Mo Trafeh Outkicks Ryan Hall to Win 2011 USATF Half Marathon Championships in Houston

January 29, 2011

With 200m to go, Ryan Hall's return to racing after pulling out of the 2010 Chicago Marathon and then parting ways with his long term coach, Terrence Mahon, appeared to be going according to form. Hall was leading the USA Half Marathon Championships and driving to the finish.

However, Mo Trafeh, last year's 15k US Champion, was on Hall's heels. Could Trafeh find something in reserve to outkick Hall?


Trafeh sprinted by Hall, took the final turn and maintained the lead to the finish to capture the $12,000 first place prize. Hall had to settle for second and the $6,500 consolation check. Patrick Smyth, now a part of Hall's ex-club, Mammoth Track Club, was third.

The race early on featured a pack of nine: Farah, Hall, Smyth, Brent Vaughn (who would drop out), Josh Moen, Jason Lehmkuhle, Fasil BizunehRyan Vail, and one other.

After a water stop where Hall went wide for his bottle, Patrick Smyth made a surge and it would start to tear apart the lead pack. By the tenth mile, the pack was down to the three podium finishers: Hall, Trafeh, and Smyth.

During the twelfth mile, going up and down an overpass, Hall began pushing at the front. The pace would crack Smyth first. Hall opened a small gap as well on Trafeh, but Trafeh hung in Hall's footsteps just a few meters behind. That is how they would remain until the final 200m. Hall was still leading as the runners prepared to come in and make a 90-degree right turn less than 100 m to the finish. Before they hit the turn, Trafeh gave it one final push. It was enough to take him past Hall as they hit the turn. Down the final straight, nothing would change as Trafeh held on for the win.

Post Race Notes: (Interviews Below)

Afterwards, Trafeh said he did not think he was fit enough to win but was very pleased to come out on top. This past fall, he suffered from plantar fasciitis and got treatment in Morocco, but the pain returned when the treatment stopped. The plantar is more manageable now but not completely gone. Trafeh got married over the winter and just returned from a training stint in Casablanca. He will stay in the US and train for the London Marathon, where he hopes to go with the 2:06 group (2nd group).

Patrick Smyth was pleased with his race and also will also run London. He hopes to run in the 2:10 group.

Jorge Torres finished 8th in 1:04:18. Early on he was in the 3rd pack. A third party source told us afterwards that Jorge is in shape, ran this race more as a tempo to see the Olympic Trials course, and plans on running all-out next week at US Cross.

Abdi Abdiraham did not run and will run US Cross as well next week.

Ryan Hall said he would do one more spring half marathon before Boston. He said that a variety of people are helping advise him, but that he put down God as his coach on his USADA drug testing form. Ryan said that doesn't mean he always gets it right as he has done some stupid stuff since starting coaching himself. He was very proud of his wife's win at Millrose last night.

We'll have more thoughts later. Interviews and results below.

Place Athlete Age Time   Prize Money
1 Trafeh, Mohamed 25 01:02:17   $12,000
2 Hall, Ryan 28 01:02:20   $6,500
3 Smyth, Patrick 24 01:02:32   $4,000
4 Bizuneh, Fasil 30 01:02:47   $2,000
5 Lehmkuhle, Jason 33 01:02:49   $1,500
6 Vail, Ryan 24 01:02:51   $1,250
7 MacPherson, Scott 21 01:04:03   $1,000
8 Torres, Jorge 30 01:04:18   $750
9 Sayenko, Mike 26 01:04:20   $500
10 Driscoll, Joseph 31 01:04:23   $250
11 Nightingale, David 21 01:04:29    
12 Chavez, Michael 21 01:04:49    
13 Moen, Josh 28 01:05:05    
14 Kormanik, Leo 21 01:05:26    
15 Eberly, Joshua 30 01:05:33    
16 Neuman, Kenyon 24 01:05:36    
17 McCandless, Tyler 24 01:05:38    
18 Erichsen, Christopher 25 01:05:42    
19 Caccia, Gian-Paul 21 01:06:02    
20 Rizzo, Patrick 27 01:06:07    
21 Tapia, Daniel 21 01:06:19    
22 Reyes, Sergio 29 01:06:20    
23 Leon, Craig 21 01:06:28    
24 Pool, Kevin 21 01:06:30    
25 Briney, Trent 32 01:06:31    

Patrick Smyth On His 3rd Place Finish, Mammoth Track Club, London 2011

Mo Farah And Patrick Before Ryan Joined Them At Press Conference (Mo Talks About Getting Married, Morocco)

Fasil Bizuneh On His 4th Place Finish

Men's Race Finish

Mo Trafeh Talks About His Struggles, Winning, Training In Morocco

Ryan Hall Pleased With His Performance At Press Conference




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

Runner's World &
Running Times

Combined Only $22

a Year
Save $87

Running & Track and Field Posters

Search the Web



Great Offer: Nike Lunar Glide Sale Multiple colors of this shoe available.

*Nike Air Max Moto 7 Get 2 Pairs for a Crazy $112

Back To Top