Brigid Kosgei, 2019 Aramco Houston Half Marathon, photo by PhotoRun.net
Brigid Kosgei fast 65:50
HOUSTON (USA, Jan 20): Ahead of the London Marathon in April, Ethiopia’s Shura Kitata and Kenya’s Brigid Kosgei took victories ahead of strong elite fields at the Aramco Houston Half Marathon. Kitata clocked 60:11 (5km 14:30, 10km 28:32, 15km 42:49, 20km 57:15) ahead of teammate Jemal Yimer (60:14) and Kenya’s Bedan Karoki (60:18). Australia’s Pat Tiernan was the top non-African finisher in sixth in a 61:22 PB and Great Britain’s Dewi Griffiths was the top European in eighth in 61:44, the second fastest time of his career. Kosgei won the women’s race in a US all-comers’ record of 65:50 (5km 16:07, 10km 31:33, 15km 46:51, 20km 62:30) by nearly one minute ahead of teammate Fancy Chemutai (66:48) and reigning champion Ruti Aga from Ethiopia in 66:56. Emily Sisson just missed the US record in fifth in 67:30 as the top nine finishers all broke the 70 minute-mark. Biruktayit Degefa ran a big negative split to win the women’s marathon in 2:23:28 (72:52/70:36) to lead an Ethiopian clean sweep ahead of Belaynesh Fikadu (2:26:41) and debutantes Meseret Belete (2:26:56) and Buze Diriba (2:28:06). Kelsey Bruce was the top US finisher in sixth in 2:31:53 and 2004 Canadian 1500m Olympian Malindi Elmore was seventh on her debut in 2:32:15. Kara Goucher dropped out after the 31km mark. Kenya’s Albert Korir won the men’s race in 2:10:02 from Ethiopia’s Yitayal Atnafu (2:10:08) and Justus Kimutai (2:10:25).