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Emily Sisson is now the second fastest American woman half marathoner

Emily Sisson became the second fastest half marathon American woman in history today in Houston.  Just two days after announcing her plans to debut at the London Marathon, Sisson finished fifth overall in a time of 1:07:30 at the 2019 Houston Half Marathon. 

Her performance on Sunday was just five seconds shy of the American record of 1:07:25 set by her mentor Molly Huddle in Houston last year.

it was a cold day but Emily went for it passing the 10k mark in an amazing 31:39.  That is faster than her best road 10k

Despite the windy conditions and the confusion with pace at certain points on the course, Sisson still managed to finish just five seconds shy of the American record in a new personal best of 1:07:30. The performance improved on her previous best by almost a full minute. 

“On hindsight, I probably should have worn a watch. I’ve never done a road race where I’ve tried to run a certain time. Normally, I’m just racing competition and not thinking about the time at all so this was kind of a first for me,” she said. “I definitely learned some lessons, but I’m really happy with it.”

(01/20/2019) ⚡AMP
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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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Emily Sisson is really focused on running a fast time Sunday at the Aramco Houston Half-Marathon

Emily Sisson’s focus for Sunday’s Aramco Houston Half-Marathon is all about running a fast time. The Team New Balance athlete admitted, however that she’s feeling a little out of her comfort zone.

 “I’m used to racing New York Half where I’m, like, really focused on all the competition.  I’m still really focused on that here, but I’ve never run on a really fast course before, so that was never on my mind, really.  It’s a good opportunity to run fast, so I’d like to break sixty-eight minutes.  I think that’s a realistic goal.”

The American record for the half-marathon is 1:07:25, a mark which Molly Huddle set on a chilly day here one year ago.  Only Huddle, Deena Kastor (1:07:34), and Jordan Hasay (1:07:55) have broken 1:08-flat on a record-quality course (Kara Goucher ran 1:06:57 on the slightly-aided Great North Run course in England in 2007). Sisson, 27, has the road racing chops to challenge Huddle’s mark, and said that her recent training in Arizona has her in very good form.

“I feel much more fit than I was two years ago when I ran my PR in New York,” Sisson observed.  “I know Molly made a comment about (my breaking) her record.  She wouldn’t say something like that, just say something like that.  So, I’m going to take that as a compliment that she thinks I’m fit and ready to run fast.”

At the NYC Half, women run separately from the men and typically start the race cautiously.  The weather is usually cold, the course is hilly, and the athletes like to warm into their pace.  Here, Sisson will have to get on her goal pace quickly, despite the fact that it will also be cold (just above freezing at the start).  She’s a little worried about that, especially with so many sub-elite men running near her and the other top women.

“It’s so different than New York,” Sisson explained.  “In New York I feel you have a little bit of a warm-up period.  We start in the park, then go over the Manhattan Bridge.  So, you’re like jogging the first 5-K.  It will be different going straight from the gun this time.  You start with the guys, so it will be hard to hold back a little bit.”

(01/19/2019) ⚡AMP
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2016 World Half Marathon bronze medallist Mary Wacera will run the Houston half Marathon as preparation for her full marathon debut

The 2016 World Half Marathon bronze medallist Mary Wacera’s preparations for her full marathon debut begins this weekend when she battles at Houston Half Marathon in the United States of America.

Wacera will run her first 42km race at this year’s Boston Marathon on April 15 and intends to use this weekend’s event as part of her build up.

She is not a stranger to the Houston streets having competed and won there before, the most memorable being her 1 hour, 06 minutes and 50 second victory last year, which was the fastest time on US soil.

“I am excited but nervous but Boston is not new to me. I have run several BAA 10Ks,” Wacera said about her upcoming marathon debut.

The half marathon specialist made her debut in road running competitions six years ago and won her first half marathon at the Saint Denis in 1:07:54.

She ran three half marathons in 2013, finishing third in the Nice and Mardi Gras half marathons and fifth at the Luanda half marathon in Angola.

But it is her win at the 2014 World’s Best 10K that raised her confidence a notch higher because she beat top names at the time including the defending champion, Joyce Chepkurui.

Having ran about 18 half marathons so far and finishing in podium positions in most of them, Wacera feels she is ripe for the longer distance.

(01/19/2019) ⚡AMP
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Texan Parker Stinson will run at Houston Half Marathon with a New Coach, Dathan Ritzenhein

Stinson and Ritzenhein have a relationship that stretches back a decade. They try not to worry about the fact that, should all go well, they’ll be racing each other for an Olympic berth next year.

Parker Stinson wants to make it clear: he wasn’t stalking Dathan Ritzenhein when they first met 10 years ago in Houston. Not exactly.

Stinson was a junior at Cedar Park High School outside of Austin, in town to catch a glimpse of the biggest pro running event in the state of Texas, the Houston Half Marathon. But more than anything, he was there to see Ritzenhein; multiple posters bearing his image hung in the Cedar Park locker room, including one from his bronze-medal performance in the junior race at the 2001 World Cross Country Championships (Ritz remains the last US junior, male or female, to medal in that race). Ritzenhein was 26 and fresh off his second Olympic appearance, where he finished 9th in the marathon in Beijing, and about to embark on a career year that would see him break Bob Kennedy‘s American record in the 5,000 meters and earn a bronze medal at the World Half Marathon Championships.

As Hudson and Ritzenhein were on their way to dinner, Sheard approached and introduced himself and Stinson. Stinson, a little starstruck at the time, doesn’t recall much about the interaction — “I just remember trying not to say anything weird” — but he knew one thing: Ritzenhein was now officially his favorite runner. That moment would mark the beginning of a crucial relationship in Stinson’s life, one that evolved from star-fanboy while he was in high school to mentor-mentee during his days at the University of Oregon, where Ritzenhein served as a volunteer coach in 2014.

Last fall, their relationship changed once again when Ritzenhein agreed to coach Stinson, who parted ways with his old coach, Hudson, after the Chicago Marathon. As fate would have it, Stinson’s first race under Ritzenhein comes Sunday at the Houston Half Marathon, a decade after their first meeting.

(01/19/2019) ⚡AMP
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Kenya's Fancy Chemutai has recovered from the ankle injury and is ready to run the Aramco Houston Half Marathon

Fancy Chemutai, the second fastest half marathon woman in history, leads top fields in Houston as she pushes for another top finish and boosts her chance of making the Kenya team to the World Championships.

Last year, Chemutai, 23, missed the world record held by compatriot Joyciline Jepkosgei when she won in Dubai clocking 64:52.

However, that push had taken a toll on her body as she injured her knee, which has kept her out of competition for almost six months.

"It is a challenge for me in Houston but when I say I am back, it means I have gauged myself. I will still fight for the medals. I am progressively returning to full fitness."

"I have sat down with my coach and I believe I have a chance to race again," said Chemutai, who currently trains in Iten.

(01/09/2019) ⚡AMP
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British athlete Dewi Griffiths will be running the Houston half marathon

Dewi Griffiths will line up in the half marathon hoping to lay down a marker before making a return to marathon racing later this year.

The Welshman, who ran a fantastic 2:09:49 marathon debut in 2017, had his 2018 season scuppered for the most part due to injury.

Griffiths made a steady return to action in the latter part of the year, building up to a 1:02:55 performance at the Cardiff hosted Commonwealth Half Marathon Championships in October, before ending on a high with a 28:49 10k at the Corrida de Houilles in France.

Among those Griffiths will face are five sub 60 minute athletes, including Kenyan trio Bedan Karoki Muchiri, Bernard Ngeno and Geoffrey Koech, while USA’s Shadrack Biwott and Bernard Lagat are also in the field.

(01/08/2019) ⚡AMP
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Sarah Attar Sets Saudi Arabria Half Marathon Record

Every time Sarah Attar runs a personal best, which she did Sunday in Houston with a 1:26:47 in the half marathon, she also sets a national record. Attar is the only elite female runner to represent Saudia Arabia and, as a 19-year-old in London in 2012, she became famous for becoming one of the first two women to represent the country in the Olympics. "There was a lot of backlash at the time," she said. But, when she crossed the finish line, "I had a standing ovation of, like, 80,000 people." (01/15/2018) ⚡AMP
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Lagat runs AR Masters for Half of 1:02:00 at Aramco

Bernard Lagat runs 1:02:00 for Masters American Record. Bernard retired from elite track & field on September 3, 2016, with a 3000 meters at ISTAF Berlin. Lagat spent much time each year training in Germany, and he decided that it would be a fitting way to end his athletics career. Bernard Lagat went out fast and furious and his 1:02:00 was impressive, a 32 second improvement on his PR. Looks like he could run under the World Masters record of 1:01:19! (01/15/2018) ⚡AMP
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