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Boston Marathon Champions & National Record Holders Headline Professional Field for 2022 B.A.A. 10K

The Boston Athletic Association (B.A.A.) has announced a star-studded field for the 2022 B.A.A. 10K, presented by Brigham and Women’s Hospital, to be held on Sunday, June 26. Evans Chebet, the 2022 Boston Marathon men’s open division champion, will return to Boston, while recently crowned American half marathon record holder Emily Sisson will lead the women’s field on the roads of Back Bay. Four-time B.A.A. 5K champion and American 5K record holder Ben True will also make his B.A.A. 10K debut.

The B.A.A. 10K starts and finishes on Charles Street adjacent to Boston Common and Boston Public Garden, and is widely regarded as one of the fastest 10K races in the world. Registration remains open at www.baa.org, while athletes interested in supporting Brigham and Women's Hospital, the B.A.A. 10K’s presenting sponsor and exclusive fundraising partner, are encouraged to visit www.runbwh.org/10k.

“We’re excited to continue to showcase the world’s most accomplished runners at our B.A.A. events,” said Mary Kate Shea, the B.A.A.’s Director of Professional Athletes and Technical Support. “We’re looking forward to cheering on all participants as they race towards the finish.”

The B.A.A. 10K women’s race brings together Boston Marathon champions Des Linden (2018) and Edna Kiplagat (2017), American record holder Sisson, 2017 B.A.A. 10K winner Joan Chelimo Melly, 2022 Boston Marathon top American Nell Rojas, 2016 USA Olympian Marielle Hall, and USA 15K runner-up Emily Durgin.

Sisson, a Providence College graduate and 2021 Olympian, ran 1:07:11 on May 7 to win the USATF Half Marathon Championships in a new national record. She’s also the defending USA 15K champion.

“Breaking the American record in the half marathon was very exciting and I'm now looking forward to switching things up and racing different distances,” said Sisson. “The 10K is a fun and different challenge and I always love racing in Boston.”

Additional international entrants include Biruktayit Degefa of Ethiopia, who has won a quartet of American road races this spring, and Kenya’s Sharon Lokedi, who placed third at the 2022 B.A.A. 5K in April. From the B.A.A. High Performance team are Erika Kemp and Abbey Wheeler; Kemp is a two-time national champion.

In the men’s race, Chebet looks to become only the second Boston Marathon champion to win the B.A.A. 10K, joining the likes of 2011 winner and course record holder Geoffrey Mutai. Chebet stormed to his first Boston Marathon victory in 2:06:51 on April 18.

“After winning the 2022 Boston Marathon, I’m excited to return to the city to run the B.A.A. 10K with a world class field,” said Chebet. “Boston feels like a second home to me now.”

Challenging Chebet from Kenya are David Bett, the reigning 2019 B.A.A. 10K winner; Kennedy Kimutai, the fastest man in the field with a 27:09 lifetime best; Bravin Kiptoo, the 2019 African junior 10,000m champion; and Nicholas Kosimbei, winner of this year’s Cherry Blossom 10 Miler in Washington, D.C. Brothers Jake and Zane Robertson, a dynamic pair from New Zealand who have lived and trained in Kenya, will also race. Recent Iowa State graduate and NCAA champion Wesley Kiptoo will make his Boston road racing debut.

Maine-native Ben True will return to familiar territory, having won the B.A.A. 5K four times, including a national-record setting run of 13:20 in 2017.  Fellow American contenders include Olympians Leonard Korir and Shadrack Kipchirchir, Princeton, Mass.-native Colin Bennie, and a quartet of B.A.A. High Performance Team members in Jerrell Mock, Matt McDonald, Jonas Hampton, and Paul Hogan. Korir enters the B.A.A. 10K hot off a pair of national title wins at the USATF Half Marathon and USATF 25K Championships in May.

In the wheelchair division, Jenna Fesemyer, the 2022 B.A.A. 5K women’s winner, Susannah Scaroni, the 2022 Boston Marathon runner-up, and 2020 Paralympian Yen Hoang are entered. Scaroni earned a gold medal on the track at the 2021 Paralympic Games in the 5000m, and is the fastest women’s wheelchair marathoner in U.S. history. James Senbeta and Hermin Garic are the top men’s wheelchair entrants.

For the first time in race history, Para Athletics Divisions will be offered for athletes with upper-limb, lower-limb, and visual impairments. Among the entrants confirmed include Marko Cheseto Lemtukei, Chaz Davis, and Liz Willis, each of whom won Para Division titles at April’s 126th Boston Marathon. Jacky Hunt-Broersma, who ran 104 marathons in 104 consecutive days for a Guinness World Record, and local Para athlete Adrianne Haslet are also entered.

In addition to racing, top professional athletes will participate in the first-ever B.A.A. 10K Fest & Field Day on Saturday, June 25, one day prior to the race. From 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at Boston Common, 10K Fest & Field Day will feature youth fitness activities, games, appearances by professional athletes, running clinics, and more. Participants will also be able to pick-up their participant shirts and bib numbers at 10K Fest. Additional details will be available on baa.org in the coming weeks.

Registration for the 2022 B.A.A. 10K, presented by Brigham and Women’s Hospital, is currently open through the B.A.A.’s online platform Athletes’ Village. All participants who enter will receive an adidas participant shirt, unique bib number, and finisher medal. Additional participant information can be found on baa.org. The race will start at 8:00 a.m. ET on Sunday, June 26 on Charles Street adjacent to Boston Common and Boston Public Garden.

Brigham and Women's Hospital, the B.A.A. 10K’s presenting sponsor and exclusive fundraising partner, will again field a team of fundraising runners. Since 2016, more than 2,100 runners and 180 teams have raised $1.2 million to fuel life-giving breakthroughs at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Learn more and register at www.runbwh.org/10k.

On June 1, the B.A.A. will celebrate Global Running Day with a special pop-up location at the Boston Marathon Finish Line between 3:00-6:00 p.m. Runners can take a picture with the Boston Marathon trophy, receive giveaways, refreshments, and more! RSVP for the free event on our Facebook page, and log miles throughout the day as part of the Abbott World Marathon Majors Global Running Day Challenge. Visit https://bstnmar.org/GRD22 to sign up for free, track your miles, and print a bib to wear as you join a global community of athletes around the world logging miles.

2022 B.A.A. 10K WOMEN’S FIELD (NAME, COUNTRY, ROAD 10K PB)

Joan Chelimo Melly, Romania, 30:14^

Edna Kiplagat, Kenya, 31:06*

Sharon Lokedi, Kenya, 31:06

Mary Munanu, Kenya, 31:20

Biruktayit Degefa, Ethiopia, 31:23

Emily Sisson, USA, 31:47

Emily Durgin, USA, 31:49

Diane Nukuri, USA, 31:49

Lanni Marchant, Canada, 31:49

Vibian Chepkirui, Kenya, 31:49

Nell Rojas, USA, 31:52

Erika Kemp, USA, 32:18

Laura Thweatt, USA, 32:20

Elaina Tabb, USA, 32:40

Rachel Schneider Smith, USA, 32:47

Abbey Wheeler, USA, DB (32:53.50 10,000m)

Grayson Murphy, USA, 32:55

Fiona O’Keeffe, USA, 32:57

Katie Kellner, USA, 33:05

Des Linden, USA, 33:06*

Taylor Werner, USA, 33:35

Marielle Hall, USA, 33:36 (31:05.71 10,000m)

Allie Hackett, USA, 35:17

Jesca Chelangat, Kenya, DB (15:16 5K)

Courtney Hawkins, USA, DB (37:59.99 10,000m)

^ = Previous B.A.A. 10K Champion

* = Previous Boston Marathon Champion

 

2022 B.A.A. 10K MEN’S FIELD (NAME, COUNTRY, ROAD 10K PB)

Kennedy Kimutai, Kenya, 27:09

Bravin Kiptoo, Kenya, 27:12

Philemon Kiplimo, Kenya, 27:23

Zane Robertson, New Zealand, 27:28

Jake Robertson, New Zealand, 27:28

Wesley Kiptoo, Kenya, N/A (27:37.29 10,000m)

Ben True, USA, 27:51

Nicholas Kosimbei, Kenya, 27:52

John Dressel, USA, N/A (27:57.51 10,000m)

David Bett, Kenya, 28:08^

Dominic Korir, Kenya, 28:08

Leonard Korir, USA, 28:09

Shadrack Kipchirchir, USA, 28:12

David Nilsson, Sweden, 28:13

Tsegay Tuemay, Eritrea, 28:13

Bethwell Yegon, Kenya, 28:24

Reuben Mosip, Kenya, 28:28

Paul Hogan, USA, N/A (28:49.55 10,000m)

Johannes Motschmann, Germany, 28:51

Alex Masai, Kenya, 28:53

Colin Bennie, USA, 28:55

Futsum Zienasellassie, USA, 29:03

Matt McClintock, USA, 29:02

Jacob Thomson, USA, 29:07

John Raneri, USA, 29:19

Evans Chebet, Kenya, 29:30*

Jerrell Mock, USA, 29:36

Aaron Dinzeo, USA, 29:37

Matt McDonald, USA, 29:38

Diego Estrada, USA, 29:41

Fabiano Sulle, Tanzania, 29:53

Jonas Hampton, USA, 30:15

Tim McGowan, USA, 30:17

Connor McMillan, USA, 30:20

Josh Kalapos, USA, N/A (14:33.88 5,000m)

^ = Previous B.A.A. 10K Champion

* = Previous Boston Marathon Champion

 

(06/01/2022) Views: 966 ⚡AMP
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B.A.A. 10K

B.A.A. 10K

The 6.2-mile course is a scenic tour through Boston's Back Bay. Notable neighborhoods and attractions include the legendary Bull and Finch Pub, after which the television series "Cheers" was developed, the campus of Boston University, and trendy Kenmore Square. ...

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Reigning Champ Ed Cheserek defends his title winning again at the Carlsbad 5000

More than 6,000 runners and joggers raced along a traffic-free Pacific Coast Highway 101 Sunday for the Carlsbad 5000, returning after its pandemic pause.

Reigning champion Ed Cheserek of Kenya won again – just barely – with a time of 13:44.

“I’m excited to return to the Carlsbad 5000,” Cheserek said before the race. “Last time in 2019 was a lot of fun and after everything our running community has been through since then, I’m really looking forward to being back at the beach in sunny Southern California.”

Reid Buchanan of San Diego trailed Cheserek by just one second, in the men’s elite, in 13:45, followed by Jack Bruce of Australia.

In the women’s elite, Biruktayit Degefa of Ethiopia won with a time of 15:29. Dominique Scott of South Africa followed in 15:48, with Carina Viljoen, also of South Africa, taking third in 16:00.

The Carlsbad 5000 is renowned as “The World’s Fastest 5K,” with 16 world records having been set there, plus a slew of national records and age group bests.

Olympic gold medalists Tirunesh Dibaba, Meseret Defar and Eliud Kipchoge have run Carlsbad, along with U.S. Olympic medalists Deena Kastor and Meb Keflezighi.

Keflezighi, the San Diego High product and only male runner in history to win both the Boston and New York City marathons, plus an Olympic medal, now co-owns the event.

The race was first held in 1986; this was the 36th edition. Another plus – the race fits well on runners’ calendars, with the elite athletes being in peak fitness after running the World Cross Country Championships.

It may have been three years since the Carlsbad 5000 was held live (there was a virtual race in 2020), but the elements that characterize the race were back – the left-hand, downhill turn onto Carlsbad Village Drive, the sprint to the finish, and the ocean views along the way.

(05/23/2022) Views: 2,377 ⚡AMP
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Carlsbad 5000

Carlsbad 5000

The Carlsbad 5000 features a fast and fun seaside course where 16 world records have been set. Both rookie runners and serious speedsters alike enjoy running or walking in Carlsbad. Weekend festivities kick off Saturday morning with the beloved Junior Carlsbad, a kids-only event in the heart of Carlsbad Village featuring fun runs, toddler trots, and diaper dashes! On Sunday,...

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2022 Carlsbad 5000 Announces Its Elite Field

eigning champion and 17-time NCAA All-American Edward Cheserek headlines men’s race; Olympians Kim Conley and Dom Scott lead women’s elite fields

36-Year Southern California Running Tradition Returns with over 6,000 runners on Sunday, May 22

One by one, America’s most famous road races have returned after being waylaid by COVID. The Boston Marathon, Peachtree Road Race, New York City Marathon.

Familiar images unfolded. Runners excitedly talked to friends and strangers in corrals. Spectators delivering high-fives. Medals draped around necks.

Bolder Boulder, Bay to Breakers, the Los Angeles Marathon.

Come Sunday, the last of the United States’ iconic road races returns after a three-year pandemic hiatus when the Carlsbad 5000 presented by National University celebrates its 36th running. Over 6,000 runners and joggers will enjoy the splash of the surf and clean salt air along the traffic-free Pacific Coast Highway 101, then sipping brews in the Pizza Port Beer Garden.

“I’m excited to return to the Carlsbad 5000,” said reigning champion Ed Cheserek of Kenya. “Last time in 2019 was a lot of fun and after everything our running community has been through since then, I’m really looking forward to being back at the beach in sunny Southern California.”

The Carlsbad 5000 is renowned as “The World’s Fastest 5K” and the moniker was earned.

Sixteen world records have been set on the seaside course, plus a slew of national records and age group bests. Olympic gold medalists Tirunesh Dibaba, Meseret Defar and Eliud Kipchoge have run Carlsbad.

So have U.S. Olympic medalists Deena Kastor and Meb Keflezighi. Keflezighi, the San Diego High product and only male runner in history to win the Boston and New York City marathons, plus an Olympic medal, is now co-owner of the race.

“The San Diego community is very proud of the fact that Carlsbad hosts the world’s most famous 5k race,” said San Diego Track Club coach Paul Greer, a former sub-4-minute miler. “We’re proud of the race. And local runners are endeared by the fact that Meb is involved in the event because he’s one of our own.”

Many people deserve credit for the Carlsbad 5000’s success. Chief among them are Tim Murphy, the race’s creator, Steve Scott, the former American mile record holder who designed the course, and the late Mike Long, the beloved man who built relationships with African athletes and recruited them.

When the race was first held in 1986, the 10K and marathon were road racing’s popular distances. The 5K was considered a casual fun run.

“That’s how innovative Tim was,” said Scott. “He was going to start something when there wasn’t anything there.”

Scott not only designed the course. He won the first three races.

Another plus for The ’Bad: the race fell perfectly on the calendar, with the elite runners being in peak fitness after running the World Cross Country Championships.

“The world records were produced by the quality of the fields and the expectations of running fast,” said road racing historian and announcer Toni Reavis.

It may have been three years since the Carlsbad 5000 was held live (there was a virtual race in 2020), but all the charms will be back Sunday. The custom beer garden IPAs, the ocean views, the left-hand, downhill turn onto Carlsbad Village Drive, and the sprint to the finish.

The race’s official charity is the Lucky Duck Foundation, a local non-profit dedicated to fighting homelessness in San Diego County.

“Homelessness is San Diego’s number one social issue right now, and I couldn’t be prouder to partner with Lucky Duck Foundation as an official charity of the Carlsbad 5000,” said Keflezighi.

As in the past, the Carlsbad 5000 will feature a series of age-group races, starting with the Men’s Masters at 6:55 am, the Women’s Masters at 8:00 am, Open Men at 9:15 am, Open Women at 10:08 am, Junior Carlsbad Kids Mile at 11:20 am, Junior Carlsbad Kids Half-Mile at 12:13 pm, Elite Men at 1:20 pm and Elite Women at 1:23 pm.

The morning-long races create a cheering audience for the pros.

“That’s the other thing that made the elites run fast,” said Reavis. “The crowds.”

So after a three-year pause, the Carlsbad 5000 is back. For why the race continues to maintain its iconic appeal, Reavis said, “It’s those ocean breezes, the lapping waves, the laid-back lifestyle. It is perfect for this little Southern California town which gets transformed into a race course.”

For a complete race day schedule and more, visit Carsbad5000.com.

— Elite Rosters Follow —

Elite Men

Bib Number , Name, Country, Career Highlight, Birthday

1. Edward Cheserek, KENYA, Defending Champion . 17x NCAA Champion, 02/02/1994

2. Kasey Knevelbaad, USA – Flagstaff, 13:24.98 5000M(i) Personal Best,  09/02/1996

3. Reid Buchanan, USA – Mammoth, 2019 Pan American Games 10,000m Silver, 02/03/1993

4. Jose Santana Marin, MEXICO, 2019 Pan American Marathon Silver Medal, 09/03/1989

5. Eben Mosip, KENYA, Road 5k Debut, 12/31/2002

6. James Hunt, GREAT BRITAIN, 4-time Welsh Champion, 04/28/1996

7. Dennis Kipkosgei, Kenya, 2021 Philadelphia Broad Street 10 Miler Champion, 12/20/1994

8. Sean Robertson, USA, Butler University Athlete, 09/16/2001

9. Tate Schienbein, USA – Portland, 2013 U.S. Junior Steeplechase Champion, 04/04/1994

10. Hosava Kretzmann, USA – Flagstaff, AZ, 14:15 5000m PB, 09/02/1994

11. Dylan Belles, USA – Flagstaff, AZ, 2X Olympic Trials Qualifier, 05/16/1993

12. Dylan Marx, USA, San Diego’s Fastest Marathoner, 01/14/1992

13. Steven Martinez, USA – Chula Vista, 2x U.S. Olympic Trials Qualifier, 09/15/1994

14. Spencer Johnson, USA – San Diego,  14:39.09 (2022 Oxy Distance Carnival), 03/20/1995

15. August Pappas, USA – San Diego, 14:05 PB, Big Ten Indoor Track Champs, 04/10/1993

16. Dillon Breen, USA – San Diego, 14:43 Virtual Carlsbad 2020, 09/01/1992

17. Dante Capone, USA – San Diego, Phd Student at Scripps Institute, 11/07/1996

18. Jack Bruce, AUSTRALIA, 13:28.57 5000m Best on Track, 08/31/1994

Elite Women

Bib Number , Name, Country, Career, Highlight, Birthday

20. Kim Conley, USA, One of America’s best 5000m runners, 03/14/1986

21. Dominique Scott, SOUTH AFRICA, Two-time Olympian, 05/24/1992

22. Grace Barnett, USA – Mammoth, Silver at 2021 USATF 5k Championships, 05/29/1995

23. Carina Viljoen SOUTH AFRICA, 5k Road Racing Debut, 04/15/1997

24. Ayla Granados, USA – Castro Valley, 15:53 Personal best, 09/18/1991

25. Biruktayit Degefa, ETHIOPIA, 2022 Crescent City 10k Champion, 09/09/1990

26. Andrea Ramirez Limon, MEXICO, 2021 National 10000m Champion, 11/05/1992

27. Claire Green, USA – San Francisco, NCAA All-American, 05/12/1996

28. Caren Maiyo, KENYA, 5k Road Debut. 7th At 2022 Houston Half Marathon, 04/17/1997

29. Nina Zarina, RUSSIA, California resident, 3rd at the 2021 LA Marathon, 03/17/1987

30. Emily Gallin, USA – Malibu, Finished 4th 2022 LA Marathon, 10/30/1984

31. Lauren Floris, – USA – Oak Park, 2020 U.S. Olympic Trials Qualifier, 07/07/1990

32. Sara Mostatabi, USA – Los Angeles, 09/27/1993

33. Ashley Maton, – USA – Toledo,    16.37 PR at U.S. Road 5k Championships, 11/20/1993

34. Judy Cherotich. KENYA, 16:50 PR

35. Lindsey Sickler, USA – Reno, 16:59 PR, 09/05/1997

36. Megan Cunningham, USA – Flagstaff, 15:53 Track Best 5000M, 03/01/1995

37. Jeannette Mathieu, USA – San Francisco, 2020 Olympic Trials Qualifier, 04/19/1990

38. Bre Guzman, USA – San Diego, 17:37 5k/ 36:00 Road 10k PR, 10/30/1992

39. Aubrey Martin, USA – San Diego, 17:33 5k /1:19 Half Personal Best, 10/10/1997

40. Chloe Gustafson, USA – San Diego, Division II – NCAA All-American, 11/10/1992

41. Sammi Groce, USA – San Diego, 2021 Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Winner, 04/29/1994

42. Kristi Gayagoy, USA – San Diego, 17:06 PR

43. Annie Roberts, USA – San Diego, 16:58 5k, 07/10/1996

44. Alexa Yatauro, USA – San Diego, 17:40 5k, 10/18/1995

45. Jessica Watychowicz, USA – Colorado Springs, 15:47.51 5000m Track PB, 02/27/1991

 

About the Carlsbad 5000

The Carlsbad 5000 annually attracts amateur, competitive and professional runners from around the world. The 36th running of the iconic race will take place on the weekend of May 21-22, 2021. The inaugural 1986 event helped establish the 5K as a standard road running distance, and today, the 5K is the most popular distance in the United States. Throughout its history, the Carlsbad 5000 has seen 16 World records and eight U.S. records, as well as numerous national and age group marks.  Race day begins at 7:00 am with the Masters Men (40 years old and over), the first of seven races to take place on Sunday. The “Party by the Sea” gets started as soon as the first runners cross the finish line with participants 21 and older celebrating in the Pizza Port beer garden with two complimentary craft brews and runners of all ages rocking out to live music on the streets of the Carlsbad Village. Further information about the Carlsbad 5000 can be found online at Carlsbad5000.com and on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

 

(05/20/2022) Views: 1,020 ⚡AMP
by Running USA
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Carlsbad 5000

Carlsbad 5000

The Carlsbad 5000 features a fast and fun seaside course where 16 world records have been set. Both rookie runners and serious speedsters alike enjoy running or walking in Carlsbad. Weekend festivities kick off Saturday morning with the beloved Junior Carlsbad, a kids-only event in the heart of Carlsbad Village featuring fun runs, toddler trots, and diaper dashes! On Sunday,...

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Caroline Chepkoech, the sixth all-time fastest runner at half marathon will lead Kenya's bid to conquer the Houston Half Marathon on Jan. 19

Kenyan Caroline Chepkoech, who has ruled out any hopes of competing at the Tokyo Olympics in the marathon, will have to calculate her steps to perfection if she has to beat Kenyan-turned Israeli Lonah Chemtai Salpeter, the reigning European 10,000m champion.

With a personal best time of 65:07, Chepkoech is the fastest ahead of Chemtai 66:09 and Ethiopians Burka (66:11), former champion Ruti Aga (66:39). Current champion Ethiopia's Biruktayit Degefa will also be back to defend her title.

"This will be a good testing ground ahead of the April marathon. The big challenge is here with top runners. But for me the focus is to improve the time and hopefully win the race," said Chepkoech on Wednesday.

Hassan El Abbassi (2:04:43) and Woldaregay Kelkile Gezahegn (2:05:56) are the quickest marathon entrants. Degefa's main opposition could come from fellow Ethiopian Askale Merachi.

In the men's race, Jemal Yimer, the fourth fastest of all time (58:33) is quickest in the line-up, one of eight sub-hour runners. Shura Kitata (59:16), Bernard Kipkorir (59:07) and Robertson (59:58) will oppose him.

Kipkorir will team up with compatriot Bernard Ngeno (59:07), Sam Chelanga (60:37) and Shadrack Biwott (61:25) to challenge the Ethiopians' dominance.

(01/09/2020) Views: 1,938 ⚡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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Past winners are set to defend their title at Houston Marathon and Half Marathon

Organizers of the Chevron Houston Marathon and Aramco Houston Half Marathon have revealed the elite fields for the World Athletics Gold Label road races on January 19.

The city’s marathon has now joined the half marathon as a Gold Label event, making Houston the only city in the world to host Gold Label marathon and half marathon races on the same day.

Defending marathon champion Biruktayit Degefa will try to become the first woman to win in Houston four times. Bahrain’s Hassan El Abbassi, the Asian record-holder for the men’s marathon, is the fastest in the men’s field.

Three former winners of the half marathon will be back in Houston to contest the 13.1-mile race: defending men’s champion Shura Kitata and 2018 winners Ruti Aga and Jake Robertson. Ethiopian record-holder Jemal Yimer and Kenya’s Caroline Kipkirui, the eighth-fastest woman of all time, have the quickest PBs of the half marathon fields.

(01/08/2020) Views: 1,532 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Chevron Houston Marathon

Chevron Houston 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. Additionally, with more than 200,000 spectators annually, the Chevron Houston Marathon enjoys tremendous crowd support. Established in 1972, the Houston Marathon...

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Ethiopians Belaynesh Oljira and Bruktayit Degefa Eshetu, are ready to compete at Toronto Marathon

Belaynesh Oljira brings an enviable reputation to the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon October 20th which includes two 2013 IAAF World Championships bronze medals at 10,000m and in cross country.

The Ethiopian star, who also represented Ethiopia at the 2012 London Olympics, has run 2:21:53 (Frankfurt 2018) for the marathon staking her claim as one of the heavy favorites to win this IAAF Gold Label race.

Oljira will be joined in Canada’s largest city by a member of her training group, Bruktayit Degefa Eshetu, who is also a world class marathoner. In January of this year Degefa ran a personal best of 2:23:28 to earn herself a hat trick of Houston Marathon victories. A year ago, Degefa beat Oljira in Houston by a mere six seconds.

Despite sharing a coach and training group their contact has been minimal and it will be every woman for herself when they line up in Toronto. 

“I train with the Demadonna Athletics Promotion team,” Oljira says, “which includes also Biruktayit Degefa. We don’t train together, except when there is group training, we meet with others.

“We are not friends. I joined the team recently, I didn’t socialize with most of them but once I met her at the Houston Marathon she seems sociable and I hope we will be friends in the future.” 

Their casual relationship is not unusual. With training groups numbering as many as a hundred the athletes will meet their coach - in this case Gemedu Dedefo - two or three times a week at some of the popular training sites such as Sendafa, a thirty-minute drive outside Addis Ababa. Athletes might ride share. Training sessions begin just as the sun is rising so it is not unusual that runners might get out of bed at 4am to be picked up.

After a brief warm-up the training session starts and from then on, it’s all business. If the athletes are going to socialize it is likely to be in Addis away from training. Another barrier in their relationship is the fact Degefa is also married to an American-based Ethiopian named Abinet Adraro and spends much time in the U.S. This past spring, she prepared for the Boston Marathon for several months there. She was eighth in Boston. 

“Training with the group can benefit you with different things like you share experience, you find new friends, you have fun with them especially when you train with them you don’t think of your tiring moments of training.”

Among their training group are a strong contingent of world-class women including Tirfi Tsegaye (2:19:41 personal best, who ran an impressive 2:22:44 in Toronto in 2010), Aberu Kebede (2016 Berlin winner in 2:20:45) and two-time Toronto champion, Shure Demise.

“Yes, Shure has told me about the Toronto marathon, about its course and weather, and all the good people there,” Degefa admits. “My expectation in Toronto is to win with a good time.”

Not surprisingly Oljira is also targeting victory in Toronto.

“My main goal as for any athlete is to run a good time and to win the race,” she declares.

The pair come from vastly different backgrounds. Oljira grew up in Wellega district about 315km west of Addis. She started out running cross country and track with immediate success. Indeed, her first overseas venture was a cross country race in France where the first-place prize was a car. She won.

(09/02/2019) Views: 1,981 ⚡AMP
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TCS Toronto Waterfront Marathon

TCS Toronto Waterfront Marathon

The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, Half-Marathon & 5k Run / Walk is organized by Canada Running Series Inc., organizers of the Canada Running Series, "A selection of Canada's best runs!" Canada Running Series annually organizes eight events in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver that vary in distance from the 5k to the marathon. The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon and Half-Marathon are...

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Kenyan´s Albert Korir, and Ethiopian´s Biruktayit Degefa were the Chevron Houston Marathon winners

Ethiopian women had already created their own Chevron Houston Marathon dynasty. But Biruktayit Degefa has taken this thing a step further, deciding to corner the market herself.

Degefa won Houston for the first time in her third visit in 2016, when she was 25. On Sunday, she won for the third time in four years while becoming the first woman to repeat as champion since 2010. And the one time she hasn't prevailed of late, in 2017, she crossed second, just 26 seconds back. Nor has she ever finished worse than fourth.

No wonder Degefa refers to H-town as "my hometown."

"When I prepare to come, I really get excited," she said. "On this occasion, I would like to thank Houston for the hospitality."

We, in turn, would like to thank her for her consistent excellence, although she expressed disappointment that the personal-best 2:23:28 she posted on a sunny, chilly morning run through the city's streets from downtown to the Galleria area and back fell 14 seconds short of the course record, something she very much wants to own before she's done.

"I came prepared to break it," Degefa said, "but it was colder (than I expected), and that made it difficult."

Korir didn't threaten the men's course record, but he's only 24, and who's to say he won't eventually collect a head full of cowboy hats — always awarded to Houston's winners — as well in the years ahead?

His story is an inspirational one. At 10, Korir lost his right thumb while chopping cow silage, and he soon quit going to school because he was routinely bullied. He wound up laboring for the equivalent of $5 a day to pay for food, never mind his running shoes. He'd never traveled to the United States before this weekend.

"It's good," Korir conceded, "to win on my first time."

In contrast, Houstonians who line the route have come to recognize Degefa both for her running skills and her radiance. One now-former Houstonian, Abinet Adraro, was so taken by Degefa following that first triumph that he made it a point to meet her at a dinner hosted by the local Ethiopian community. An email relationship turned into a marriage, and they split their time these days between Albuquerque, N.M., and her training grounds in Ethiopia.

Adraro, to be sure, was waiting for his wife as she crossed. Also a runner, he had completed the Aramco Half Marathon in 1:02:09.

Making a sixth consecutive Chevron start, Degefa seemed the strongest from the get-go in becoming the third woman to claim a (cowboy) hat trick. Veronique Marot (1986, 1989, 1991) and Tetyana Pozdnyakova (1995, 1999, 2000) are the other three-time winners. For the first 25 miles, however, Meseret Belete kept Gedefa's undivided attention, and should she deign to return in the future, it's a reasonable bet she'll claim a Stetson of her own.

(01/21/2019) Views: 2,122 ⚡AMP
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Chevron Houston Marathon

Chevron Houston 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. Additionally, with more than 200,000 spectators annually, the Chevron Houston Marathon enjoys tremendous crowd support. Established in 1972, the Houston Marathon...

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Defending champion Biruktayit Degefa is hoping to get a third title at the Houston Marathon

The defending Houston Marathon champion, Biruktayit Degefa, who also won in 2016, will be chasing a third title. The 28-yer-old has competed here the past five years, finishing third in 2015 with a 2:23:51 PR and second in 2017.

The strong Ethiopian contingent includes Muluhabt Tsega, who improved to 2:25:48 in Shanghai last November, Sechale Delasa, who was third here in 2016; and 23-year-old Gebayenesh Ayele, who improved to 2:26:54 last September in Hengsui.

Kenyan hopes lie with Sarah Kiptoo, whose 2:26:32 dates back to 2013 and Gladys Kipsoi, who was fourth here last year in 2:27:32.

Notable debutantes include 19-year-old Meseret Belete, who clocked a 1:07:51 world U20 best in the half marathon in Copenhagen last year.

Abayneh Ayele of Ethiopia is the fastest in the men's field at 2:06:45, clocked in Dubai in 2016. But the 32-year-old struggled last year, recording a season's best of just 2:13:47 in two races over the distance. His 25-year-old compatriot Yitayal Atnafu has shown stronger form, producing back-to-back fourth place finishes at the Paris Marathon the last two years, clocking 2:07:21 in 2017 and improving to 2:07:00 last year.

Three others will bring sub-2:09 bests to the start line: Kenyan Dominic Ondoro, who ran his 2:08:00 lifetime best in 2013; Birhanu Gedefa of Ethiopia, the 2015 Houston winner in 2:08:03, and Kenya's Albert Korir, who improved his personal best to 2:08:17 last March in Otsu.

Of course the perdicted cold weather could be a factor.

(01/18/2019) Views: 2,057 ⚡AMP
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Chevron Houston Marathon

Chevron Houston 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. Additionally, with more than 200,000 spectators annually, the Chevron Houston Marathon enjoys tremendous crowd support. Established in 1972, the Houston Marathon...

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Two-Time Olympian, Goucher will compete in Bjorklund Half Marathon at Grandma's

Kara Goucher will compete in the Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon for the second straight year. The Duluth native and two-time U.S. Olympian announced on Twitter that she will return to her hometown to run in the race, which is part of Grandma's Marathon Weekend. In 2017, she finished fifth with a time of 1:15.11. Ethiopian Biruktayit Degefa won with a time of 1:11:26. (05/12/2018) Views: 1,863 ⚡AMP
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Top two women's seeds drop out of Houston Marathon

Mamitu Daska, and Abebech Afework Bekele had to drop out, both from Ethiopia, for medical and visa issues, respectively. Ethiopian women have won the Chevron Houston Marathon 11 years in a row, going back to Dire Tune in 2007, With them out, another Ethopian, Biruktayit Degefa, becomes the favorite on Sunday. (01/13/2018) Views: 1,431 ⚡AMP
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