Loaded fields Set For 2014 Chevron Houston Marathon – Aramco Houston Half Marathon To Host USA Half Marathon Championships

Press Release
January 9, 2014

HOUSTON (January 9, 2014) – The 42nd edition of the Chevron Houston Marathon Race Weekend features stacked fields in both the Chevron Houston Marathon and the Aramco Houston Half Marathon, which plays host to the USA Half Marathon Championships.

“Our Elite Athlete Committee has done its homework, as always, to produce a field that has the potential to rewrite our race record book,” said Chevron Houston Marathon Race Director Brant Kotch. “A number of top finishers from last year’s weather-challenged races will get another chance to show us their best, but they will have to prove their fitness against some talented newcomers. The four deep fields should be propelled to some great times on our new and even faster course. We’re equally excited about the return of the USA Half Marathon Championships, where the American athletes have given us a big vote of confidence by turning out in numbers that far exceed our previous experience with the Championships from 2005 through 2011. Again, the key word is “deep” – sprint finishes could easily be the order of the day.”

Defending champion Bazu Worku of Ethiopia, who set a personal best 2:05:25 when he finished third at the 2010 Paris Marathon, leads the field in the men’s Chevron Houston Marathon. Out to challenge him on race day will be 2012 Chevron Houston Marathon runner-up Debebe Tolossa. Ethiopians Dadi Yami and Gebretsadik Adhana, who have run sub 2:06 and 2:07 respectively, andGetachew Negari Terfa will also be in the field.

2013 Chevron Houston Marathon third-place finisher Meskerem Assefa of Ethiopia returns to Houston hoping to improve upon her personal best 2:25:17 that she set here last year. EthiopianAbebech Afework Bekele is the fastest woman in the field with a personal best of 2:23:59 from her runner-up finish at the 2013 Rotterdam Marathon. She ran three sub 2:29 marathons in 2013.Yeshimebet Bifa, who ran a personal best 2:26:17 when she finished third in Seoul this year, is also entered. Kenya’s Sarah Kiptoo, who ran five half marathons and four marathons in 2013 – setting personal bests in each, should challenge for the lead. Also watch for 2012 World Indoor 3,000m bronze medalist Gelete Burka, who will be running her second-ever marathon.

Four of the top five finishers from the 2013 USA Half Marathon Championships will toe the line in Houston. 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon champion and London Games fourth-place finisher Meb Keflezighi returns to Houston looking to win his second national half marathon title. The 2004 Olympic Marathon silver medalist, Keflezighi first won in Houston in 2009 and finished as the runner-up in 2013. Shadrack Biwott and Josphat Boit, both newly minted American citizens who finished third and fifth respectively, are also in the field. Also watch for Tim Ritchie, who placed fourth at the 2013 USA Half Marathon Championships, and Luke Puskedra, who set a personal best 1:01:36 with his fourth-place finish in the 2013 Aramco Houston Half Marathon.

2013 USA Half Marathon champion Adriana Nelson leads the women’s field and will be challenged by Serena Burla, who will be looking to improve on her two runner-up finishes at these Championships in Houston in 2010 and 2011. Steeplechaser Sara Hall, who debuted at the half marathon distance in October with a win at the Healdsburg Wine Country Half Marathon, should be in the mix. 2012 Olympic 10,000m runner Lisa Uhl, who set her personal best 1:13:28 with her sixth-place finish at the 2013 Aramco Houston Half Marathon, and Renee Baillie, who last ran a half marathon when she finished fourth at the 2010 USA Half Marathon Championships in Houston, are also entered.

Women’s Marathon

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Abebech Bekele (ETH)

Meskerem Assefa (ETH)

Tatyana Aryasova (RUS)

Yeshimebet Bifa (ETH)

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Sarah Kiptoo (KEN)

Makda Haji (ETH)

Gelete Burka (ETH)

Seada Kedir (ETH)

Men’s Marathon

Bazu Worku (ETH)

Dadi Yami (ETH)

Gebretsadik Adhana (ETH)

Getachew Terfa (ETH)

Debebe Tolossa (ETH)

Dominic Ondoro (KEN)

Solomon Tsige (ETH)

Patrick Rizzo (USA)

Scott Wietecha (USA)

Women’s Half Marathon

Adriana Nelson

Serena Burla

Kelly Brinkman

Renee Baillie

Mattie Suver

Clara Santucci

Dot McMahan

Tera Moody

Sara Hall

Katie McGregor

Lisa Uhl

Nuta Olaru

Men’s Half Marathon

Meb Keflezighi

Shadrack Biwott

Tim Ritchie

Josphat Boit

Luke Puskedra

Aaron Braun

Fernando Cabada

Tyler McCandless

Sergio Reyes

Craig Leon

Jeffrey Eggleston

Daniel Tapia

Ben Bruce

For complete information on the 2014 Chevron Houston Marathon, Aramco Houston Half Marathon and USA Half Marathon Championships, please visit http://www.chevronhoustonmarathon.com/.

About the Houston Marathon Committee, Inc.
Established in 1972, the Houston Marathon Committee, Inc. (HMC), a Running USA Founding Member, annually organizes the nation’s premier winter marathon, half-marathon, and 5K. Over 250,000 participants, volunteers and spectators make Chevron Houston Marathon Race Day the largest single-day sporting event in Houston.  Race Weekend generates over $50 million in economic impact for the region annually.  In 2013, the Run For a Reason Charity Program raised $2.2 million and the HMC garnered Gold Certification from the Council of Responsible Sport for industry-leading sustainability initiatives.  Host to 12 U.S. Half Marathon Championships since 2005 and the 1992 women’s Olympic Trials Marathon, HMC conducted the nationally-televised 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon, which featured men and women competing on the same course simultaneously for the first time, vying for the chance to represent Team USA at the 2012 Olympic Games.

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