Luke Puskedra Runs 1:01:36 Half-Marathon Debut as Feyisa Lilesa Picks Up $17,500 with 59:26 Course Record

January 15, 2012

Feyisa Lilesa of Ethiopa ran a 59:22 course record at the 2012 Aramco Houston Half-Marathon to pick up $17,500.

The big news for American distance fans the half-marathon debut of Oregon Duck senior Luke Puskedra. The 21 year-old Vin Lananna coached athlete who has indoor and outdoor eligibility left at Oregon ran an impressive 1:01:36 in his debut for fourth place.

We talked to Luke afterwards and he said the idea to run a half-marathon came about during the cross country season and he had the full support of coach Lananna who was the coach of 1996 Olympic Marathon Trials winner Bob Kempainen. Luke said he would have pleased with 1:03 so his 1:01:36 clocking was  a pleasant surprise. Not only was this Puskedra's half-marathon debut, it was his road racing debut as he had never run a road race of any kind.

Former Chico State star Scott Bauhs outkicked Puskedra to get third.

Puskedra talked a little bit about his training (110+ miles a week) and how he does do a lot of training on the roads after having turned his ankle badly on the trials. Puskedra took no fluids during the race and said coach Vin Lananna was surprised how well Puskedra looked after the race.  Full interview below.

Discuss Puskedra's debut here.

As impressive as Puskedra's debut was if Lilesa's reported age is accurate, he is only 7 days older than Luke. Lilesa is best known for running a 2:05:23 marathon at Rotterdam as a 20 year old.

Puskedra on His Impressive Debut
Place Lastname Age Time Prize Money
1 Lilesa, Feyisa (ETH) 21 00:59:22 $17,500
2 Regassa, Tilahun (ETH) 21 01:01:28 $6000
3 Bauhs, Scott (USA) 25 01:01:30 $4000
4 Puskedra, Luke (USA) 21 01:01:36 ****
5 Grey, Jonathan (USA) 23 01:02:25 $2000
6 Smith, Scott (USA) 25 01:03:18 $1000
7 Llano, Matthew (USA) 23 01:03:26  
8 Troop, Lee (AUS) 38 01:05:02  
9 Frazer, Thomas (IRL) 30 01:06:37  
10 Soprano, Steve (USA) 24 01:07:53  

Scott Bauhs After His 1:01:30

Women's Results

In the women's race Belaynesh Olijira outkicked 2011 Boston Marathon champ Caroline Kilel for the course record and $17,500 in 1:08:28.

Prior to this Olijira was most known for running a 1:07:27 for fourth at the New Delhi Half Marathon in 2011.

Place Lastname Age Time
1 Oljira, Belaynesh (ETH) 21 01:08:26
2 Kilel, Caroline (NED) 30 01:08:28
3 Gebre, Belainesh (ETH) 24 01:08:51
4 Jemutai, Hellen (KEN) 30 01:12:06
5 Haile, Kebebush (ETH) 25 01:13:02
6 Johnson, Kellyn (USA) 25 01:13:11
7 Painter, Trina (USA) 45 01:16:38
8 Collar, Janet (USA) 39 01:18:39
9 Vaughan, Kate (CAN) 27 01:18:44
10 Spadafino, Angela (USA) 24 01:19:02



Tell a friend about this article
(Dont worry we won't email your friend(s) again. We send them a 1 time email)
Enter their email address(es), separated by a comma.
Enter your name:

Don't Worry: We
Back to Main Front Page
Questions, comments or suggestions?Please email the staff at

Back To Top