HOUSTON – Organisers of the Houston Marathon and Houston Half Marathon have revealed the elite fields, with a distinctly African flavour, 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 Ethiopian 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 both of Ethiopia and Kiwi 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.