Half Marathon. It was the third straight year the record was broken in Houston as the 27-year-old Kelati, making her half marathon debut, followed in the footsteps of Sara Hall (67:15 in 2022) and Emily Sisson (66:52 in 2023) to become a record-breaker in Houston. Sunday marked the third time the record had been broken in the past year as Keira D’Amatolowered Sisson’s record to 66:39 at the Asics Half Marathon in Australia in July.

Kelati finished 4th overall as Ethiopia’s Sutume Kebede, a late addition to the women’s field, upset Hellen Obiri to win in 64:37, a US all-comers record that moves her into a tie for 9th on the all-time list. The time was a pb of more than three minutes for Kebede, who was previously best known for finishing 3rd at the 2020 Tokyo Marathon and running 2:18:12 at the 2022 Seoul Marathon. Obiri, who was with Kebede through 10k (30:28) faded over the second half and wound up a distant 2nd in 66:07.

The men’s race came down to a five-man sprint finish with Ethiopia’s Jemal Yimer, who won in Houston in 2020 and was 4th at the World Half Marathon Championships in October, prevailing in 60:42. Wesley Kiptoo of NAZ Elite and Kenya was 2nd for the second straight year in 60:43 with 2022 champ Milkesa Mengeshaof Ethiopia 3rd in 60:45.

Biya Simbassa was the top American man in 60:45 in 4th, just ahead of a resurgent Diego Estrada, who led for the first 20 minutes and finished 5th in a pb of 60:49. Galen Rupp, tuning up for the Olympic Marathon Trials three weeks from now, hung back from the leaders and finished 14th in 62:37.

In the Chevron Houston Marathon, contested simultaneously, former NAIA star Zouhair Talbi of Morocco won the men’s race in 2:06:39 to boost his chances of Olympic selection. 2016 NCAA XC champion Patrick Tiernan, now training as part of Alistair and Amy Cragg’s Puma Elite Running team in North Carolina, was 4th in 2:07:45, hitting the Olympic standard and moving to #2 on the all-time Australian marathon list.

Ethiopia’s Rahma Tusa, the runner-up behind American Betsy Saina in September’s Sydney Marathon, won the women’s marathon in Houston in 2:19:33.

The races featured temperatures in the low 40s with 10 mph winds and gusts up to 17 mph, which made for a challenging end to the half marathon as miles 9, 10, and 11 were run directly into the teeth of the wind.

Below, six takeaways from the day’s racing in Houston.

2024 Houston Half Marathon men’s top 51. 60:42 Jemal Yimer, Ethiopia2. 60:43 Wesley Kiptoo, Kenya3. 60:45 Milkesa Mengesha, Ethiopia4. 60:45 Biya Simbassa, USA5. 60:49 Diego Estrada, USA14. 62:37 Galen Rupp, USA

2024 Houston Half Marathon women’s top 51. 64:37 Sutume Kebede, Ethiopia2. 66:07 Hellen Obiri, Kenya3. 66:24 Buze Diriba, Ethiopia4. 66:25 AR Weini Kelati, USA5. 67:36 Mestawut Fikir, Ethiopia

(01/14/2024) Views: 351 ⚡AMP
by Jonathan Gault (Let’s Run)
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Aramco Houston Half Marathon

Aramco Houston Half Marathon

The Chevron Houston Marathon offers participants a unique running experience in America's fourth largest city. The fast, flat, scenic single-loop course has been ranked as the "fastest winter marathon" and "second fastest marathon overall" by Ultimate Guide To Marathons. After 30 years of marathon-only competition, Houston added the half-marathon in 2002, with El Paso Energy as the sponsor. Today the...

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